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Investors Business Daily
Investors Business Daily

8 Sinking Stocks Wipe The Smirks Off Millennials' Faces

Millennial investors might think investing is easy and "stocks only go up." But a few of their popular holdings are sinking fast even this year and reminding them of the risks.

Eight of the top 100 most commonly held stocks by millennial investors, including Meta Materials, Enphase Energy and Moderna, are down 10% or more this year so far, says an Investor's Business Daily analysis of data from Apex Clearing and S&P Global Market Intelligence.

These drops hurt all the more as most S&P 500 investors are enjoying a small rally this year. The S&P 500 is up 3.5%. Much of the rally is fading away, though, led lower by some of the stocks millennials like best.

"Stocks are softening on rising fears that the Fed is going to send this economy into recession," said Edward Moya of Oanda.

Millennials Lose Money, Too

Millennial investors, born between 1981 and 1996, are becoming a major force in the S&P 500. They conducted more trades in the fourth quarter than any other generation.

But millennials are taking their fair share of lumps, too. A third of millennials' 100 most popular stocks are down on the year. Some of the losses are noteworthy, too, as they only compound declines in 2022.

Take Enphase Energy. The provider of equipment for alternative energy setups is the No. 55 most popular position in millennial portfolios, Apex says. But don't expect to hear much bragging about the holding this year. It's down 25% in 2023 so far. But millennials are hanging on, as the stock is still up 56% in just 12 months.

Another big loser for millennials is a newly popular stock. Meta Materials, a producer of composites used in eyewear and films, came out of nowhere to become millennials' No. 69 most popular stock in the fourth quarter, Apex said. Millennials were likely attracted by the stock's relative strength in 2022. But this year alone, shares are down 46%.

Surprising S&P 500 Winners And Losers

Another loser for millennials this year is actually one of the greatest winners in the past three years since the Covid crash: Moderna.

The innovator of advanced vaccines is the No. 44 most popular holding in millennial portfolios. But this year, it's down nearly 23%. It's important to note, though, the stock is still up roughly 2% in the past 12 months.

It's important to say that none of millennials' worst stocks are top 10 holdings. And it would also be wrong to imply millennial investors aren't hitting some winners, too. Coinbase Global, a cryptocurrency exchange, is their top-performing popular stock this year. Shares are up more than 63% just this year.

Even more important, though, is Tesla. Shares of the electric-car maker are up 59.2%, helping to narrow their 12-month decline to 23%. And that's an outsize win for millennials as Tesla is their most popular stock. And it's the only generation that can say that.

So millennials have at least one stock they can smirk about.

Millennials' Biggest Losers

Worst-performing stocks among millennials' 100 most commonly held

Rank in top 100 millennials' portfolios Company Symbol Year-to-date % ch. Sector
69 Meta Materials -42.9% Information Technology
55 Enphase Energy -22.7 Information Technology
40 Pfizer -18.5 Health Care
44 Moderna -17.8 Health Care
54 Mullen Automotive -15.1 Consumer Discretionary
85 NextEra Energy -12.8 Utilities
32 Johnson & Johnson -11.7 Health Care
68 3M -10.1 Industrials
Sources: IBD, S&P Global Market Intelligence, Apex Trading

Follow Matt Krantz on Twitter @mattkrantz

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