Jeff Desjardins Blog | How Different Generations Would Invest $10,000 | Talkmarkets
Founder and Publisher at Visual Capitalist
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A founder of Visual Capitalist, Jeff holds a BCom from the Sauder School of Business at UBC. Jeff believes that a fusion of information and design can bring investors unique insight in a way that has never been done before. Originally hailing from Penticton, BC, Jeff is also an avid traveller, ... more

How Different Generations Would Invest $10,000

Date: Sunday, April 8, 2018 9:00 AM EDT

If someone slipped you a $10,000 check and told you to invest it, what would you do with the money?

With no strings attached, there is a wide variety of ways that you could deploy that cash.

You could look at it as a one-time windfall that could shore up your personal balance sheet, or you could go at it much more aggressively. It’s money that you didn’t expect to receive, so why not throw it at high-risk, high-reward assets?

How to Invest $10k?

Today’s chart is based on a survey from LendEDU, which posed this exact question to 1,000 Americans in March 2018:

Question: If you were given $10,000 tax-free and had the ability to invest all of it in one of the following options, which would you choose?

Here are the results of the sample as a whole:

How to Invest $10K? % of Respondents
Pay down debt 27.3%
Real estate 13.5%
Savings account or CDs 12.2%
401(k) or Roth IRA 9.9%
Stock market 7.2%
Child's education 6.9%
Small business 6.2%
Virtual currency 5.1%
Education 3.2%
Other/Unsure 8.5%

Note: We’ve made slight adjustments to the original answers, combining one low-performing category (P2P loans) into the “Other” category

Paying down debt (27.3%) was by far the most popular response. It’s also interesting to see that many people would opt to put the $10k towards their own small business, education, or even digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin.

Now, here’s the same data grouped together by generations:

How to Invest $10K? Millenials (18-34) Gen X (35-54) Boomers (55+)
Pay down debt 22.4% 25.3% 33.1%
Real estate 15.1% 14.6% 11.2%
Education 9.9% 1.1% 0.3%
Virtual currency 9.2% 4.0% 3.1%
401(k) or Roth IRA 8.5% 9.4% 11.5%
Other/Unsure 8.1% 8.6% 8.7%
Savings account or CDs 7.7% 10.8% 17.1%
Stock market 6.6% 8.1% 6.7%
Child's education 6.3% 11.3% 2.8%
Small business 6.3% 6.7% 5.6%
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