Because of ample interest in cryptocurrencies and marijuana-related securities, retail investor activity is intensifying. Tim Hockey, the President of TD Ameritrade, told CNBC there has been “frenetic activity from a retail point of view.”
New accounts from customers ages thirty-five and under rose seventy-two percent last quarter compared to that same quarter a year ago. TD Ameritrade experienced daily average trades of 726,000 during this period.
Millennials Are Leading The Way
Millennials have spurred this growth. According to Hockey, in the last quarter of 2017, cryptocurrency and pot comprised between seven and eight percent of the trading on TD Ameritrade. A year ago, they only made up two percent. The legalization of marijuana in various states and the growing popularity of Bitcoin are largely responsible for this increase.
TD Ameritrade has expanded their trading hours to accomodate these trends. Select securities can now be traded twenty-four hours, five days a week. (Sunday 8 p.m. ET to Friday 8 p.m. ET.)
The change to overnight trading is smart because major-market moving events often occur at late hours, and millennial, in particular, prefer trading at night. According to Ameritrade, “trading after normal market hours comes with unique and additional risks, such as lower liquidity and higher price volatility.” But the greater convenience and added potential for market opportunities balances out these risks.