Behavioural Finance and Generation Z

Tuesday, October 26, 2021, by Dr. Mariya Yesseleva-Pionka, PhD

The global online connectivity has soared from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as the world was forced to rely on technology to maintain communication and the exchange of information. The business models of the existing and new businesses had to be re-evaluated to factor in the importance of having an online presence. Moving forward, entrepreneurs and MSME owner-managers and the corporate sector have to assess the benefits of the hybrid business models and hybrid work arrangements for their staff members. Generation Z represents a significant group of the current workforce globally and they also actively seek various investment options. Members of Generation Z were born between 1995 to 2010 and, according to a report published by Mckinsey Consulting Company,[1] this is a “hypercognitive generation”, which is searching for “truth” and “individual expression”. Every generation has unique identifying characteristics and approaches to personal finance and investments.


A new research study results by Barclays Smart Investor[2] demonstrated that Generation Z looks at the short-term investments that promise high returns. One quarter (25%) of Generation Z investors are checking the performance of their investment portfolio, and 17% are trading on a frequent basis which is not surprising, due to the easy access to smart mobile devices. Most importantly, 16% of the respondents are engaged in speculative investments. This could have a detrimental effect on their future lifestyle if the risk exposure is not minimised. High-risk investment strategies are not suitable for everyone. There is also a common misconception that Generation Z could try to take on higher risk just because of their young age, as they have more time to make up for the potential losses. It is vital to comprehend the overall impact on investors’ lifestyle, financial and mental health, requirements to work harder and longer hours, and unnecessary stress and wellbeing.


It is vital to understand the importance of diversification and the creation of a well-balanced investment portfolio. When assessing any investment portfolio, it is crucial to take into account two broad types of risk: systematic risk and unsystematic risk. The systematic risk refers to the economy-wide risk, and all investors in the market are exposed to it. Thus, it is essential to assess current economic conditions and how they might affect your investment choices. The unsystematic risk is also known as a firm-specific risk as it directly relates to the firms investors monitoring for the potential investment. Changes in management, product and brand reputation, the introduction of the new project could represent some of the examples of the effect on the firm performance. Generation Z was introduced to technology and investment opportunities at their fingertips from a young age, due to the rapid developments in finance and technology, which was not the case for older generations. The ease of use and accessibility of the online investment options should not cancel detailed research and assessment of the potential risk involved in the investment options and the long-term effect on financial wellbeing.





Dr Mariya Yesseleva-Pionka is Global Certificates Manager at ICSB, a Higher Degree by Research Supervisor at Excelsia College and Adjunct Academic at the University of Technology  Sydney, Australia. Dr Yesseleva-Pionka held teaching and senior academic management positions in Central Asia (Kazakhstan) and Australia. She specialised in general investments, personal and corporate superannuation investments while working for Westpac Banking Corporation and BT Financial Group in Australia. She was invited to join The Housing Connection, a not-for-profit organisation in Sydney, Australia as Treasurer and Board Member from November 2019. Her research interests include entrepreneurial finance, traditional and alternative ways to finance small and medium enterprises (SMEs), corporate finance, policies for the small business sector, innovation and SMEs, FinTechs and Blockchain. Dr Yesseleva-Pionka is the Associate Editor for the Journal of the International Council for Small Business (JICSB). 

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