Retail investor activity is on the rise, claims the CEO of brokerage firm TD Ameritrade, thanks in part to heightened interest in digital currencies and pot-related securities.
Speaking on CNBC’s ‘Closing Bell,’ the chief of Ameritrade, Tim Hockey, said that there has been ‘frenetic activity from a retail point of view.’
According to Hockey, boosting that growth is the millennial population. In terms of new entrants to the market place, Hockey explained that they are experiencing 72 percent on year-over-year growth with those new accounts.
Helping to fuel this rise of interest in millennial trading is reportedly due to the increasing attention on digital currencies such as bitcoin and the legalisation of marijuana in various U.S. states.
In Hockey’s opinion in the last full quarter of 2017, digital currencies and marijuana made up around seven to eight percent of the 726,000 trades on TD Ameritrade. A year previously they only accounted for around two percent.
With December came a peak in cryptocurrency prices with bitcoin within touching distance of $20,000 for the first time.
We all saw it, right? We went to holiday parties. Everybody was asking about your opinion around cryptocurrencies, blockchain.
However, since then, values in the market have abated slightly with bitcoin currently trading at $11,143, according to CoinMarketCap. Yet, regardless of this dip in price amid regulatory uncertainty and fears of a bubble, TD Ameritrade is still trading high. According to Hockey, the company is doing around 975,000 trades a day.
If you took out all of the blockchain, all of the cryptocurrencies, and all of the cannabis-related stocks that number would still be just shy of 900,000. So there’s great general interest as well.
TD Ameritrade is extending trading hours on its platform to 24 hours, five days a week for major popular exchange-traded funds. In Hockey’s opinion, this is the right move as market-moving events often take place overnight.
According to Brian Kelly, portfolio manager of the BKCM Digital Asset Fund, now is the right time to invest in digital currencies. Speaking on CNBC, Kelly explained that during this period of ‘hands-off’ as uncertainty remains over the market regarding regulation, ‘now’s the time you start looking at it, on the buy side.’
With money still flowing into the cryptocurrency, ‘this is not the end of bitcoin,’ he explained. While the market may be in a dip at the moment interest still remains. And for those aged 35 years and under, now seems to be as good a time as ever.