Trump's tweets are driving millennials to make a rookie investing mistake

When @realDonaldTrump tweets, investors pay attention.

President-elect Donald Trump's early-morning jabs at large companies have repeatedly moved the market. And no other age group reacts to tweets like millennials, according to E-Trade.

In a survey of 904 people, the brokerage found that 60% of those ages 25 to 34 had traded off a Trump tweet. They all managed at least $10,000 in an online account and traded from January 1 to this past Tuesday, according to E-Trade.

The share of traders who bought or sold because of a Trump tweet fell as age rose: 36% of those ages 35 to 54 and just 20% of people over 55 reacted to a tweet.

That's a sign of shortsightedness among younger traders and may not serve their portfolios well if it's not balanced with longer-term strategies, said Mike Loewengart, E-Trade's vice president of investment strategy.

"Older investors have lived through many more market environments, and they are cognizant of the fact that what the president-elect says is much less meaningful in the longer term," he told Business Insider on Thursday.

"The concept of long-term compounding of growth becomes crystallized for someone who's experienced," Loewengart said. "It doesn't necessarily become clear to us that a long-term view is coming through" in millennials' thinking when they hurry to trade after Trump tweets, he said.

Short-lived moves

Some of the stock moves right after Trump's tweets proved to be short-lived. For example, Boeing shares slipped in early December, after Trump said the company should cancel its development of a new Air Force One because, he said, the costs were "out of control." But the stock gained nearly 4% in the three weeks that followed.

This doesn't mean Trump's tweets should be irrelevant to markets. In fact, investors don't really have a choice but to monitor his account, according to Larry Adam, the chief investment officer for the Americas at Deutsche Bank Wealth Management.

"I guess it's the maturation of a strategist or CIO," he said at a press event last week. Twitter is set to become a fixture of trading floors just as TVs were set up to show market-moving events, he added.

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