A new generation of investors emerged during the Covid crisis. They are more bullish about their financial prospects and the market than previous investors, and they are ready to invest and plan for their future, according to new research by Charles Schwab.

The research, which included 1,000 Americans aged 21 to 75, showed that 15% of all current U.S. stock market investors said they first began investing in 2020. The strong growth and engagement among individual investors over the past year are a result of lower trading costs, new products and services aimed at greater ease and accessibility, and the investing opportunities presented by market volatility, said Jonathan Craig, Charles Schwab’s senior executive vice president and head of investor services.

And a big part of this growth is what Schwab calls “Generation Investor”—the large number of people bound not by their birth years but by when they got started in their investing journey. These people are now on a path to ownership and reaching their financial goals, he added.

This group was more financially affected by the Covid crisis than those who invested before 2020. More than 60% of this group said the pandemic had a financial impact on them, 39% said their finances were hurt, 31% had a salary cut or reduced hours, and 26% lost their jobs or were furloughed.

Generation Investor, says the research, has a median age of 35. The group has a younger average age than those who began investing before 2020, whose median age is 48. They span all age groups: 51% are millennials, 22% are Gen X, 16% are Gen Z and 11% are baby boomers. Also, they earn about $20,000 less in annual income, at $76,000 per year, and 51% live paycheck to paycheck.

Schwab said this group found time amid the unprecedented change, buckled down and started investing to build an emergency fund (activity cited by 54% of the respondents) and gain an additional source of income (cited by 53%). Further, two in five of them (41%) indicated that they kept better track of their savings and finances, while only a third of pre-2020 investors did.

These new investors are serious and just getting started, Schwab noted. Nearly all of them (94%) want access to information and tools to do their own research; 90% want educational materials to improve their investing skill; 82% are interested in access to an investment professional to provide ongoing help and guidance.

And “Generation Investor” is in it for the long term. More than half of them (52%) said they will save more once the pandemic subsides, 43% said they plan to invest more and 42% plan to work on reducing their total debt.

More than a third of this group (38%) has a written financial plan in place. But 41% said they have not thought about the tax-efficiency of their portfolios, while 51% of them said they do not fully understand how fees work. Many also indicated that they have important life milestones on the horizon—that they want to move to a new state or home (21%), start a new career or job (24%) or prepare to have a baby (14%).