A larger share of younger investors say they’re not afraid to buy the dip in the pursuit of long-term gains — but there’s one big caveat

The stock market is taking on a deepening red hue as steep sell-offs continue, but a new report says some younger retail investors are seeing red meat for ‘buys.’

Fewer than two in ten people, 18%, say they feel optimistic enough to put more money in the market this year, according to a Bankrate survey released Thursday.

But a closer look into exactly who’s ready to put more money in the market — and see red meat rather than just red — reveals they skew younger, and by a lot.

Some 43% of investors who said they’re ready to increase their investments (43%) are ages 18 to 25. More than a quarter, 27%, were millennials ages 26 to 41.

But only14% of investors ages 41 to 57, the so-called Gen X demographic, said they’d pour more money in and 16% of that demographic said they’d invest less.

Meanwhile, just 8% of baby boomers, ages 58 to 76, said they were likely to invest more in the market this year and 22% said they’d be investing less.

Younger poll participants were also more likely to say they were actively making moves in response to the market volatility.

But there’s one big caveat.

The new survey was fielded a month ago — before Wednesday’s stock-market rout where the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA

finished with a 1,164.52-point plummet, or 3.6%, in the face of inflation jitters.

The S&P 500

SPX

finished down 165.17 points on Wednesday. That’s a 4% decline — and it’s possible fraction of what’s to come, according to an analyst who’s forecasting the potential for the S&P 500 to take a 45% cruel summer skid from a January peak.

The Bankrate survey echoes what others are seeing.

“We begin to notice a widening gap in sentiment between the younger (more aggressive) and the older (wealthier) generation,” according to a note Wednesday from Vanda Research, an independent…

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