Despite a relatively volatile market towards the end of 2018, online traders in Australia were not deterred, leading to an uptick in the population of online investors in the second half of 2018, according to the 2018 2H Online Broking Report by Investment Trends.
Specifically, for the six months to December of 2018, the population of online investors in the equities and exchange-traded fund (ETF) segments increased by 4.2 percent from 720,000 up to 750,000, the report said.
According to the report, which surveyed more than 8,000 Australian online investors in the broking market, during the final quarter of 2018, which was particularly volatile, many online traders continued to invest during this period, and the volatility actually managed to encourage dormant investors to recommence their trading activity.
Commenting on the results, Recep Peker, Research Director at Investment Trends said: “Many online investors took the broad sell-off in equities at the end of 2018 as a buying opportunity. Existing investors stayed invested or made additional investments, and 76,000 resuming their investing activity in the last six months.”
The report also found that investors were increasingly looking for trading providers that gave traders access to a range of investment tools, to help them navigate the choppy trading markets.
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“In the current market and geopolitical climate, investors’ needs from the online brokers and product providers they use are increasingly concentrated around decision support tools,” added Peker.
“There is widespread appetite for stock recommendations, trading ideas, in-depth research and analyst reports as investors seek tools that give them the edge to make informed decisions in these uncertain times.”
Social Media Becoming Increasingly Part of Investment Strategy
Not only that, but online investors are increasingly relying on digital channels, such as social media, as part of their investment strategy. Throughout the country, 24 percent of Aussie online investors use social media platforms for investing or finance-related purposes, with a further 11 percent to start doing so in the future.
“Many investors recognize the value of social media in their investment decision-making process, most often using it to deepen their knowledge, keep abreast of the latest developments and network with like-minded investors,” continued Peker.
Investment Trends, which is a leading researcher in the retail online share dealing and leveraged trading markets, also found that in addition to an uptick in the reliance of social media when investing, the same can be said for technology in general
This includes robo-advice or broader technology such as smart speakers (Apple Siri or Amazon Alexa). Specifically, 45 percent of online investors believe that smart speakers make life easier, with 26 percent stating these technologies make investing easier by providing investing-related data.