Friday, February 16, 2007


Are You Getting Your "Share"?

This recent story in the Queensland Business Review really highlights the boom in interest in the Aussie sharemarket - a study shows that nearly two thirds of Australian investors believe the sharemarket is the best place to invest.

The story, titled Aust equities tipped to outperform investor market, reads:
Australia's high performing equities market continues to attract record numbers of new investors, with Aussie shares tipped to outperform all other investments over the next 12 months, a report by major market research company ACNielsen has revealed.

ACNielsen's bi-annual Retail Brokerage Report, released today, combines responses from over 23,000 Australian consumers on retail broking and provides insights on retail broker market share, service strengths and weaknesses and market dynamics such as trends, trading frequency, source of investment information and use of asset classes.

The report found the vast majority of Australian investors (61%) tipped Australian shares as the best performing investment in the next 12 months.

This compared to just 15% who thought owning a home would be their best investment option and 13% who chose investing in international shares.

The excellent performance of the share market has also resulted in strong growth in retail brokerage client numbers.

In particular, online trading had seen strong growth with 63% of new trading accounts now opened online.

The jump in online trading account numbers was the biggest increase experienced in the past five years - up 27 points to an estimated 690,000 over the past year.

"The booming Australian equities market has acted as a magnet in attracting new clients to share trading," sites Glenn Wealands, Director, Finance, ACNielsen...

In terms of customer satisfaction, investors had little to complain about with the majority (59%) saying they made greater than 10% gains in the past 12 months.
Another angle on the story appeared in the Melbourne Age, as
Investors believe Aussie stocks are best

Australians have long been big on shares. I used to hear it bandied about that we have the highest per capita share ownership in the world, with more than half of the adult population being shareholders. Could this be true?

I'm not sure about the "highest in the world" part, but I found out that the "more than half" figure includes indirect share ownership via investment in super funds. Since we have compulsory super in this country, it's hardly surprising we have a high level of share ownership by that standard!

But would you believe the figure for direct share ownership, i.e. not counting super funds, is not much lower?

This report direct from the Australian Stock Exchange reveals that 44% of adult Australians or about 6.4 million people own shares directly. And yet...
Sources most frequently cited for advice or information about shares in the last 12 months were newspapers (44%), family/friends (33%), and as stated above, financial planners (30%).
It always amazes me that so many rely on other people for advice about what shares to invest in, rather than learning about the market themselves and doing their own analysis - it's not that hard!

Thanks to the Internet, direct information about the market that was once only available to stockbrokers is now readily available to everybody. I noticed from the QBR story that the vast majority of new trading accounts are opened online. With the information we can access on the Internet, why let others make your investment decisions for you?

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