Australian investors snap up shares in record numbers in 2018



The sharemarket is fast becoming the playground for a new breed of investors, with new data from nabtrade showing young traders entered the market in record numbers in 2018.

Fresh data from nabtrade showed that while turnover among the older generations continued to grow, it was the Gen Z and Gen Y investors who recorded the biggest gains – up 73 per cent and 20 per cent respectively in the 12 months to 31 December 2018.

“Over the past two years, we have seen a significant rise in the number of young investors turning to the sharemarket for wealth creation,’’ said Gemma Dale, nabtrade Director of SMSF and Investor Behaviour.

Click the image to hear from nabtrade’s Gemma Dale talking about the top buys of 2018.

“These are serious investors, who are studying the local and international sharemarkets closely and buying shares they know, and investing for the long term.”

Total domestic turnover rose 2 per cent in the 12 months to 31 December 2018, with the number of customers with local shares rising 13 per cent.

Ms Dale said while there wasn’t too much movement in the top ten domestic holdings across the generations, investors reweighted their sector exposures throughout the year.

“Our data showed Baby-Boomers and Gen X investors reduced their overall exposure to financials, consumer discretionary and telcos but increased their holdings in healthcare, consumer staples and material stocks,’’ Ms Dale said.

“This reflects their concerns about headwinds facing these sectors but also a recognition of how heavily overweight some of these much-loved sectors had been for long term investors.

“Interestingly, Gen Y investors slightly increased their exposure to financials during the year by 1.5 per cent but reduced their holdings in materials, healthcare, consumer discretionary and telcos,’’ she said.

The top ten domestic buys among Baby-Boomers and Gen-X remained traditional blue-chip stocks such as NAB, CBA, Westpac, BHP and Telstra, while top picks among Gen Y and Z investors were A2 Milk, Afterpay; AMP and Vanguard’s ASX200 ETF.

Demand for international shares accelerated nearly 30 per cent in 2018, with online trades soaring 38 per cent among Gen Z investors, 32 per cent for Gen X and 31 per cent for Gen Y.

“The number of new customers dabbling in international shares also rose 32 per cent, led predominantly by Gen Z, Gen X and Gen Y investors. Gen Y investors now represent the largest cohort of investors who traded international shares last year,’’ Ms Dale said.

“Australian investors, particularly younger investors, understand that while the Australian sharemarket offers some great opportunities, many critical, fast-growing sectors are not well represented on the local bourse.

“These investors are generally pursuing two key thematics – technology, and the rise of the Asian consumer, and they’re choosing to do that directly into the US or Asian markets.

“This was visible in the top ten international buys last year.’’

Among some of the top international buys for investors last year were Tencent, Tesla, Facebook, Netflix, Alibaba, Apple, Amazon and Visa, the data showed.

Top 10 domestic BUYs by value during 12 months to 31/12/18

Baby Boomers Gen X Y Gen Y   Gen Z
CBA CBA A2 Milk Afterpay
BHP Westpac AMP Telstra
Westpac BHP Telstra Resolute Mining
Telstra Telstra Afterpay CBA
CSL A2 Milk Vanguard Aust Share Index ETF Vanguard Aust Share Index ETF
Fortescue Fortescue Westpac Bellamy’s
Macquarie Rio Tinto Lynas Lynas
AMP Macquarie Bellamy’s A2 Milk


Top 10 international BUYs by value during 12 months to 31/12/18

Baby Boomers          Gen Z Gen Y       Gen Z
Apple Apple Facebook Facebook
Amazon Amazon Apple Amazon
Tencent Facebook Tesla Tesla
Facebook Tesla Amazon Apple
NVIDIA Tencent Alibaba Microsoft
Berkshire Hathaway B Alibaba NVIDIA Alibaba
Microsoft Microsoft Microsoft Plus500 NVIDIA Berkshire Hathaway B NVIDIA
Alibaba Berkshire Hathaway B Tencent Visa
Alphabet Class C Netflix Netflix Netflix






Related Articles

  • Business

Businesses amp up green investments with electric vehicles and solar panels topping the shopping list

New data from Australia’s largest business bank shows many small and medium sized businesses are continuing to invest in new or used energy efficient equipment, with the value of the bank’s Green Finance for Vehicles & Equipment loan book growing 80% compared to the same period last year.

  • 13.06.2024
  • Time to read 2 min read
  • Scams

Aussies travelling abroad warned about international summer of scams

Australians heading overseas to chase a European or North American summer are being urged to get scam savvy to avoid a holiday from hell. Criminals are expected to target major sporting events and big international concerts, just as hundreds of thousands of Australians and their families prepare to jet off overseas.

  • 06.06.2024
  • Time to read 3 min read
  • Media Release

Families now the top users of no interest loans

More than 42,000 no interest loans have been issued in the past year by Good Shepherd and NAB, up 19% on the previous year, as Australians face cost of living pressures.

  • 31.05.2024
  • Time to read 3 min read

Quick links

National Australia Bank — NAB

Sometimes When The Unexpected Happens, We Realise What We Truly Value. Whether A Home, Farm, Business Or Your Passion, NAB Is Here To Support You.

Business Research and Insights

For more business news and analysis, visit NAB’s Business Research and Insights.