Online trading up 35%

Trades in listed securities from retail online investors rose 35% over the year to May 2021, and those that held cryptocurrency rose 5% to 13% in the last six months, according Investment Trends.

The research house’s latest online investing report found 1.43 million individuals placed one or more trades in listed securities over the year to May 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic shifted the investing landscape.

Despite the easing of lockdowns at the start of 2021, there were 148,000 new online investors who placed their first trade in the past six months compared to 170,000 during the second half of 2020.

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Investment Trends’ head of research, Irene Guiamatsia, said: “To put things into perspective, the number of active retail online investors, that is those who bought or sold securities in a 12-month period, has almost doubled compared to pre-pandemic levels, from 750,000 to 1,430,000”.

While 13% of online investors said they wanted to hold cryptocurrencies, another 10% said they intended to start investing in digital currencies over the next 12 months.

“While there may be concerns about investor exuberance for relatively volatile digital assets, our research shows diversification and long-term investing are investors’ top cited reasons for holding cryptocurrencies – rather than speculative purposes,” Guiamatsia said.

Investment Trends also found the best trading platforms during the first half of 2021 were:


Best rated providers

Overall satisfaction

Interactive brokers

Value of money




Customer service

Bell Direct

Mobile platform/app


Education material/programmes

Bell Direct


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