Online investors in the UK ended 2001 with a surge in activity which saw execution-only buyers outnumbering sellers for the first time in over a year, according to the latest figures compiled by ComPeer and the UK's Association for Private Client Investment Management (Apcims).
The Apcims/ComPeer report on private investor activity for the final quarter of 2001 (October to December inclusive) finds online share trading volumes increased 34 per cent from Q3, and the ratio of share sales to purchases (the sold/bought ratio) reveals execution only clients as net buyers of shares for the first time since 2000.
Angela Knight, Apcims chief executive, says: "Overall activity has now returned to 1999 levels. Advice-based services have been net sellers of shares for 18 months now, but this trend may yet reverse in 2002."
Other key findings of the survey reveal:
* the Apcims/ComPeer quarterly index of private client activity rose from 216 in Q3 to 218 in Q4;
* online trades now account for 31.5 per cent of execution only share trading; and
* the number of online clients continues to rise - from 327,000 in Q3 to 346,000 in Q4.
The average online trade size was £3835, compared to £5603 for telephone trades.
"Online investors evidently did some bargain hunting long before the January sales," says Knight. "In spite of a stagnant market, they sought out some buying opportunities, so they are clearly keen to get back into the market."