13 Oct 2020

Do-it-yourself investors in it for the long haul - survey

8:06 am on 13 October 2020

A new survey is pushing back against the stereotype that do-it-yourself trading apps encourage people to gamble on shares.

New Zealand's share market immediately fell two percent on opening

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The survey by the trading app, Hatch, which connects New Zealand investors to US stocks, shows people who use its platform are taking a "buy and hold" approach to investing.

It found that nearly two thirds of investors planned to hold most of their share for three to 10 years, while 15 percent said they expected to sit on their shares for decades.

Hatch co-founder Kristen Lunman said the results show its customers took a measured approached to investing and are not exhibiting the short-term, impulse driven trading strategies that have elicited criticism locally and abroad.

"What we were really pleased with was [our] investors are backing businesses they believe in, looking to hold on to those companies from anywhere from years to decades."

The report also found that the 97 percent of investors did some form of research before investing.

However, just over a third of respondents read a firm's financial statements before investing, with fewer bothering to look at its annual report.

Lunman said paying attention to financial reports is important, but investors can get away without reading them because US stocks tend to be well-covered by reporters and investment analysts online.

"Think about the most popular companies on Hatch, these aren't relatively unknown companies, they're the likes of Facebook, Microsoft, of Apple and Amazon... it's very easy to find out of Google their sales, their revenue, how they have been fairing through Covid."

Analysing the share price of a company was the most common form of research people did before investing at 59 percent.

Lunman said looking at the share price was often the final piece of research people did before purchasing a stock.

Reading analyst opinions online and news websites followed close behind at 54 and 49 percent respectively.

The survey showed three quarters of respondents believed share prices would be higher in a year's time, with technology and bio tech stocks expected to be the pick of the bunch.