This article appeared in the August 2009 Listed @ ASX newsletter.

2008 Australian Share Ownership Survey released

Today’s retail share owners are more cautious whilst a sense of optimism still remains, according to the 2008 Australian Share Ownership study recently released by ASX.

As the eleventh in a series dating back to 1991, the Share Ownership Study (PDF 1.44MB) provides insights into the attitudes, knowledge and behaviour of retail share market investors in Australia.

The latest study identified that approximately 6.7 million people, or 41% of the adult Australian population, own shares (either direct – via shares or other listed investments, or indirect – via unlisted managed funds). This is down from 46% two years previously and, undoubtedly, reflects investors’ responses to current volatile market conditions after long periods of strong market performance.

Research also showed that retail investors have reduced their share portfolios. In 2006, 24% of direct investors held shares in more than 11 companies. This proportion has fallen to 19% in 2008 however the average value of trades has remained constant despite the fall.

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