Retail Investors’ Most Popular Stocks of 2023 (YTD)
According to VandaTrack, retail investors are still a force to be reckoned with, adding an average of $1.5 billion each day into U.S. markets.
This is a record-breaking level of inflows, which raises the question: what are investors buying? To find out, we’ve visualized the 10 most popular picks of 2023, as of February 15.
The Top 10 List
Most of the names in this list won’t come as a surprise. They represent eight of the world’s largest and most well-known tech companies, as well as two highly popular U.S. equity ETFs.
|Rank||Name||Ticker||Retail net flows
|2||SPDR S&P 500 ETF||SPY||$3,572|
|6||Invesco QQQ ETF||QQQ||$1,353|
Looking closer at the numbers, we can see that Tesla’s net retail flows of $9.75 billion are greater than all of the other individual stocks combined ($8.5 billion). This is a sign that investors still have plenty of faith in Tesla, even as its market share is beginning to shrink.
We recently covered Tesla’s profit margins (net profits per vehicle) in a separate infographic.
Perhaps the least common name on a top 10 ranking such as this is AMD. The chipmaker has made for a compelling underdog story in recent years, gaining significant market share from its long time rival, Intel.
What About the Meme Stocks?
Several meme stocks made it into the broader top 100 list. This includes Bed Bath & Beyond, which ranked 47th with $114 million in net retail flows.
The retailer has been struggling to avoid bankruptcy, recently raising $225 million through an underwritten public offering of preferred shares. A further $800 million could be coming, if certain conditions are met.
The company says it’s committed to paying down its overdue debts, and will be closing stores to reduce costs.
AMC Entertainment, which saw extreme volatility during the COVID-19 pandemic, ranked 52nd on the list for retail investors with $90 million in net flows. The stock has generated a 27% return YTD (as of Feb. 15). The cinema operator’s revenues have been recovering since the pandemic, but they’ve yet to reach pre-2020 levels.
Charted: What are Retail Investors Interested in Buying in 2023?
What key themes and strategies are retail investors looking at for the rest of 2023? Preview: AI is a popular choice.
Charted: Retail Investors’ Top Picks for 2023
U.S. retail investors, enticed by a brief pause in the interest rate cycle, came roaring back in the early summer. But what are their investment priorities for the second half of 2023?
We visualized the data from Public’s 2023 Retail Investor Report, which surveyed 1,005 retail investors on their platform, asking “which investment strategy or themes are you interested in as part of your overall investment strategy?”
Survey respondents ticked all the options that applied to them, thus their response percentages do not sum to 100%.
Where Are Retail Investors Putting Their Money?
By far the most popular strategy for retail investors is dividend investing with 50% of the respondents selecting it as something they’re interested in.
Dividends can help supplement incomes and come with tax benefits (especially for lower income investors or if the dividend is paid out into a tax-deferred account), and can be a popular choice during more inflationary times.
|Investment Strategy||Percent of Respondents|
|Total Stock Market Index||36%|
|Gold & Precious Metals||23%|
Meanwhile, the hype around AI hasn’t faded, with 36% of the respondents saying they’d be interested in investing in the theme—including juggernaut chipmaker Nvidia. This is tied for second place with Total Stock Market Index investing.
Treasury Bills (30%) represent the safety anchoring of the portfolio but the ongoing climate crisis is also on investors’ minds with Renewable Energy (33%) and EVs (27%) scoring fairly high on the interest list.
Commodities and Inflation-Protection stocks on the other hand have fallen out of favor.
Come on Barbie, Let’s Go Party…
Another interesting takeaway pulled from the survey is how conversations about prevailing companies—or the buzz around them—are influencing trades. The platform found that public investors in Mattel increased 6.6 times after the success of the ‘Barbie’ movie.
Bud Light also saw a 1.5x increase in retail investors, despite receiving negative attention from their fans after the company did a beer promotion campaign with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Given the origin story of a large chunk of American retail investors revolves around GameStop and AMC, these insights aren’t new, but they do reveal a persisting trend.
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