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Visualizing the Search Patterns of Investors

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Visualizing the Search Patterns of Investors Over the Last 2 Years

Visualizing the Search Patterns of Investors

When investors need to quench their thirst for the latest news or knowledge, they turn to the all-knowing power of Google.

Whether it is something as simple as searching for “S&P 500 today” or it’s more of an information-finding mission to discover the “Best Dividend Paying Mutual Fund”, search data provides an interesting lens with which to view the topics investors are focused on.

Investor Search Data

Today’s infographic comes to us from New York Life Investments, and it shows investor searches for various investment-related keyphrases by month.

The data starts in January 2017 and goes until November 2018, giving an almost two-year picture into investor search patterns. It enables us to see macro trends of which searches are becoming more popular, as well as a window into certain time periods in which behavior changed dramatically.

Not only can we see increases or decreases in searches for specific keyphrases year-over-year, but we can also see how patterns changed when the market went into corrections or saw increased levels of volatility.

The Macro Picture

Here is a data-driven look at wider categories of search phrases, showing which terms saw the biggest increases or decreases year-over-year.

Category: Investment StrategyBiggest Changes in Search Volume (2017-2018*)
Balanced investment strategy+200%
Maximum diversification portfolio+120%
Define investment portfolio-57%
Aggressive investment portfolio-71%

*Data for 2018 goes until November only.

In terms of general investing strategy, it seems investors were increasingly looking at how to build a “balanced” strategy, rather than having an “aggressive” allocation. The latter was much more popular in 2017.

Category: GenericBiggest Changes in Search Volume (2017-2018*)
Simple investment+182%
Short term investment definition-21%

*Data for 2018 goes until November only.

Looking at more generic keyphrases, people have been increasingly looking for “simple” investments.

Category: Mutual FundsBiggest Changes in Search Volume (2017-2018*)
Large cap index+400%
S&P 500 index today+340%
U.S. stocks+124%
Growth mutual funds+53%
Absolute return funds-38%
Small cap value fund-56%

*Data for 2018 goes until November only.

Investors looked more for “large cap index”, as well as the current status of the S&P 500. Further, they wanted to know less about “Growth mutual funds”, “Absolute return funds”, and “Small cap value funds”.

Category: ETFsBiggest Changes in Search Volume (2017-2018*)
Money market ETF+140%
Emerging markets value ETF+88%
Short term bond ETF+82%
Smart beta ETF-21%
Currency ETF-23%
Define exchange traded fund-38%

*Data for 2018 goes until November only.

Lastly, on the ETF front, investors wanted to know more about “Money market ETF” as well as “Emerging markets value ETF” and “Short term bond ETF”. On the opposite side, fewer investors needed to know the definition of an exchange traded fund.

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Markets

Visualizing the Global Share of U.S. Stock Markets

Despite having 4% of the world’s population, the value of U.S. equities still make up over 40% of the global total.

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Visualizing the Global Share of U.S. Stock Markets

One of the most potent symbols of American financial dominance is the combined market capitalization of the country’s two biggest stock exchanges⁠—the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ⁠.

These two major listing hubs dwarf all other exchanges around the world. In fact, the NYSE on its own is larger than the Shanghai, Shenzhen, Japan, and Euronext exchanges put together.

RankExchangeMarket Cap (Oct '22)LocationApprox. # of companies
#1NYSE$22.8TUnited States 🇺🇸2,400
#2NASDAQ$16.2TUnited States 🇺🇸3,700
#3Shanghai Stock Exchange$6.7TChina 🇨🇳1,600
#4EuroNext$6.1TEurope 🇪🇺800
#5Japan Exchange Group$5.4TJapan 🇯🇵3,800
#6Shenzhen Stock Exchange$4.7TChina 🇨🇳2,800
#7Hong Kong Stock Exchange$4.6THong Kong SAR 🇭🇰2,600
#8National Stock Exchange of India$3.3TIndia 🇮🇳2,100
#9London Stock Exchange$3.1TUK 🇬🇧1,900
#10Toronto Stock Exchange$2.7TCanada 🇨🇦1,500

One of the key reasons for this dominance is the sheer size of the U.S. economy. With a GDP of over $25 trillion, the U.S. economy is the largest in the world, and American exchanges are home to some of the world’s largest and most valuable companies, including tech giants like Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft.

As of January 2023, the value of stocks listed on U.S. exchanges made up 42% of the global total. How does this total stack up, historically?

The U.S. Share Over Time

For much of the 1970s, the U.S. made up more than half of global stock market value. Over the course of the 1980s, the U.S. share of the global total began to dip, driven in part by the asset price bubble in Japan.

chart showing the U.S. share of global stock market value over time

More recently, the U.S. slice of the equities pie bottomed out temporarily around the time of the Financial Crisis, but has been steadily rising ever since.

Will U.S. Exchanges Ever Be Surpassed?

U.S. stock exchanges have several advantages that make them attractive to investors, including strong regulatory oversight, a stable political and economic environment, and a diverse pool of well-known companies to invest in. The U.S. stock exchanges also have a long history of innovation and technological advancement, which has helped to maintain their position as leading global exchanges.

In 2018, PwC surveyed hundreds of capital market participants on the future of stock exchanges. Respondents felt that, by 2030, many of today’s top exchanges would remain popular choices for companies looking to go public.

Survey of market participants that shows which exchanges could be preferred for an IPO in 2030

Despite obvious advantages, U.S. exchanges do face plenty of competition, especially in emerging markets like China and India. The Shanghai Stock Exchange, for example, has seen significant growth in recent years and is now the world’s third-largest exchange by market capitalization.

Even as other markets continue to grow, U.S. exchanges are likely to remain a preferred destination for investors around the world for years to come.

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