Who has been buying what (both here and in the US)?

Mon 18 Dec 23, 10:00am (AEDT)
Financial stock exchange market display screen board on the street marketsasx
Source: Shutterstock

Key Points

  • Most watched AU stocks include iShares S&P 500 ETF and Betashares Nasdaq 100 ETF, signaling a focus on US exposure amid positive economic sentiment.
  • Younger investors (18-30) prefer ETFs like Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF, while older cohorts show a bias toward individual domestic stocks

Last month we teamed up with Stake to bring you insights into what Australian traders and investors are buying.

The unique and perhaps most interesting feature of the data was the breakdown by age cohort, shining a light on what investors of different ages and at different stages of their investment journey, were transacting.

This month, we’ve upped the ante. For the November series data, as well as the age cohorts, we’ve also been provided with the following;

  • Most Watched US Stocks

  • Most Watched AU Stocks

  • US Stock purchased by age groups

To top it off Stake market analyst, Megan Stals, has provided some commentary on what she is seeing in the data.

Please note that all data below has kindly been provided by Stake. None of the companies or instruments noted below should be considered a recommendation. Please do your own research before considering any investment. Past return is not a reliable indicator of future return. 

Most Watched AU Stocks

  1. iShares S&P 500 ETF (ASX: IVV)

  2. Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS)

  3. BHP Group (ASX: BHP)

  4. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA)

  5. Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (ASX: VAS)

  6. TG Metals (ASX: TG6)

  7. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ)

  8. Fortescue Metals (ASX: FMG)

  9. Betashares Nasdaq 100 ETF (ASX: NDQ)

  10. CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)

Stake: We see the iShares S&P 500 ETF (IVV) sitting in first place, and the Betashares Nasdaq 100 ETF (NDQ) making it ninth, in a sign that Australians have their eye on US exposure, even when investing in the ASX.

The Federal Reserve’s decision to keep rates on hold in November and perceptions that the US is ahead of Australia in fighting inflation have helped to paint a more positive economic picture than the one we’re seeing at home.

While investors primarily favour blue chips and ETFs, the fact that TG Metals (TG6) quickly made its way to customer watch lists shows that there’s interest in small-cap growth stories. That said, trading data shows that this did not result in heavy buying when compared to the rest of the top 10.

ASX Stocks Bought by Age Groups (Most Bought by Unique Customers)

Age cohort 18-30:

  1. Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (ASX: VAS)

  2. iShares S&P 500 ETF (ASX: IVV)

  3. Vanguard All-World ex-US Shares Index ETF (ASX: VGS)

  4. Betashares Nasdaq 100 ETF (ASX: NDQ)

  5. Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS)

  6. Betashares Diversified All Growth ETF (ASX: DHHF)

  7. Vanguard Diversified High Growth ETF (ASX: VDHG)

  8. Betashares ASX 200 ETF (ASX: A200)

  9. Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC)

  10. BHP Group (ASX: BHP)

Age cohort 31-54:

  1. Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (ASX: VAS)

  2. iShares S&P 500 ETF (ASX: IVV)

  3. Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS)

  4. Vanguard All-World ex-US Shares Index ETF (ASX: VGS)

  5. Betashares Nasdaq 100 ETF (ASX: NDQ)

  6. Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WDS)

  7. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ)

  8. Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC)

  9. BHP Group (ASX: BHP)

  10. Betashares ASX 200 ETF (ASX: A200)

Age cohort 55+:

  1. Pilbara Minerals Ltd (ASX: PLS)

  2. Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WDS)

  3. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ)

  4. Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC)

  5. National Australia Bank Limited (ASX: NAB)

  6. Macquarie Group Limited (ASX: MQG)

  7. BHP Group (ASX: BHP)

  8. Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG)

  9. Liontown Resources (ASX: LTR)

  10. Whitehaven Coal Limited (ASX: WHC)

Stake: The youngest cohort continues to show a strong preference for ETFs, with the Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (VAS)Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (IVV), Vanguard MSCI Index International Shares ETF (VGS), Betashares Nasdaq 100 ETF (NDQ), Betashares Diversified All Growth ETF (DHHF), and Vanguard Diversified High Growth ETF (VDHG) all making an appearance. Yet as we move towards the older cohorts, there is an increasing bias towards individual stocks.

The level of international exposure is different across age groups. Younger generations have more exposure to US and other international markets through the ASX , while older generations tend to favor domestic stocks on the local market. This could be a case of home bias, or simply that older investors prefer to gain international exposure away from the local stock exchange.

As we often see, older generations are more willing to invest in fossil fuel stocks, with Woodside Petroleum (WDS) and Whitehaven Coal (WHC) making the top ten most bought list for over 55s. While both of these stocks saw declines in November, their high placement shows that many saw a buying opportunity.

Most Watched US Stocks

  1. Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT)

  2. Amazon (NYSE: AMZN)

  3. Nvidia (NYSE: NVDA)

  4. Google (NYSE: GOOGL)

  5. Apple (NYSE: AAPL)

  6. SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (ASX: SPY)

  7. Vanguard 500 Index Fund ETF (NYSE: VOO)

  8. Tesla (NYSE: TSLA)

  9. AMD (NYSE: AMD)

  10. Meta (NYSE: META)

Stake: The Most Watched US Stocks list reveals a continued fascination with artificial intelligence (AI) players, driven by their impressive returns and the ever-growing AI trend.

While Amazon held the top spot in October, Microsoft (MSFT) has now claimed the throne, reflecting the ongoing buzz around ChatGPT and the future surrounding Sam Altman’s brief ousting. This increased attention translated into strong buying activity, with Microsoft becoming the second most-bought US stock in November (see below).

Despite being the third most watched US stock, Nvidia’s (NVDA) buying activity paints a slightly different picture. While the stock remains incredibly popular to observe, and has a large number of unique buyers, it only ranked sixth in the most bought stocks for November. This suggests there was a wait-and-see approach among many investors, particularly in the first half of November, as they held on to see if the valuation could be justified. Following its earnings, Nvidia did see a pullback, as concerns about US restrictions on sales to China harmed sentiment. Yet we saw a brief surge in buys following the earnings results, supporting the notion that investors were waiting for a “buy the dip” opportunity,

Meta (META) made it onto the most watched list, but was not amongst the most bought stocks in any age group. Investors might suspect its growth is slowing after an impressive rise through the year. Additionally, CEO Mark Zuckerberg sold a significant amount of stock in November, convincing some investors that they may be wise to do the same.

AMD’s (AMD) presence in both the top 10 most watched and most bought lists across various age groups, is another noteworthy trend. The company is growing in popularity as a potential alternative to Nvidia, and this is reflected in both watchlists and buying activity.

US Stocks Bought by Age Groups (Most Bought by Unique Customers)

Age cohort 18-30:

  1. Tesla, Inc. (NYSE: TSLA)

  2. Vanguard 500 Index Fund ETF (NYSE: VOO)

  3. Apple Inc. (NYSE: AAPL)

  4., Inc. (NYSE: AMZN)

  5. Microsoft Corporation (NYSE: MSFT)

  6. NVIDIA Corporation (NYSE: NVDA)

  7. SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (ASX: SPY)

  8. Alphabet Inc. Class C (NYSE: GOOGL)

  9. Palantir Technologies Inc. (NYSE: PLTR)

  10. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE: AMD)

Age cohort 31-54:

  1. Tesla, Inc. (NYSE: TSLA)

  2. Microsoft Corporation (NYSE: MSFT)

  3. NVIDIA Corporation (NYSE: NVDA)

  4., Inc. (NYSE: AMZN)

  5. Apple Inc. (NYSE: AAPL)

  6. Palantir Technologies Inc. (NYSE: PLTR)

  7. Vanguard 500 Index Fund ETF (NYSE: VOO)

  8. Alphabet Inc. Class C (NYSE: GOOGL)

  9. PayPal (NYSE: PYPL)

  10. Coinbase (NYSE: COIN)

Age cohort 55+:

  1. Tesla, Inc. (NYSE: TSLA)

  2., Inc. (NYSE: AMZN)

  3. NVIDIA Corporation (NYSE: NVDA)

  4. Microsoft Corporation (NYSE: MSFT)

  5. Palantir Technologies Inc. (NYSE: PLTR)

  6. Apple Inc. (NYSE: AAPL)

  7. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (NYSE: TSM)

  8. Alphabet Inc. Class C (NYSE: GOOGL)

  9. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NYSE: AMD)

  10. IonQ, Inc. (NYSE: IONQ)

This article was originally published on Livewire Markets.

Written By

Chris Conway

Managing Editor

Chris is the Managing Editor at Livewire Markets and Market Index. His passion is equity research, portfolio construction, and investment education. He is also very keen on the powerful processes that can help all investors identify great opportunities and outperform the market, and wants to bring them to life and share them with you.

Get the latest news and insights direct to your inbox

Subscribe free