New research from ETF provider GraniteShares, reveals that some 12.7% of the UK adult population has bought or sold shares since the Coronavirus crisis started, and 37% of these people expect to increase their level of activity here over the next six months.

A key reason for this planned increase in trading of shares is because 54% of retail investors think big technology stocks such as Facebook, Tesla and Amazon currently represent some of the most exciting investment opportunities available.

Similarly, 56% of retail investors believe you can find good investment opportunities in the FTSE 100, compared to 21% who disagree with this view.

The findings also reveal that retail investors are becoming more confident in the strategies they consider for investing in shares. When asked about investment products that enable them to magnify returns through the use of leverage, with a view to profiting from either rising or falling prices 29% who have traded shares in the past six months said they would consider using them.

Will Rhind, founder and CEO of GraniteShares, said: “There is little doubt that the Coronavirus crisis has helped fuel a significant uplift in share trading activity.  Thanks to the internet and technology providing better access to company information and market data, many investors clearly feel that the current volatile environment,  has created attractive opportunities to buy stocks, and, for sophisticated investors, also the possibility to short stocks in sectors, such as aerospace, hospitality and traditional retail, that are under particular pressure as a result of the pandemic.

“While investors appear broadly positive on the outlook, rising cases of coronavirus across Europe and the uncertainty around the future UK-EU relationship are among many factors that suggest the coming months could see a rise in volatility in markets.”

The undecided US presidential election result is also contributing to volatility in the markets which may unnerve investors.

Philip Hanley, director and independent financial adviser (IFA) at Philip James Financial Services gives his thoughts on what the US presidential election means for ‘your pocket’.

Hanley admits: “Probably not as much as you might fear, as stock markets are generally more resilient than, and as self-serving as most politicians. And here’s why we’ll be OK for quite a while to come, investment-wise, at least.

“Central banks, including the Fed, are pumping money into economies and keeping interest rates at virtually 0%. Before you say, ‘what about the debt and what about inflation and what about a change of government’, they’ve been at it since the last crash, so for over 10 years now. And we’re all still here. For now.”

Further reading

Emotional comfort’ investment decisions costs retail investors on average 3% a year/cost much higher during the pandemic – Oxford Risk

Market crisis opens paths to higher income

Where does cancelled or suspended dividends leave investors?