The Australian Securities Exchange's (ASX) latest Australian share ownership study shows fewer Australian citizens actively invested in the stock market in 2012.
The survey found that 6.7 million Australians, or 38% of the adult population, had invested in the stock market in 2012, either by purchasing listed stocks or via unlisted managed funds. This is down from a level of 43%, at the last time the survey was done in 2010. The number peaked at 55% in 2004.
The ASX says Australia still reports one of the highest levels of share ownership in the world and notes growing use of online brokers, up to 65% of investors in 2012 from 52% in 2010.
The survey also found that more respondents owned stocks (34%) as investments, than owned residential property (22%). Although ownership of stocks ranked at its highest with the elderly - 65-to-74 year olds - retail investors remain quite busy and are vigorous traders in turning over their portfolios, with the average number of trades undertaken at 22 per annum, up from 15 in 2010.