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DIY investing booms with 20 per cent annual growth in customer numbers

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Analysis from Boring Money indicates a record GBP329 billion is now invested across the UK through D2C investing services, including DIY investing platforms, robo advisers and bank share dealing platforms, as the UK’s largest DIY investing platform, Hargreaves Lansdown, has added 126,000 clients to reach 1.62 million users (for the four-month period ending April 2021).   

Across the market customer numbers have risen above 7 million for the first-time, with year-on-year growth of more than 20 per cent fuelled by younger investors opening an investment account for the first time. Boring Money’s research indicates that 9 per cent of all investors today have opened their first account in the last year. 

A combination of strong customer growth and stock market recovery means assets under administration (AUA) across the market have grown more than GBP100 billion year on year (YoY) to GBP329 billion, following a sharp drop in early 2020 triggered by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Other notable trends include: 

  • Growth among share dealing platforms, catering primarily to traders: Boring Money’s data tracking indicates quarterly AUA growth in excess of 10 per cent among some of the largest share dealing platforms 
  • Robo advisers catering to less confident investors: Robos had a strong quarter and Nutmeg is notable for reaching GBP3 billion under management, having a 33 per cent share of the robo market 
  • Cost conscious investors: Vanguard continues to gain significant traction and grew by nearly 30 per cent over Q1 to assets of GBP6.7 billion 
  • The ‘buy and hold’ platforms: The likes of AJ Bell and Hargreaves Lansdown continue to be the leading platforms for those seeking a long-term home for shares and funds and command a huge share of overall AUA 

Boring Money CEO, Holly Mackay, says: “The DIY market continues to evolve and is no longer the domain of older, golf-playing hobbyists in Surrey. Average ages are falling and first-time investor numbers are growing. 

“Our data shows that there has been a surge in new, young account holders, and 9 per cent of all investors have been investing for 12 months or less. This is reflected in the fact that the average age of a new customer with the market’s largest provider is just 36.  

“However, the growth in customer numbers hides the fact that volatile markets have also rocked confidence. Our Advice Report 2021 confirms that 76 per cent of all investors rate their confidence at just 6 or less out of 10. Few investors are truly confident managing their money, yet advice remains the preserve of the wealthy – just 3.6 million customers in the UK have a financial adviser today. 

“It is great to see so many people investing and taking control of their money. But with this comes a growing need to figure out how to offer better advice to the average person on the street.” 

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