Online Broker Investors: Demographic Information, Investment Strategy, Portfolio Positions, and Trading Activity
42 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2007
Date Written: October 1, 2003
It is often argued that the internet influences investor behavior. Furthermore, the recent bubble in internet stocks is sometimes ascribed, at least in part, to online trading. However, little is known about how online investors actually behave. This paper contributes to this gap. A sample of approximately 3,000 online broker investors is studied over a 51 month period ending in April 2001. The main goal of this paper is to present various descriptive statistics on demographic information, investment strategy, portfolio positions, and trading activity. The main results of this paper can be summarized as follows. Online broker investors trade frequently. The median stock portfolio turnover is about 30% per month. The average number of stocks in portfolios increases over time suggesting that, ceteris paribus, diversification increases. Trading activity is tilted towards technology, software, and internet stocks. About half of the investors in our sample trade warrants and half of the transactions of all investors are purchases and sales of foreign stocks. Income and age are negatively and the stock portfolio value is positively related to the number of stock transactions. Warrant traders buy and sell significantly more stocks than investors who do not trade warrants. Warrant traders and investors who describe their investment strategy as high risk have higher stock portfolio turnover values whereas the opposite is true for investors who use their online account mainly for retirement savings. The stock portfolio value is negatively related to turnover. The higher the stock portfolio value, the higher the average trading volume per stock market transaction.
Keywords: Individual Investor, Online Broker Investor, Online Trading, Trading Volume, Investor Behavior
JEL Classification: D1, G8
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