Retail Investing Continues Its Upward Trend in Q2 as DriveWealth Sees Record Retail Investing Activity

DriveWealth’s retail investing hit new highs in Q2 amid the ongoing global economic uncertainty due to the pandemic, with fractional share trades increasing 87% from Q1, according to new data released today by DriveWealth, a leader in global digital trading technology. Data from the DriveWealth platform indicates this surge in retail activity is evidence of a larger paradigm shift in retail investing.

Some of the key Q2 findings from DriveWealth’s proprietary data, which monitors investment activity by individual investors from across its network of global partners including Revolut, Stake and Hatch into the U.S. equities market, include:

  • A 214% increase in Q2 trading volumes compared to Q1
  • Trading activity doubled (100% increase) in Q2 compared to Q1
  • The number of trades placed per account increased by 33%

“In common with other brokers, we’ve seen record levels of retail account openings and trading activity following March’s market correction,” said DriveWealth Founder and CEO Bob Cortright. “While the correction has no doubt attracted many new entrants into the market, we believe that the pandemic and social distancing measures have also served to accelerate the move into digital financial services. Interestingly, account openings among investors aged 60-plus outpaced other age groups, highlighting the move towards digital is far from a millennial-only phenomenon.”

DriveWealth’s data also found a few notable trends regarding trading behavior. Around 70% of all trades on the DriveWealth platform were to buy shares versus sell and the average trade size was $211, up 56% compared to Q1.

Fractional share trades – where less than one share is purchased – also increased in Q2, with a 208% increase in fractional purchases by investors in Latin America compared to Q1. This compares to a 129% quarter-on-quarter increase in fractional trades in the U.S., a 108% increase in EMEA and 65% uptick in APAC.

“Given that single shares of frequently traded stocks such as Tesla and Amazon trade are priced in the thousands of dollars, it’s no surprise that fractional share purchases are proving popular among investors,” said DriveWealth President Julie Coin.

Most traded tickers

The report found that the most traded symbols traded in Q2 continued to be large, recognizable global brands and technology companies, while in the U.S. specifically, Vanguard ETFs proved popular.

Many of the most frequently traded stock symbols are those expected to benefit from trends associated with the global COVID-19 pandemic, including services facilitating the mass shift to working from home (such as Google and Zoom), home entertainment (Netflix and Disney), digital payments (Apple and Google) and online retail (Amazon and Walmart).

In addition to the big-name brands, non-U.S. investors were also investing in more volatile stocks that were featured in the news, including Hertz, American Airlines and petroleum companies such as Callon and Oasis.

The top 10 traded symbols on DriveWealth’s platform in Q2 were:

U.S. investors

Non-U.S. investors

Vanguard S&P 500 ETF


Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond ETF



American Airlines

Vanguard Extended Market ETF


iShares Short-Term National Muni Bond ETF

Callon Petroleum


Oasis Petroleum

Whiting Petroleum





Whiting Petroleum

Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF

Delta Airlines


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