Mums and dads showing sharemarket savvy

Small investors are expanding their portfolios and showing more sophistication in their investing, according to the Australian Stock Exchange's MD and CEO Richard Humphry. About 50 per cent of Australians now own shares and since 1998 the average number of companies in which they invest has increased from three to six. The average value of direct investment has risen 25 per cent since 1997 to $35,800.

Humphry said that “recent trends in market activity are showing a distinct, strong upward trend”. The S&P/ASX 200 Index has risen almost 18 per cent this year, from 2700 in March to a close of 3180 on August 27. The trend could continue with coming floats of “two very substantial new customers” expected soon.