Retirees embrace DIY online trading

The fastest growing group of online share traders are investors over 55 years, Westpac Broking reports. The discount broker says the older age group has recorded 20 per cent growth over the last three years while the number of 25-35 year olds has declined.

The statistics offer further confirmation of evidence that recent retirees are among the most internet-friendly demographic group – the result of a combination of the desire to manage a better financial outcome in their retirement and having the time available to devote to the task.

Kevin Powell of Westpac's BT Financial Group said the substitution of online brokers for full-service brokers is continuing with nearly 5 per cent of full-service clients making the switch annually. Meanwhile, DIY traders' appetite for blue chip stocks sees Newscorp, Telstra, Westpac, AMP and BHP consistently ranked as the top five holdings. Westpac also says traders are increasingly electing to gear their portfolio after noting a 43 per cent increase in the number of new clients borrowing to invest in 2003.

The broker is currently running a competition offering new and existing account holders the chance to win $20,000 to go into their trading account, a year's worth of free trades or Shares magazine subscriptions.