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Share trading statistics in South Africa

South Africa ranks 7th for share trading and interest in investing is only expected to go up.

As global stock markets dealt with the fallout from COVID-19 in 2020, there was an influx of new retail investors as young people entered the market for the first time and, in some countries, government stimulus meant people had extra cash to spend or invest.

But how many people actually put money on the stock market? And are more people expected to invest in the year ahead? Finder surveyed 23,659 people in 16 countries to find out.


South African share trading stats

As it stands, South Africa ranks 7th out of 16 countries for share trading with 37% saying they currently own stocks. Of those, 33% bought shares in just the last 12 months and 4% say they already held stock but haven't invested recently.

By the end of the year, it's expected that a further 17% will purchase shares, according to Finder's Global Investing Adoption Survey.

Overall, South Africans are most likely to invest less than R8,500, with 20% of South Africans investing this much. Meanwhile, 5% of South Africans say they've invested R8,500-R35,000, 2% have invested R35,001-R70,000, and 6% have invested more than R70,000.

Men are more likely to be investing than women

Around 40% of men currently own shares compared to 30% of women. By the end of the year, we'll see an additional 20% of men and 15% of women purchase shares.


Interestingly, men are more likely than women to invest more than R70,000, with 8% of men saying they did so compared to just 4% of women.

45-54 year olds lead the pack for investing

People aged 45-54 are most likely to own shares, with 40% currently holding investments and an additional 10% expected to own shares by the end of the year.


People in this age group are also the most likely to have invested more than R70,000, with 10% of people in this age group investing this amount, compared to 3% of those aged 18-24.

How does South Africa compare to the rest of the world?

At the time of the study, an average of 34% of those surveyed said they currently owned shares. Hong Kong investors lead the way, with approximately 57% of adults owning shares. An additional 20% of Hong Kong adults are expected to buy shares by the end of 2021.

Singapore is not too far behind Hong Kong, with 53% reporting that they own shares and an additional 18% expected to buy shares by the end of the year. Rounding out the top 3 is the US, where 47% say they currently have investments in the stock market and an additional 15% say they will invest by the end of the year.

At the other end of the investing spectrum is Mexico, where just 13% say they currently have investments. However, by the end of the year an additional 27% of Mexicans expect to invest.

It's a similar story with Spain, with only 18% saying they have currently invested. When asked about their plans for investments by the end of 2021, an additional 17% reported that they will own shares.

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