STILL BROKING NEW GROUND
TWENTY years ago, 16 per cent of the population directly owned shares. Now it’s 33 per cent.
The value of companies on the Australian Stock Exchange was $300 billion — now its $1.7 trillion. And average wages were $33,000, compared with $77,000 now.
These are just some of the major changes in the Australian economic landscape as the nation’s online broking industry chalks up its first 20 years.
“The Australian share market has grown significantly over the past 20 years and has been a major source of wealth creation for self-directed investors,’’ CommSec managing director Paul Rayson said yesterday.
Commsec, which started its online business 20 years ago today, is the biggest of several online brokers based in Australia.
According to the Australian Securities Exchange, online broking is now the most popular method of investing in the share market.
Last year, 58 per cent of trades were made through an online broker, compared with 31 per cent who used a full-service broker.
In its latest share ownership study, the ASX found investors traded online to have more control over their investments and because it was cheaper.
Australian Shareholders Association president Diana D’Ambra said the large majority of the group’s members invested through one of the many online broking sites.
“Mostly our membership like to take responsibility for their own financial security and planning,’’ she said.