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UK investment landscape: The rise of the instividual

Barclays Wealth has sent out a white paper highlighting some of the changes that have occurred in the UK investment landscape over the past decade. Online trading has risen from a mere 0.1% to an astonishing 85% of trades, and investment has spread to new products, including FX. Barclays points to the rise of what it calls the ‘instividual’ – private clients who want the same level of service as institutions.

It also points out, somewhat surprisingly, that share ownership is declining in the UK. “Despite the advent of online share dealing, Department for Work and Pensions data shows that share ownership had fallen in the UK from 24% to 20% between 2002/3 and 2005/6. Office for National Statistics data backs this up, showing that the proportion of shares held by individuals has been on a downward trend since 1963 when individuals owned 54% of quoted shares. Although the trend was flat at around 20% between 1989 and 1994, by 2004 holdings had fallen to 14.1%. In 2006, the figure had fallen further to 12.8%.”

According to Barclays: “The instividual is not necessarily a day trader, but a sophisticated trader who has knowledge, confidence and a relatively balanced attitude to risk and a well-diversified and balanced portfolio.”