The rise of the retail investor

2021 started with a bang in global markets, propelled by the crypto and stock rallies. We have certainly felt it at eToro, with over two million new registrations since the beginning of the year, bringing our total number of registered users to more than 19 million.  

The beginning of 2021 has been influenced by the crypto rally, and by unprecedented global interest in the GameStop phenomenon, a trend which represents the rise of a new generation of investors. 

2020 will go down in history as the year that not only gave way to a global pandemic, but also to the rise of the retail investor. For us, this is the real story, and it’s a conversation we have been leading for the last twelve months. We are seeing record interest and participation by retail investors who make up nearly 25% of stock market activity on peak days. This trend is here to stay, we believe, and will continue to grow into the future.  

A confluence of macro trends have led to this tipping point: zero (and negative) interest rates, an acceleration of digital transformation led by the Covid19 pandemic, and lowering the barriers to entry through automation, fractional shares and commission-free stock investing.

In recent weeks, we have collaborated with global leading media outlets that were interested in finding out more about the new generation of investors. eToro has been at the heart of this narrative. During these conversations I’ve been asked frequently: “Do you think these people should be investing?” I’ve consistently replied by asking: “Do you think they shouldn’t be?”

Becoming a successful investor can be achieved in a simple, enjoyable way when you have the right knowledge to trade and invest responsibly — this has always been eToro’s motto. We help boost our clients’ investment capabilities by providing the tools which allow ideas, wisdom and expertise to be shared with an entire investment community, for everyone to use equally and openly. We highlight the importance of understanding the basic principles of investing, such as diversification and establishing an independent point of view based on data and analysis. 

Our Popular Investors are a great example of this – they are becoming investment leaders. Some of our Popular Investors’ 2020 performance would be considered outstanding for any leading global hedge fund. And yet, these results were achieved independently by talented members of our community. This is the essence of our mission, and the beauty of it. And this is just the beginning.

I’m looking forward with anticipation to see how the following months of 2021 will continue to shape the investment landscape. 

Yoni Assia is eToro Co-Founder and CEO

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