Zip, Afterpay and Flight Centre: Superhero’s most-traded Aussie stocks for 2021

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Buy now, pay later businesses and travel companies were among the most-traded stocks on Superhero’s retail trading platform in 2021, with individuals increasingly investing in companies they interact with on the regular, and that are front-of-mind in general.

Launched in September 2020 with an $8 million capital raise, Superhero set out to make online investment more transparent and accessible to everyday people. It also offered a $5 flat fee for trades.

In December 2020, the startup had 22,000 users. Now, that number has increased to 150,000.

Accordingly, trading volumes have increased month-on-month throughout the year, revealing some telling patterns.

According to Superhero’s first Year in Trades review, between January 1 and November 30, 2021, the most-traded asset on the ASX was Zip Co.

The other major BNPL player in Australia, Afterpay, also made the top five, but was a few pegs lower as the fifth-most traded stock.

Flight Centre came in second, followed by iron ore mining company Fortescue and then Qantas.

“Superhero customers invested in the brands they interacted with regularly,” Superhero co-founder and chief executive John Winters said in a statement.

That is to say, they’re keen to invest their cash in businesses they’re invested in personally. It stands to reason that those who are interested in a platform like Superhero would also show interest in other fintech businesses.

And as international borders start to reopen again, travel is front of mind.

The ‘hottest stock’ in Australia — that is the stock that saw demand increase the most — was lithium battery company Novovix, which expected to soon enter the ASX200.

That points to ever-increasing interest in electric vehicle companies and the resources that will power them.

Tesla was Superhero’s most-traded stock on the US markets, but fellow electric vehicle companies Lucid and Rivian were also in the top five, in third and fourth spots, respectively.

That’s particularly striking in the case of Rivian, which only listed on the NASDAQ in mid-November.

Apple was the second-most traded US stock, and Alibaba came in fifth place.

Superhero users also backed electric vehicles through US ETF investments. Exchange traded funds track an index, sector or commodity, for example, allowing for a more diversified investment.

The most-traded ETF in the US was the Global X Funds Autonomous & Electric Vehicles ETF.

In Australia, retail investors tend to focus their attention on local stocks, Winters said. But they have turned to ETFs to “dip their toes into global markets”.

The BetaShares NASDAQ 100 ETF was the most-traded ETF of the year, followed by the BetaShares Asia Technology Tigers ETF.

These funds “give investors the opportunity to gain exposure to some of the biggest companies in the world in a single transaction”, Winters said.

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