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Online share trading’s popularity grows

The recently released ASX Australian Share Ownership Study provides a number of interesting insights into share ownership and behaviour amongst retail investors.

It probably won’t come as much of a surprise to many investors but the study found that over the past two years there has been a significant increase in online trading through online brokers. With brokerage rates as low as $14.95 per trade, it is really no wonder this method of purchasing shares is growing in popularity. Commonwealth Bank’s (ASX: CBA) Commsec platform and ANZ Bank’s (ASX: ANZ) Etrade platform account for a significant percentage of the online broker market and while they don’t split out their earnings from these divisions, one would expect these two banks would have captured a reasonable share of the increased business.

Interestingly, there was also an increase in the number of investors purchasing shares through full service brokers too, with the percentage going from 30% in 2010, to 26% in 2011, and up to 31% in 2012. After a torrid few years for full service brokers such as Bell Financial Group (ASX: BFG) and Wilson HTM (ASX: WIG) in which they have dramatically underperformed the S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO), perhaps there is some light at the end of the tunnel for them.

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The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead.  This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur owns shares in Bell Financial Group and Wilson HTM.

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