Andrew Main at The Australian writes (May 21st) that the number of Australians who own stocks decreased by more than half a million between 2010 and 2012. According to an ASX survey, total share ownership (including managed funds) peaked at 55 per cent in 2004 before dropping to 38 per cent by 2012.
One of the biggest losers in the survey was the managed funds industry, which copped a shellacking through the GFC for the fact that its charges were in many cases out of line with the indifferent performance provided by fund managers. The percentage of investors who had equities exposure through managed funds fell from 32 per cent in 2004 to only 12 per cent in 2012. The survey concluded that a lot of investors had decided that they may be able to do better as investors by going direct and not paying a manager.