SelfWealth Monthly Trading Trends: March 2021

SelfWealth Monthly Trading Trends: March 2021

Despite headwinds from overseas markets, the ASX was a standout performer in March, with the top-end of the market helping prop-up what was otherwise weak performance among many small-cap names. The ASX 200 rose 1.8% in March, and ended the first quarter of the year with gains of 3.1%.

A number of sectors performed strongly across the month, including consumer discretionary, financials, industrials, real estate, telecommunications services, and utilities. This offset weakness in the technology and materials sectors, which stemmed from a pull-back in the Nasdaq, as well as concerns how regulations in China might impact demand for iron ore.

Here is what the SelfWealth community were buying and selling through their SelfWealth trading accounts during March.


Which ASX shares and ETFs were the most held?

With a rotation into value stocks unfolding across the month, there was a notable rise in the value of holdings for some of the names most-closely tied to the economy reopening.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) was the most-prominent mover, with the stock jumping to 5th place among SelfWealth members when measured by the value of holdings in portfolios. 

Similarly, Macquarie Bank (ASX: MQG) also saw a marked level of interest. The banks have been one of the favoured trades in light of the booming housing market, as well as records for consumer sentiment and business confidence, not to mention record job vacancies also.

Telstra (ASX: TLS) and Wesfarmers (ASX: WES) were two other names that saw a big bump-up in holdings, despite remaining relatively steady in their position in the top 20 most-held stocks. 

Telstra’s update on plans to restructure into four divisions buoyed investors to add to their holdings, while Wesfarmers has been the beneficiary of strength in the retail sector, particularly as the parent company to popular stores like Bunnings, Kmart and Officeworks. Again, however, the shift away from high-growth plays into defensive names was a theme playing in favour of these stocks.


Stock Company
1 CSL CSL Limited
2 CBA Commonwealth Bank
3 WBC Westpac
4 NAB National Australia Bank
5 ANZ Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
6 AFI Australian Foundation Inv
7 MQG Macquarie Group
9 APT Afterpay
10 SWF SelfWealth
11 FMG Fortescue Metals Group
12 Z1P Zip Co
13 TLS Telstra
14 FLT Flight Centre
15 WES Wesfarmers
16 WPL Woodside Petroleum
17 WOW Woolworths
18 QAN Qantas
19 ARG Argo Investments
20 MLT Milton Corp


Although the popularity of the BetaShares Asia Technology Tigers ETF (ASX: ASIA) has been strong in recent months, there was no net increase in the value of SelfWealth members’ holdings in March. This was ultimately due to the large fluctuation in the value of the underlying ETF, which slumped 5.4%. A number of Chinese stocks that are constituents in the ETF were under heavy selling pressure last month amid a threat of regulation in the US, as well as the broader risk-off attitude.  

Exiting the list of the top 10 ETFs was the AAA Australian High Interest Cash ETF (ASX: AAA). Given the pull-back in equity prices, it is likely that holders opted to move away from cash towards ‘buying the dip’. Typically this cash ETF would see a small increase in value as investors seek stability in a volatile market, however, that trend did not play out last month.

Replacing the ‘AAA’ ETF was the Vanguard Australian Shares High Yield ETF (ASX: VHY), which is tailored towards income investors. It is only the second time that this ETF featured among the most-held ETFs across the SelfWealth community, with the last instance being in August, 2020, at the height of ASX reporting season.


ETF Company
1 VAS Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF
2 VDHG Vanguard Diversified High Growth Index ETF
3 VGS Vanguard MSCI Index International Shares ETF
4 VTS Vanguard U.S. Total Market Shares Index ETF
5 A200 BetaShares Australia 200 ETF
6 IVV Ishares S&P 500 ETF
7 NDQ Betashares Nasdaq 100 ETF
8 VEU Vanguard All-World ex-U.S. Shares Index ETF
9 ASIA BetaShares Asia Technology Tigers ETF
10 VHY Vanguard Australian Shares High Yield ETF


Which ASX shares and ETFs were the most traded?

Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) was the most-traded stock across the SelfWealth community last month, with a sharply weaker share price driving many investors into action. The stock shed 17.1% in March, however, across more than 2,200 trades, there was nearly $140 million in FMG shares traded.

There is little surprise in seeing buy-now pay-later duo Zip Co (ASX: Z1P) and Afterpay (ASX: APT) in second and third place. However, whilst the value of shares traded in Afterpay rose nearly 25% month-on-month, despite a significant share price fall, the opposite held true for Zip, where the value of shares traded was down over 50%, in line with the stock plummeting. 

Flight Centre (ASX: FLT) stormed up the list into fourth position after investors turned optimistic about the prospect of a NZ travel bubble, as well as the government’s efforts to stimulate tourism and travel confidence through its flight subsidy program. The value of FLT shares traded was slightly more than double that of February, indicating building interest. 

Further down the list was a market debutant, with newly-listed Airtasker (ASX: ART) making an appearance, despite only listing on the ASX a week or so before the end of the month. With more than 2,300 trades, the stock, which soared in its first days of trading, was a favourite among traders hoping to secure quick profits. 

Some other names that made an appearance for the first time were out-of-favour duo Coles (ASX: COL) and Northern Star Resources (ASX: NST). Each stock hit a yearly low in March, although that drew some buying support for both of the large-cap names. Trading volumes via the SelfWealth platform skewed towards buying activity, suggesting buyers may have been accumulating shares.

Elsewhere, popular small-cap stocks included Race Oncology (ASX: RAC), Digital Wine Ventures (ASX: DW8), 88 Energy (ASX: 88E), IOUpay (ASX: IOU) and Vital Metals (ASX: VML). Each stock was at the centre of more than 1,000 trades across the month.


Top 20 stocks traded by value
Code  Security
1 FMG Fortescue Metals Group
2 Z1P Zip Co
3 APT Afterpay
4 FLT Flight Centre
5 VAS Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF
6 BBOZ Betashares Australian Equities Strong Bear Hedge Fund
7 GEAR Betashares Geared Australian Equity Fund
8 ART Airtasker
9 TLS Telstra
11 A200 BetaShares Australia 200 ETF
12 VDHG Vanguard Diversified High Growth Index ETF
13 WBC Westpac
14 KGN Kogan
16 ASIA Betashares Asia Technology Tigers ETF
17 CBA Commonwealth Bank
18 COL Coles
19 NST Northern Star Resources
20 MQG Macquarie Group


US share trading activity

The leading US stocks traded last month will be a familiar sight to much of the SelfWealth community, with the top two both among the favourites of the Reddit community as well. 

The value of GameStop (NYSE: GME) shares traded more than tripled to above $30 million, which actually places it among the most-traded stocks across the entire SelfWealth trading platform, including every ASX stock as well with the exception of just six names.

AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE: AMC) rose one position into second place. Traders seem to be buoyed by hopes that the vaccine roll-out, which has been rapidly picking up momentum, will allow the cinema operator to gain traction once again. 

The vaccine roll-out was also the prevailing tailwind that prompted traders to back Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment (NASDAQ: HOFV), a resort and entertainment company that is essentially dependent upon the economy reopening and travel picking up once again.

Some other names that might be less familiar to those new to trading US markets include computer hardware business Canaan Creative (NASDAQ: CAN), hydrocarbon exploration company SM Energy (NYSE: SM), insurance provider Root (NASDAQ: ROOT), mortgage issuer and re-seller Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT), and wholesale mortgage lender UWM Holdings (NYSE: UWMC)

Each of these names have proven popular on Reddit to varying degrees, and all recorded a sharp jump in share price at some point across the month, bar Root Insurance.


Top 20 stocks traded by value
Code  Security
1 GME GameStop
2 AMC AMC Entertainment Holdings
3 TSLA Tesla
4 CAN Canaan Creative
5 SM SM Energy
6 AAPL Apple
7 ARKK ARK Innovation ETF
8 PLTR Palantir
9 HOFV Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment
10 ROOT Root
11 NIO Nio
12 RKT Rocket Companies
13 FCEL FuelCell Energy
14 FEDU Four Seasons Education
15 FUTU Futu Holdings
16 ARKG ARK Genomic Revolution ETF
17 UWMC UWM Holdings
18 MSFT Microsoft
19 SQQQ ProShares UltraPro Short QQQ ETF
20 PYPL PayPal


That’s all for this Trade Trends report, stay tuned for the next edition this time next month!


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