SelfWealth Monthly Trading Trends: September 2020

SelfWealth Monthly Trading Trends: September 2020

The Australian share market’s five-month winning streak came to an end in September, with the local market suffering at the hands of a shift in sentiment. The ASX 200 shed 4% last month as profit taking in US tech shares weighed on local ASX-listed stocks, while there was also some heightened volatility surrounding political risk in the US and a second wave of COVID cases spreading across Europe.

Most sectors across the ASX recorded negative returns for the month. Information technology shares were particularly on the outer throughout the first half of the month, albeit share price weakness also extended to stocks in the consumer staples, energy, materials and utilities sectors.

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


Which shares and ETFs were the most held?

Despite the market posting a negative return last month, SelfWealth members were increasing their portfolio exposure to blue-chip names amid the volatility. Investors looked to capitalise on weaker share prices in the ‘Big Four’ banks, with the value of holdings in Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA), ANZ (ASX: ANZ), NAB (ASX: NAB) and Westpac (ASX: WBC) all increasing strongly.

With news late in the month that the government would consider easing responsible lending laws to promote credit growth, there was a flurry of trading activity in response to the news.

Meanwhile, iron ore miner BHP (ASX: BHP) rose to 7th place among the most-held shares across the SelfWealth community. With the price of the commodity still at elevated prices, it appears many investors are banking on a sustained level of performance from the company, even as energy prices struggle to find any meaningful momentum. Its peer, Fortescue Metals (ASX: FMG), continues to be a popular stock, despite slipping one place into 14th on the list, with member holdings increasing over 30% month-on-month.

Amid a rocky period for the buy-now pay-later segment, both Afterpay (ASX: APT) and Zip Co (ASX: Z1P) fell down the list from their record highs as investor sentiment soured towards stocks in this sector. News that PayPal would be ‘formally’ entering the BNPL industry left these shares under heavy selling pressure. Both stocks slumped by double-digits last month, with Afterpay shares down by over 12%, and Zip shares diving by nearly a third. This volatility also ensured that the two stocks were far-and-away the most-traded stocks in September.

Travel stocks also remained popular across our online share trading platform. With border restrictions gradually easing across the country, and Melbourne slowly getting on top of its second COVID wave, more investors added to their holdings in stocks like Qantas (ASX: QAN), which hit a new high of 19th on our list. Flight Centre (ASX: FLT) only just missed out on the top 20, with the value of holdings in the stock only 3% behind that of Woolworths (ASX: WOW) in 20th place.


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


As international share markets experienced a turbulent month, the AAA Australian High Interest Cash ETF (ASX: AAA) rose in popularity among SelfWealth members, climbing into 6th place among the most-held ETFs.

This ETF is aimed at providing holders monthly income from Australian cash, and therefore, could be construed as a more defensive option compared with other ETFs that offer exposure to tech holdings and the like. This is the highest position that we’ve seen for the AAA ETF on our list at any given time, even at the height of the market crash in March this year.

Meanwhile, in light of the above, the Nasdaq 100 ETF (ASX: NDQ) fell one place on our list to end up as the 8th most-popular ETF in the SelfWealth community. While the value of holdings still managed to increase, the 3.9% decline in the price of the ETF, driven by heavy selling of US tech shares, offset that growth.

Lastly, the Vanguard Australian Shares High Yield ETF (ASX: VHY) was replaced in the top 10 ETFs after featuring in our list just one month. This was replaced by the SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Fund (ASX: STW), where buying interest was likely driven by the fact that the benchmark ASX index at one stage hit a three-month low.


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 AAA AAA Australian High Interest Cash ETF
7 IVV Ishares S&P 500 ETF
8 NDQ Betashares Nasdaq 100 ETF
9 VEU Vanguard All-World ex-U.S. Shares Index ETF
10 STW SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Fund


Which shares and ETFs were the most traded?

As mentioned earlier, there was a significant spike in trading activity across Zip and Afterpay shares, driven by weakness in the sector. Trading volume in Zip leapt by 44% in terms of the value of shares traded, while for Afterpay the increase in the value of shares traded was even higher, at 66% month-on-month. This activity flowed through to the rest of the sector, with Sezzle (ASX: SZL) also seeing a major upswing in trading, such that it was the 11th most-traded stock by the number of orders filled.

Elsewhere, the level of interest in Brainchip Holdings (ASX: BRN) reached fever pitch last month. Having been the 7th most-traded stock by order numbers in August, momentum continued in September as we saw more than 6,300 trades involving BRN shares.

In addition, the stock was the 8th most-traded by total value. While it’s not uncommon to see a stock with a ‘low’ price feature prominently in terms of order numbers, when it comes to trading activity as measured by the dollar-value of shares exchanged, this was the first time we saw a sub-$1 stock feature this high on our list of the most-traded shares across the SelfWealth community.


Top 20 stocks traded by value
Code Security
1 Z1P Zip Co
2 APT Afterpay
3 WBC Westpac
5 NAB National Australia Bank
7 FMG Fortescue Metals Group
8 BRN Brainchip Holdings
9 BBOZ Betashares Australian Equities Strong Bear Hedge Fund
10 SZL Sezzle
11 FLT Flight Centre
12 MQG Macquarie Group
13 CBA Commonwealth Bank
14 VAS Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF
15 MSB Mesoblast
16 A200 BetaShares Australia 200 ETF
17 TLS Telstra
18 GEAR Betashares Geared Australian Equity Fund
19 QAN Qantas
20 AAA AAA Australian High Interest Cash ETF


Sitting just outside the top 20 were some stocks that have soared in popularity across recent months, including Pointsbet (ASX: PBH) and Kogan (ASX: KGN).

A capital raise conducted by Pointsbet prompted a large increase in trading volumes, with the likelihood that some shareholders may have sold part or all of their existing holdings in order to ‘hedge’ their position and fund their entitlement under the offer.

Meanwhile, Kogan released a strong business update that was warmly received by the market and the stock was added to the ASX 200. The number of trades in Kogan shares rose by more than 40% from August’s already-lofty numbers.

Another company that landed on the radars of SelfWealth’s active traders was Novonix (ASX: NVX), with the stock at the centre of over 1,500 trades last month. It came as speculation built around the company’s prospects in the lead-up to, and in the wake of Tesla’s Battery Day event.

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


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SelfWealth Ltd ACN 52 154 324 428 (“SelfWealth”) (Australian Financial Services Licence Number 421789). The information contained on this web site is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser. Taxation, legal and other matters referred to on this website are of a general nature only and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice.

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