International shares now rivalling Australian blue chips

National Australia Bank

nabtrade reporting reveals that the biggest trend of 2021 has been the dominance of international brands over some of Australia’s biggest names. New and existing nabtrade clients are not just buying blue chip ASX stocks – they are also increasingly buying – and holding – international companies that at the front of decarbonisation and technology.

nabtrade investors now hold more Tesla stock than large cap emitters such as Rio Tinto and Woodside Petroleum, and even mainstays such as Woolworths.

nabtrade Director of Investor Behaviour Gemma Dale said: “The trend of buying direct international shares has been growing at a much higher rate than domestic shares for the last five years, but investors still hold the bulk of their wealth in Australian equities. To see an international stock, particularly a newer, more volatile company like Tesla, just outside the top 10 holdings on nabtrade is extraordinary.”

Despite talk of the huge number of new traders speculating and actively trading away their gains, new investors are actually more conservative than their older, more seasoned peers. New investors still prefer to start their investing journey on the ASX, with ASX200 ETFs in the top 10 buys, along with the big four banks, BHP and CSL.

“Once investors have established a domestic portfolio – either an ETF or a handful of stocks, they are starting to look offshore for growth.

“We are seeing a rise in interest in specific sectors that are not well represented on the ASX, such as solar energy, electric vehicles and green hydrogen”, Ms Dale said.

Direct share investing has continued to grow throughout 2021, with new accounts growing at 200% after the huge spike (peaking at 500%) in new traders buying the pandemic dip in 2020.

The split between older, more experienced investors and new to market players has grown in the last two years, with Baby Boomers most active when buying the dip in 2020. Younger investors were also the most likely to buy and hold their new stocks, with over 80% of Gen Y holding their purchases for more than four months, compared to a little over 70% for Baby Boomers.

Australians looking to invest in international or domestic shares can open an account online at

Feature image above: nabtrade Director of Investor Behaviour Gemma Dale.

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