• Insurers preferred to banks
  • Airlines out but two-way trade in internet retail
  • Housebuilders get benefit of the doubt

It is always fascinating to see which stocks are the most popular in terms of order flow and value traded, and for anyone who wants to find it this information is freely available on the AJ Bell website, relating to the activities of its customers.


Over the last month, but even more clearly over the last week, investors have been switching horses within the financial sector from UK high-street banks to insurance companies.

Barclays (BARC) and Lloyds (LLOY) are no longer flavour of the month and have been replaced by Phoenix Group (PHNX), Prudential (PRU) and Legal & General (LGEN), although there is plenty of two-way trade in the last stock.

Interestingly, the fact Asia-focused HSBC (HSBA) and Standard Chartered (STAN) are still finding buyers together with Prudential suggests investors may be warming to China and other emerging markets.

In consumer sectors, airlines appear to be out with EasyJet (EZJ) and International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG) among the top sells by volume of orders, while there seems to be a two-way tussle in online retail stocks with ASOS (ASC) and THG (THG) among the most-bought and most-sold shares on the platform, and ASOS also making it onto the list of most heavily-traded stocks by value in the last week.

Another notable feature is the appearance of several housing related stocks on the most-bought list by number of orders, such as Ibstock (IBST), Persimmon (PSN) and Taylor Wimpey (TW.), suggesting investors may finally be warming to the cheap valuations on offer.


Although it doesn’t appear on the list of stocks most traded by number of orders, US electric vehicle maker Tesla (TSLA:NASDAQ) still tops the table – as it does most months – as the most-traded share by value, demonstrating its enduring popularity with retail investors as a trading stock.

Joining it in the last week, in order of value of shares traded, are US business software firm Intuit (INTU:NASDAQ), internet retail and web hosting giant Amazon.com (AMZN:NASDAQ) and Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML (ASML:AMS), one of Shares’ top picks for 2023.

Disclaimer: Financial services company AJ Bell referenced in the article is the publisher of Shares magazine. The author of the article (Ian Conway) and the editor of the article (Daniel Coatsworth) own shares in AJ Bell.


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Issue Date: 19 May 2023