Stake’s ‘Stockest 100’ reveals key sectors for investors in 2022

Young man using laptop at home

Over the past 12 months, share trading platform Stake compiled a Triple J ‘Hottest 100’ style list of the 100 most-traded Australian stocks of 2022. 

The data was collected from over one million ASX trades made using the Stake trading platform in 2022 and revealed that mining, ETFs and financial services were the sectors with the most trading activity. 

Despite rising interest rates, the cost of living crisis, and a bear market, 68% of trading activity on Stake’s platform consisted of buy orders, says Stake market analyst, Megan Stals. 

"2022 was a tough year for investors as increased interest rates impacted overall returns. And given the historically low rates we've seen following the GFC, many experienced the dramatic effect that higher rates can have on the markets for the first time,” she said. 

“Despite this, investors didn’t panic and continued to add to their positions, with 68% of trading activity consisting of buy orders.”

A whopping 40% of the Stockest 100 finalists fell into the mining sector, followed by ETFs with a large 18% share, and the financial services sector with 10%.

Over half (60%) of the top ten stocks in the Stockest 100 were within the mining sector. But ETFs proved popular too, claiming three spots in the top ten. 

Vanguard’s diversified ETF, Vanguard Australian Shares Index (VAS), took second place overall and was named the ‘People’s Choice’. In fact, the buy-to-sell ratio of VAS was almost 10:1, demonstrating the popularity of the diversified ETF.

“The Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (VAS) was the most popular by far, showing how Australians are optimistic about the long-term prospects of the local economy.”

Top 10 stocks in Stake’s Stockest 100 in 2022:

1. Core Lithium (CXO) – Mining 

2. Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (VAS) – Diversified ETF

3. Pilbara Minerals Limited (PLS) – Mining 

4. Lake Resources N.L. (LKE) – Mining 

5. BHP Group Limited (BHP) – Mining 

6. BetaShares NASDAQ 100 ETF (NDQ) – Information Technology ETF 

7. Sayona Mining Limited (SYA) – Mining 

8. Vanguard MSCI Index International Shares ETF (VGS) – Diversified ETF

9. Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (FMG) – Mining 

10. Novonix Limited (NVX) – Industrials. 

Australian investors had a tricky relationship with lithium stocks in 2022

Separation vats at a processing plant at lithium mine in Western Australia. Mechanical processing used to refine lithium spodumene concentrate.
Lithium processing vats in WA.

In 2022, the popularity of lithium stocks skyrocketed, due in part to record-high prices that raised the eyebrows of Australian investors. However, like a rocket taking off, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. 

The lithium mining company, Core Lithium Ltd (CXO), was the number one most-traded stock on Stake in 2022, with a buy-to-sell ratio of 65% to 35%. 

Prompted by fears of slowing demand for the near-precious metal around the middle of the year and a failed deal with Elon Musk’s Tesla in October caused the price to drop. But CXO’s share price was accentuated by wins too, with the announcement of a new project acquisition in April and high-grade lithium findings in August. 

“Lithium was by far the most popular segment overall in 2022, as the metal saw record high prices. Core Lithium (CXO) was the most popular company on Stake, seeing 78% returns for the year. That said, it wasn’t an easy ride for shareholders, with the stock experiencing large peaks and troughs throughout the year,” said Stals.

For Stake the top three mining stocks of 2022 were:

1. Core Lithium (CXO) – Buy/sell: 65% to 35% 

2. Pilbara Minerals Limited (PLS) – Buy/sell: 53% to 47% 

3. Lake Resources N.L. (LKE) – Buy/sell: 61% to 39%. 

Australian share traders descended upon ETFs 

Young woman sits in front of laptop, she is smiling

ETFs exploded with popularity amongst investors in 2022, with most ETFs featured in the Stockest 100 strongly weighted towards the acquisition of stocks, as opposed to selling.

The rise in demand for ETFs came despite many index-tracking funds having a negative, or very low, price change by the end of the year. This could be attributed to people trying to get in at the ground floor of an economic recovery – in other words, buying the dip.

“Index funds were also popular as many investors switched to a dollar-cost averaging strategy in a volatile market,” said Stals. “The Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (VAS) was the most popular by far, showing how Australians are optimistic about the long-term prospects of the local economy.”

“The index was down slightly at -1.77%, but the overwhelming buy-to-sell ratio of VAS (10:1) shows that investors are committed to long-term returns.”

The ETFs in Stake’s top 100 list that saw a positive return were mostly inverse ETFs that tracked negative returns across indexes like the ASX 200 and US markets.

These inverse ETFs, like BetaShares US Equities Strong Bear Currency Hedged (BBUS), had a comparatively more even buy-to-sell ratio, demonstrating that investors were likely cashing in on the outperformance of weakened markets and resulting share price rises.

The top five ETFs on Stake in 2022 were:

1. Vanguard Australian Shares Index ETF (VAS) – Buy/sell: 91% to 9%

2. BetaShares NASDAQ 100 ETF (NDQ) – Buy/sell: 88% to 12%

3. Vanguard MSCI Index International Shares ETF (VGS) – Buy/sell: 92% to 8%

4. Vanguard Diversified High Growth Index ETF (VDHG) – Buy/sell: 93% to 7%

5. iShares S&P 500 ETF (IVV) – Buy/sell: 92% to 8%.

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Last updated 23 July 2024Important disclosures
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