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Press Room

Millions In The Market For The Long Term
(20 October 2003)

Over 14 million Britons are still investing in the stockmarket, according to a new survey from NatWest Stockbrokers. Almost 9 out of 10 shareholders however admit that they are not in it for a quick profit and recognise that the stockmarket plays an important part in their long-term savings plans.

People in Yorkshire, Humberside and the south east are the keenest on investing in shares, with 36% holding them. However, West Midlanders are the largest investors, with almost two fifths of those who trade in the stockmarket, investing over 5,000 and 10% over 40,000. Perhaps more surprisingly, 35% of all shareholders do not know how much they have invested.

The research indicates that those surveyed in Scotland are most likely to use the stock market to make a quick profit, where as people spoken to in East Anglia are much more likely to see their shares as a long term investment.

A popular way of holding shares is in an equity ISA, with an average of 55% of respondents admitting that this is the method in which they invest in the stockmarket. Investors surveyed in the North East (67%) and the West Midlands (66%) prefer to hold shares in this way. Almost 60% of women also choose to spread their risk using an equity ISA.

Investing in shares is still a popular way to save, and one third of respondents admit that they are happy to risk the volatility of the stockmarket and one in ten state that their share portfolio makes up over half of their overall savings. Again, 44% admit to not knowing how much of their savings are invested in the stockmarket.

Bob Hamilton of NatWest Stockbrokers said: "Investing in the stockmarket is clearly still a popular way to save and with the market picking up again, we may see more and more people either coming back to the market or into it for the first time.

"Share dealing has never been easier. Customers can deal online, by telephone or even visit NatWest branches and monitor the market as it moves, choosing which price to buy your chosen stock at."

NatWest Stockbrokers have put together the following five tips for those thinking about investing in the stockmarket:

1. Choose a strategy - Set yourself very clear objectives for your investments. Do you want these shares to be a long-term investment or a way to make a quick profit? It is important to remember the need to have a balanced portfolio.

2. How much money can you spare to invest? - It is important to take into consideration your personal circumstances. You need to make sure you have covered all your day to day outgoings before committing anything to the stockmarket. Decide if you are going to contribute to a monthly plan or just put a lump sum into the market.

3. Do your research - Once you have decided how much to invest, do some research. We all want to buy shares that go up in value, so it is best to consult many different sources. The media regularly offer share recommendations and companies will be able to provide you with their share price graphs, which will allow you to track historic peaks and troughs.

4. Monitor the market - Make sure that you keep on top of market movements and develop an understanding of how the stockmarket works. A wealth of information is available at, including research, news and market commentary.

5. Talk to friends - Talking to friends, family and colleagues often gives you a good idea of which companies to invest in, but never just act on a whim, make sure that you are confident that you have carried out sufficient research before buying.

Notes to editors:

  • The research was carried out by TNS.
  • A representative sample of 2021 adults were interviewed.
  • For more information on NatWest Stockbrokers visit or call 0870 600 4080.
  • The value of investments, and the income from them, can fall as well as rise, and you may not get back the full amount you invest.
  • NatWest Stockbrokers Limited is a member of the London Stock Exchange and OFEX and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. NatWest Stockbrokers Limited is operated by a joint venture between The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc and The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

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Media Relations
Tel: 020 7672 1931