Available data and evidence show significant increases in the trading and investing activity of EU households, sparked by a new wave of young, previously inactive, non-professional investors. Many EU retail investors increased their exposure to listed equities and started to invest via execution-only services (brokerage accounts).
Besides flattening the illiquidity curve during the period of market turmoil of February-March 2020 thanks to their “contrarian” behaviour, retail investors offer a large source of long-term funding for the real economy, which will prove pivotal in the recovery from the COVID-19-induced economic effects. In fact, in jurisdictions such as the Netherlands, the majority of households invest themselves (through execution-only channels), which makes this topic all the more important.
As such, EU capital markets face a significant challenge: to make investing and trading on capital markets fair, simple, transparent, easy, and attractive for the new wave of individual, non-professional investors.