That the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the Philippine economy is obvious. Apart from the massive wave of unemployment incurred by strict quarantine measures put in place to curb more cases, market activity in the country also came to an abrupt halt when the government first announced a lockdown over the main island of Luzon.
But despite the heavy economic repercussions and market uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, Filipino retail investors are yet to be discouraged. Nowhere is this more evident than the data global multi-asset investment platform eToro recently released on the top stocks people invested in for the month of April, and the fact that a good number of stocks have actually seen a rise in investment.
Among the top 10 stocks Filipinos invested in for the month of April, Tesla once again proved to be the most popular. The Palo Alto-based electric vehicle and clean energy company managed to retain its crown after also coming in as the No. 1 stock Filipinos invested in for the month of March too. In fact, the stock even managed to see a 34% month-on-month increase in trade volume. This also puts it on track to remain as the number one invested in stock for the year, after achieving the distinction back in 2019.
For the most part, there was little movement amongst the top stocks Filipinos invested in last month. Rounding out the rest of the top 10 stocks for April were the companies Amazon, Advanced Micro Devices, Netflix, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Google, Zoom, and Disney, respectively. With the exception of videoconferencing app Zoom, all of these companies were also in the top 10 stocks Filipinos invested in for the month of March.
In Zoom’s case, the company managed to climb from 40th in March all the way to 9th place this month in the most-invested-upon stocks. It also helps that trades for Zoom stock had a whopping 227% month-on-month price increase.
The high comes in light of news that the number of users on the videoconferencing app have continued to surge, despite Zoom recently coming under fire for a string of security issues.
Southeast Asia eToro head Paul Familiaran explains that this only means Filipinos are continuing to invest in stocks from companies whose products they use frequently. “Last month, we saw that streaming services like Netflix and e-commerce sites like Amazon reigned supreme, what with Filipinos watching movies and shopping online indoors because of the lockdown,” Familiaran remarked. “We still see many of those same companies at the top but to have Zoom shoot up to become a top investment this month falls perfectly in line with that. After all, if you’re working from home then odds are that you’ve used it at least once for a meeting.”
“It’s amazing to consider that last year, Zoom only managed a trade rank of 412,” he continued. “So you see what improved familiarity can do for a stock’s fortunes.”
Aside from Zoom and Tesla then, six others out of the top 10 stocks for April also experienced a rise in trade volume. Netflix registered the second largest month-on-month increase with a 77% bump, while Amazon came in at third with 50%. This is followed by Advanced Micro Devices at 40%, Facebook with 33%, Google with 18% and then Microsoft saw the least with an increase of just 4%. Among the top 10, only Apple and Disney saw decreases in trade volume for April (decreases of 15% and 2% respectively).
According to Familiaran, that Filipinos are still increasing their investments in a good number of stocks may lead to some optimism despite the challenges posed by COVID-19.
“Just the observation that there are some spots where investments are actually increasing means Filipino retail investors are still finding opportunities here and there,” he said. “That’s reason to be cautiously optimistic. With any luck, things will slowly go back to normal soon and investors will reap the rewards of their decisions sooner rather than later. There is light at the end of the tunnel.”