The top 20 bought shares in the first half of 2018

Examining on the top 20 bought shares at The Share Centre in the first six months of 2018.

Article updated: 9 August 2018 at 2:00pm Author: Ian Forrest

Top 20 bought shares at The Share Centre*

  • Income players dominate top 20 bought stocks indicating income remains a priority for UK investors
  • The feature of AIM companies suggest shorter-term investors are being attracted
  • Investors advised to diversify in the lead up to Brexit and remain savvy for any buying opportunities
  1. Lloyds Banking
  2. Vodafone
  3. BP
  4. National Grid
  5. GlaxoSmithKline
  6. Sirius Minerals
  7. BT
  8. Royal Dutch Shell B
  9. Aviva
  10. Amerisur Resources
  11. Marston's
  12. Unilever
  13. HSBC
  14. UK Oil & Gas Investments
  15. Legal & General
  16. Greatland Gold
  18. Imperial Brands
  19. Centrica
  20. Capita

*The data is based on the number of ‘buy’ trades made by customers at The Share Centre between 01/01/2018-30/06/2018

Lloyds Banking group tops our list of the top 20 stocks bought in 2018, perhaps unsurprisingly so given the group’s long term recovery journey it’s currently embarking on and the accompanying media attention. Whilst the shares are stubbornly below pre-Brexit levels, its presence in the top spot indicates that investors believe things are looking up. Indeed, the group is implementing plans to improve profitability over the next three years. These involve investing £3bn in digital banking services and improving its insurance, pensions and lending business. Investors are likely to have taken some reassurance in a share buyback scheme of £1bn as this is likely pointing to management confidence for the future.

Big income paying stocks feature heavily throughout the first six months indicating that income continues to be the main concern for investors in the UK this year. This strategy is common amongst the wider investment community as those approaching retirement age can benefit from income boosting returns and those starting off their investment journey likely include them for the possible effects of compounding. The top five purchased companies in the first half of the year cement this ethos as they are companies that come under the top FTSE 100 Dividend Paying Stocks. Others that fall into this category because of their good dividend yield and which appear in this list include Centrica, Imperial Brands and BT.

Investors are also looking at smaller companies in the FTSE 250 or on AIM such as Sirius Minerals, Amerisur Resources, UK Oil and Gas Investments and Greatland Gold, which means they are adding an element of risk in their portfolios. All of these companies continue to be somewhat volatile suggesting that shorter-term investors are being attracted with the hope for quick gains.

As we embark on the second half of the year, Brexit negotiations will evolve and undoubtedly influence investors more. This potentially could lead to a greater need to review and adapt their holdings in order to protect themselves from any market correction. Indeed, in a survey of 2000 personal investors in June 2018, we discovered that nearly two thirds of those asked (62%) believe that the lead up to the UK leaving the European Union will have a negative impact on their investments. We would advise customers not to be too discouraged as a number of opportunities may present themselves over the coming months, so as always, we’d encourage investors to diversify and look for a mixture of growth and income across a number of large, mid and small cap companies.

Moreover, longer term investors could consider which sectors and which companies may benefit from rising rates given the Bank of England’s base rate rise earlier this month. Assuming a smooth Brexit is agreed then the latest increase should be considered the first step on a gradually rising path to rates around 2%.

All information given including prices, yields and our opinion is correct at the time of publication. Our opinions on investments can change at any time and for our latest view please go to To understand how our Investment research team arrive at their views please read our Investment Research Policy.

Ian Forrest portrait photo
Ian Forrest

Investment Research Analyst

Ian’s background in investments, financial journalism and research has seen him advising private investors on equities and helping to manage portfolios. His qualifications include the Certificate in Financial Planning and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment’s Investment Advice Diploma.