Apple and General Electric are by far the most popular stocks among US retail investors, a FutureAdvisor study of 161,000 investors shows.
Apple was the most widely held stock in 45 states and the District of Columbia, and General Electric was the secondmost in 30 states plus DC, the study shows. In three states Apple was no. 2, and in Wyoming, General Electric was no. 1.
While Apple has the largest market capitalization among US companies, being popular among retail investors does not always follow.
ExxonMobil, no. 2 for market cap, is 30th in popularity among retail investors covered by the FutureAdvisor study. General Electric consistently ranks eighth by market cap among US companies, yet comes in second among individual investors.
Some companies are inordinately popular despite relatively low market caps, led by Tesla, Ford and Starbucks: all consumer-facing brands. Tesla and Ford are the last two automakers to IPO in America, Tesla in 2010 and Ford in 1956. (Ford was also the only member of the Big Three carmakers not to take a bailout after 2008…) For more details, see page 4.
In general, we can say that the companies most popular with retail investors tend to have a consumer focus, as opposed to B2B firms, with special emphasis for automakers, technology firms and food providers.
FutureAdvisor analyzed data from 161,000 U.S. investors to determine which stocks were most popular in the country, and then broke it down state by state. Of those 161,000, only 88,000 declared their state of residence.