Decline after the Corona boom: Fewer shareholders in Germany

Status: 01/19/2022 11:23 a.m

After the significant increase at the beginning of the pandemic, the number of shareholders in Germany fell again in 2021. Newcomers hesitated to invest and investors took profits after price increases.

In Germany, the number of private investors has fallen again. Almost 12.07 million people in Germany had shares, equity funds and/or exchange-traded index funds (ETFs) in their portfolios on average in 2021, as determined by the Deutsches Aktieninstitut (DAI). Accordingly, 17.1 percent of the population is involved in the stock market, that is about every sixth person aged 14 and over.

This saw the number of shareholders fall by around 280,000 after the 2020 boom. In 2020, the DAI had identified 12.35 million investors – that was the highest level in almost 20 years.

However, a new data basis at the time may have contributed to the sharp increase, because since 2020 foreign shareholders residing in Germany have also been included in the DAI statistics. “After the strong increase in 2020, the number of shareholders has stabilized at a high level,” said the head of the stock institute, Christine Bortenlänger.

“Good year for German equity culture”

Despite the slight declines this year, it was a good thing for German equity culture, Bortenlänger summed up. She explains the lower numbers primarily with the fact that some investors took profits after price increases and did not reinvest directly. In addition, newcomers might have hesitated because they believed they had missed the “right” time to start.

The institute argues that equity investments are indispensable for asset accumulation and retirement provision, especially in view of the currently low interest rates on savings. “In order for even more people to benefit from this, the new federal government must further improve the framework conditions for equity investments,” demanded Bortenlänger. “Capital gains on shares should be tax-exempt after a holding period has expired and shares should be made a fixed component of old-age provision.”

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