Shares in Lloyds Bank have proved a hit among investors, topping the bestsellers list over the first half of this year.
The high street bank attracted the highest volume of sales through The Share Centre investment platform in the first six months of 2018, outstripping that of Vodafone and BP, which trail in second and third positions respectively.
The top five is formed of some of the highest FTSE 100 dividend paying stocks.
Others that fall into this category which appear on the list include Centrica, Imperial Brands and BT.
Lloyds Banking group tops The Share Centre’s list of the top 20 stocks bought in 2018
Ian Forrest, investment research analyst at The Share Centre said: ‘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.’
Lloyds has emerged as the bestseller despite a tumultuous investment performance in recent history. Over five years – the recommend minimum investment horizon – shares in Lloyds has turned £1,000 into £810.
What’s more, the stock price has dipped almost 11 per cent since the start of the year.
Forrest said: ‘While 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.
20 bestselling shares
These 20 shares have had the highest volume of sales via The Share Centre investment platform in the first six months of 2018:
1. Lloyds Banking
4. National Grid
6. Sirius Minerals
8. Royal Dutch Shell B
10. Amerisur Resources
14. UK Oil & Gas Investments
15. Legal & General
16. Greatland Gold
18. Imperial Brands
‘These involve investing £3billion 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 £1billion as this is likely pointing to management confidence for the future.’
The list also features some slightly riskier stocks floated in the Alternative Investment Market – most notably Yorkshire-based Sirius Minerals in sixth position.
The company is developing a 200-square mile mining project to unearth an organic fertiliser called polyhalite in North Yorkshire.
It is expected to be one of the largest in the world when operational.
Shares in the firm continue to be volatile – suggesting that shorter-term investors are being attracted with the hope for quick gains, according to Forrest.
The same can be said for Amerisur Resources, UK Oil and Gas Investments and Greatland Gold, he added.
‘As we embark on the second half of the year, Brexit negotiations will evolve and undoubtedly influence investors more,’ Forrest added.
‘This potentially could lead to a greater need to review and adapt their holdings in order to protect themselves from any market correction.’
A survey of 2,000 people who invest through the Share Centre found two thirds believe the lead-up to Brexit will hurt their investments.
Forrest said: ‘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 two per cent.’