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Revealed: last month’s top DIY investor trades

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We find out which companies TD Direct Investing clients bought and sold in March.

March saw the FTSE 100 reach its highest level of the year so far, hitting a five year high of 6,529 on the 14th of the month.

It was also Budget month, which provided some cheer for AIM investors, with the announcement that stamp duty will be removed from AIM and ISDX listed shares with effect from April 2014.This means traders and investors of AIM stocks will no longer have to pay government stamp duty of 0.5% on their purchases.

AIM shares regularly feature in the most popular trades for TD clients, particularly resource stocks. During March resource companies Xcite Energy Ltd, Bowleven and Gulf Keystone Petroleum appear as top ten buys and sells. While the AIM market has grown substantially since it was first launched in 1995 it is worth remembering that, as with any stock market investment, it does come with a degree of risk.

Buys spotlight:

Britain’s largest insurer, Aviva, was the second most popular buy (and sixth most popular sell) following its full-year results announcement on the 7th March. The results showed a £3bn loss after tax and a dividend cut from 26p to 19p a share. The company has been through a year of restructuring and this has helped it to reduce costs by £275m. Further cost savings are planned as it looks to reduce its global workforce by 2,000 over the next six months.

However, it was high street giant Lloyds Bank Plc who took the top spot in March – accounting for nearly a quarter (22.56%) of investor top ten buys for the month.

Sells spotlight:

BP sneaks into the top ten sells for March (in 10th position) ahead of the 3rd anniversary of its Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which took place off the Gulf of Mexico on 20th April 2010.

In the months following the disaster the oil giant’s share price fell by almost 47% (from 655.4 on 20th April 2010 to 304.6 by the end of June1). Since then it has recovered slightly, reaching around 470.00 and other than the occasionally dip BP’s share price has remained fairly consistent ever since.

At the other end of the table, Vodafone finds itself the top sell of the month accounting for over 17% of the top ten sells even though it doesn’t appear in the top ten buys.

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