Interactive Investor

20 most-bought US stocks of 2021

23rd December 2021 11:48

Graeme Evans from interactive investor

It’s been a profitable year for investors who backed Wall Street in 2021. Here are the 20 international stocks you liked best in the past year.

Trillion-dollar Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), the enduring appeal of FAANG stocks, and the Reddit-fuelled frenzy around Gamestop (NYSE:GME) and cinema chain AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC), were just some of the reasons why interactive investor customers bought Wall Street-listed shares in 2021.

It will come as no surprise to find that Elon Musk's Tesla was the most popular after a year in which the electric car company overcame chip shortages to deliver more production records. Shares are 28% higher in 2021, albeit short of the all-time high seen in November.

Tesla's performance is all the more impressive given that Shanghai rival Nio (NYSE:NIO) saw its shares fall 43% in the year-to-date.

Aside from Tesla and Nio, customers cooled their interest in the electric vehicle industry after manufacturers, and those involved in the provision of charging infrastructure, had featured heavily in the previous year's top 20 most-bought list.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) continued to be popular picks, with their industry dominance attracting fresh buying despite fears that their lofty valuations might be eroded by rising interest rates. Their shares are up by about 33%, 50% and 7% respectively this year.

Facebook, or Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:FB) as it is now known, also got support as investors bought into co-founder Mark Zuckerberg's metaverse vision. Despite a challenging year of whistleblower allegations and headwinds from changes to Apple privacy settings, shares in the Instagram and WhatsApp owner are still 24% higher over the year.

Biotech Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) was the 16th most-bought overseas stock on the ii platform, with those investors well rewarded after a further 140% rise for shares in 2021 as demand for Covid-19 vaccines continues.

Moderna accounts for more than 10% of Baillie Gifford's FTSE 100-listed Scottish Mortgage (LSE:SMT) investment trust, with Tesla, Nio, Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) and Amazon the others in its portfolio that also feature in our top 20 most-bought list.

Graphics processor Nvidia continues to be frustrated in its efforts to buy former London stock market darling Arm Holdings, but that's not stopped it delivering a knockout trading performance in 2021 as demand from the gaming industry remains strong.

Shares have more than doubled this year, having been the best performing stock on Nasdaq during the second quarter and hitting its latest peak in late November.

The meme stock phenomenon fuelled by US amateur investors on Reddit messaging boards has long since died down, although the impact of the anti-hedge fund initiative still means GameStop and AMC Entertainment are high up our list of most-bought stocks.

Other popular Wall Street picks were the recent debutants Airbnb (NASDAQ:ABNB) and digital currency exchange Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN). Both have disappointed investors so far, with the latter impacted since its direct listing in April by the volatility in cryptocurrency prices.

Source: interactive investor. Data as at 20 December 2021.

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