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Investors taking a hands-off approach to shares

More than three-quarters of shareholders plan to leave their shares untouched over the next three months, indicating that investors may believe the market has bottomed out, according to research from stockbroker comdirect.

The company&#39s quarterly cash confidence survey, which investigates the public&#39s attitude to investing, shows that 77 per cent of people with shares intend to leave their portfolio alone for at least the next 12 weeks.

Women are most likely to adopt a hands-off approach, with 89 per cent of female shareholders saying they will sit tight over the next quarter compared with 71 per cent of men. Of those who plan to actively trade, 8 per cent of men aim to add to their existing shares while no women intend to expand their portfolios.

Men are also twice as likely to invest in the stockmarket, with 25 per cent owning shares compared with just 12 per cent of women.

Among both sets of investors, 8 per cent say they have little idea what to do with their shares over the following three months. Only 2 per cent plan to sell their shares and put the proceeds in a savings account or cash Isa, which comdirect believes may indicate that investors think markets are near the bottom.

Just 1 per cent of shareholders say they intend to sell up to invest in the housing market

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