Investors made a total return of almost 9 per cent with dividends included, easily beating cash.
However, The Share Centre’s list of the year’s top 10 most popular stocks across all UK markets contains as many losers as winners, with the best soaring 145 per cent and the worst crashing 95 per cent.
Investment research analyst Helal Miah says investors have been buying troubled firms after profit warnings or dividend fears, but these gambles do not always pay off.
1. Lloyds Banking Group
Lloyds is the UK’s favourite stock, but 2017 has been a roller-coaster ride as the bank set aside another £1billion for PPI mis-selling charges then posted a 150 per cent rise in profits shortly after. “With the Government selling off remaining shares and the dividend increasing, it is no surprise to see Lloyds in the top spot,” Miah says.
Share price: up 3 per cent.
2. UK Oil & Gas Investments
Investors have piled into this small British-based oil explorer hoping its fracking operations will generate the same buzz as in the US. Miah says: “Its volatile nature appeals to those higher-risk investors chasing a quick win.”
Share price: up 145 per cent.
Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline is a core portfolio holding for many thanks to its dividend yield, currently 6.13 per cent. A price dip in October drew in bargain hunters, but recovery could be some way off.
Share price: down 15 per cent.
4. BT Group
Private investors poured into BT Group after its shares plunged on a shock profit warning in January. BT has been a poor call since then, although it does yield 5.60 per cent.
Share price: down 23 per cent.
5. Sirius Minerals
Sirius Minerals is mining potash fertiliser under the North York Moors and could be a global export giant, but with no revenues until 2022, it is only for high-risk investors.
Share price: up 25 per cent.
Oil giant BP is still a favourite among investors seeking income and growth and currently yields 6 per cent. Miah says: “BP has recovered lately as the price of crude hits a two-year high.”
Share price: up 5 per cent.
7. National Grid
Utility giant National Grid runs the gas and electricity transmission system in England and Wales, and has operations in the US. Investors buy it for a solid income stream with the stock currently yielding 5.56 per cent.
Share price: down 6 per cent.
8. Vodafone Group
Mobile telecommunications giant Vodafone has a wide global reach and rewards loyal investors with a generous dividend yield of 5.65 per cent.
Share price: up 16 per cent.
9. Royal Dutch Shell
The Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell is also popular among income seekers, despite recent oil price volatility and yields a generous 5.89 per cent.
Share price: up 9 per cent.
Support services business Carillion’s share price crashed in July after it issued a profit warning and suspended its dividend.
Investors who rushed to catch this “falling knife” stock were hurt as the news went from bad to worse.
Share price: down 95 per cent.