The Impact of Covid-19 on the Investment Preferences of Retail Investors, With Reference to the Irish Stock Market.

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Oviawe, Aimua
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MSc Financial Analytics
Dublin Business School
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The role of covid-19 pandemic in altering retail investment preferences is one that has been speculated since its first recorded occurrence in 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic led to a variety of consequences which influenced investor preferences and the subsequent changes to investment behaviour. This study is aimed at evaluating the effect of the Covid 19 pandemic on retail investors investment choices using the Irish stock market as a yardstick. Five objectives were cited as vital to the completion of this study: (1) to evaluate the impact of Covid-19 on the investment preference in stocks by the retail investors in the Irish stock market, (2) to understand whether retail investors are willing to invest money in stocks considering the pandemic effect (3) to identify the stock preferences of retail investors post Covid-19 and their causative factors, (4) to analyze the changes in returns given by investment in stocks based on the effect of Covid-19, (5) to provide investment options through the collation and analysis of investment choices by retail investors located in Dublin. Using a mixed research design, survey participants (N=100) provided data on their investor objectives, preferences, and rationale. Upon analysis, findings of the study revealed that; (1) There is a significant change in retail investor preference during the pandemic, (2) There is no significant relationship between high functioning industrial sectors and investor preferences during the pandemic and (3) There is a significant relationship between changes in investor portfolio and investor preferences. Conclusively, the impact of covid-19 on investment preferences is just a microcosm of the general impact across all spheres and aspect of the economy. However, the extent of such changes in preferences was simply measured primarily without appropriate secondary data to back it up. As such, it is important for other research studies to build on this research to provide additional information on the extent of changes in investor preferences as reflected in investment portfolios of the investors as well as the statistical data that supports it.