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Banner first quarter for household portfolio investments in 2024: 11.3 billion gain


Dutch investors had a profitable first quarter: in the first three months of 2024, the value of their combined investments rose by €13.1 billion. Households posted returns of €11.3 billion due to higher stock prices, and they made additional net purchases of €1.8 billion.

Published: 21 May 2024

Latest update: 23 May 2024

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This brought the total value of investments of Dutch households to €180.1 billion (+7.8%). The €13.1 billion rise is the biggest quarterly increase since late 2020, when stock markets rebounded sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: DNB statistics

At De Nederlandsche Bank, we independently compile statistics on the Dutch financial sector and economy. This article is based on these statistics. More information on our statistics and all dashboards can be found on our Statistics homepage.

High returns on investment funds

The majority of Dutch households' investments are in investment fund units. Dutch households achieved a €6.3 billion return on these investments in the first quarter of 2024.

At the same time, households purchased a net €0.8 billion worth of positions in investment funds, whereas the last quarter of 2023 saw record sales of positions (€2.4 billion). These yields and new purchases increased the total size of investment fund positions by €7.1 billion (+6.8%) to €111.8 billion.

The growth in the value of investment funds can largely be ascribed to rising stock market prices. For instance, the value of equity funds increased by €6.1 billion (+10.9%) to €62.1 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2024.

New figures from DNB show that households have diversified their assets in global investment funds relatively strongly compared to other asset classes, such as direct investments in listed equities. Positions in the 25 largest investment funds account for about 30% of all fund holdings.

Direct investments in equities near previous record

In addition, households achieved returns of €4.7 billion on direct investments in equities, while also completing €0.3 billion in net purchases. As a result, the value of equity holdings increased by €5.0 billion (+8.8%) to reach €61.7 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2024, meaning Dutch households’ holdings of listed shares were near the record level of €62.2 billion reached in the fourth quarter of 2021.

In the first three months of this year, the AEX index rose 12% to 881 points. It even reached a historic high in early May, topping 900 points.

Converted into euro, the MSCI World Index rose by 11% in the first quarter of 2024. About 40% of the equity assets of Dutch households are invested in Dutch companies and 25% in US companies. Dutch households’ return on investments in listed shares was lower than the gains of the two aforementioned stock market indexes (AEX and MSCI World). 

Value of bond holdings continues to rise

Driven by purchases of money market paper and bonds, the value of debt securities held in Dutch households’ investment portfolios also increased sharply. In the first quarter of 2024, these positions totalled €6.6 billion, the highest since October 2016. The value of household bond holdings has been on the rise for some time.

Household portfolio investments viewed in perspective

The total securities holdings of Dutch households consisted of listed shares, investment fund positions and debt securities totalling €180.1 billion in the first quarter of 2024. By comparison, Dutch households keep far more funds in savings accounts with Dutch banks (€467.8 billion) than in investment portfolios. They also hold €113.0 billion in payment accounts with Dutch banks. Added to this are substantial assets kept with pension funds and insurers, business assets of self-employed persons and home equity, which fall outside direct securities holdings.

According to figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), there are 8.3 million private households in the Netherlands. Of these, around a quarter (1.9 million) invest, according to research (in Dutch) conducted by the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM).

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