The 20 most popular UK stocks of the first half

Dividend payers and small caps featured strongly in the most popular companies at The Share Centre in the first half of this year.

Investment research analyst Ian Forrest (pictured) said the findings indicate that income continues to be the main concern for UK investors, especially those approaching retirement.

'The top five purchased companies in the first half of the year cement this ethos as they are companies that come under the top FTSE 100 dividend paying stocks,' Forrest said.

'Others that fall into this category because of their good dividend yield and which appear in this list include Centrica, Imperial Brands and BT.'

We share the 20 most bought stocks at the broker between January and the end of June.

20. Capita

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: -65.2%

19. Centrica

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: +6.6%

18. Imperial Brands

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: -5.8%

17. Boohoo.com

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: +1.9%

16. Greatland Gold

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: -38%

15. Legal & General

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: -6.7%

14. UK Oil & Gas Investments

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: -40.7%

13. HSBC

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: -8.3%

12. Unilever

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: +6.9%

11. Marston's

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: -16.4%

10. Amerisur Resources

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: -22.2%

9. Aviva

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: -4.7%

8. Royal Dutch Shell B

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: -0.8%

7. BT

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: -16.9%

6. Sirius Minerals

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: +55.2%

5. GlaxoSmithKline

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: +21.7%

4. National Grid

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: -5.8%

3. BP

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: +5.0%

2. Vodafone

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: -24.7%

1. Lloyds Banking

Price change from 1 Jan to 16 Aug: -11.7%

Forrest said: 'Lloyds Banking group tops The Share Centre’s list of the top 20 stocks bought in 2018, perhaps unsurprisingly so given the group’s long term recovery journey it’s currently embarking on and the accompanying media attention.

'The group is implementing plans to improve profitability over the next three years. These involve investing £3 billion in digital banking services and improving its insurance, pensions and lending business.

'Investors are likely to have taken some reassurance in a share buyback scheme of £1 billion as this is likely pointing to management confidence for the future.'