A "record" number of newbie investors are taking advantage of the coronavirus-induced market crash by purchasing cheap shares.

As anyone who looked at their KiwiSaver last week can attest to, the virus has wreaked havoc on the global markets, leaving Kiwis shocked at how much their investments plummeted in a matter of days.

But New Zealanders appear to be making the best of a bad situation, with investing platform Hatch noting a "record-breaking day" of sign ups on Friday.

"We are seeing an increase in sign-ups, with [Friday] being a record-breaking day and all 12 Hatch employees on deck to digitally onboard our new investors," said general manager Kristen Lunman.


"Our existing and new investors who are comfortable with volatility will eventually be on the hunt for deals when we hit bottom. These people are viewing recent declines as a buying opportunity for strong companies and sectors that are on 'sale' and are 'buying the dip'.

"In addition to looking for deals, investors are likely to invest in 'defensive' stocks like gold, food, home supplies, healthcare, utilities, and real estate sectors."

Investors were naturally "wincing" at their portfolios at the moment "but there don't appear to be any knee-jerk reactions".

"Many of our investors have been through market shocks, so buying and selling ratios are stable at this point."

InvestNow general manager Mike Heath said his platform's growth had remained steady despite the market crash.

"We're on track for another 1500 new customers this month . . . that momentum hasn't slowed down at all."

Coronavirus wasn't scaring people off opening new portfolios, he said.

Heath said the most important thing for new investors to understand was their risk profile - how averse to risk they are, and how much time they have to ride volatile markets before they need the money they invest.


He said some people would see now as an opportunity to buy shares at a cheap price.

Managing director Anthony Edmonds said InvestNow surveyed its clients last year about how they would react to a big market correction, and they said they would not panic.

"It appears most clients are being true to this. In total InvestNow's investors are being slightly more defensive, which is reflected in elevated levels of cash at a total platform level," he said.

"This means investors are well positioned to take advantage of buying opportunities."