Interactive Investor

10 hottest ISA shares, funds and trusts: week ended 1 March 2024

In this series of articles, we reveal the 10 most-popular shares, funds and investment trusts added to ISAs on the interactive investor platform during the past week.

4th March 2024 14:19

Lee Wild from interactive investor

With ISA season under way and tax year-end fast approaching, we look at the investments ii customers have been buying within their ISAs during the previous week. The data includes only real-time trades, not regular investing instructions, and combines the use of both existing funds and new money. 

Top 10 shares in ISAs

There was plenty of activity last week in the list of most-bought ISA shares on the ii platform, with four new stocks making it into the top 10. In fact, there was so much action that there’s no place for Lloyds Banking Group (LSE:LLOY) shares this week. It fell seven places and out of the top 10 for the first time this ISA season.

In at number two is PowerHouse Energy Group (LSE:PHE) whose technology converts waste plastics to hydrogen.

The £37 million AIM-listed company announced on 22 February that it had signed an initial five-year framework agreement with Australia’s National Hydrogen Ltd, “the culmination of several years of work, discussion and negotiation”. It sets out the terms on which its technology will be provided to National H2’s roll-out of “multiple hydrogen-based projects across Australia, Italy, Switzerland and Hong Kong”.

Powerhouse won’t have to chip in any money because the projects will be based on a licence fee and royalties model. It means there’s a potential long-term income stream for the company.

“This a major milestone for us, delivers a significant endorsement for our technology and know-how and provides us with both a platform for growth and a potential long-term income stream," said Powerhouse chief executive Paul Emmitt.

Powerhouse shares rose as much as 64% on the news from 0.335p at the close on 21 February to a high of 0.55p on the 22nd, but interest really started to bubble early the following week when the agreement was more widely reported. After closing at 0.45p on Friday 23 February, the shares spiked Tuesday to a peak of 1.25p, their highest in 12 months, making it a 273% gain on this news.

Reckitt Benckiser Group (LSE:RKT)’s 13% drop in share price on results day attracted bargain hunters to the owner of brands such as Nurofen, Durex and Dettol. Lower than predicted fourth-quarter sales, a 22% slump in annual profit and downbeat forward guidance for 2024 triggered the sell-off to prices not seen since the end of 2014.

It was a week of two halves for British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (LSE:IAG). There was optimism ahead of results, and there was lots to like about the full-year figures, but despite a big increase in revenue and record profits, the volatile shares gave back recent gains to land where they’d traded mid-month.

However, investors then focused on longer-term prospects and the potential for a significant further recovery, making it the eighth most-bought stock in ii ISAs last week.

BT Group (LSE:BT.A) is last of the new entries. Its share price has been stuck below 110p for about a month, but we reported director share buying at these historically low levels. Chief executive Allison Kirkby bought her first BT shares since taking over last month, adding to stock acquired as a non-executive director.

Kirkby spent £428,000 on 400,000 BT shares at 107p, but BT shares dipped as low as 103.5p on Friday, triggering a rush of buying from retail investors.

Elsewhere, Avacta Group (LSE:AVCT) is up six places after its share price slumped more than 40% over the first four days of last week. Investors were clearly nervous about the cancer treatment specialist, and the shares had begun to drift well before the company confirmed a fundraising at 50p a share, a 34% discount to the closing price on 27 February.

At that price, there was strong demand for the shares from existing investors and potential new holders, so management increased the size of the placing from £20 million to £25.7 million.

The AIM-listed company said it will use the money to “initiate and progress the dose expansion and Phase 2 efficacy studies for its [AVA6000 treatment], a tumour-targeted form of the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin, as well as for general working capital for the group until the end of 2025.”

Top 10 funds and trusts in ISAs

With the clock ticking towards tax year end some investors are gravitating more towards growth strategies.

Going for growth reflects increasing levels of confidence among investors, which is further reinforced by investors being prepared to go for adventurous fund options, such as Jupiter India, L&G Global Technology Index Trust and Scottish Mortgage Ord (LSE:SMT). The trio are positioned in our table in second, third and sixth place respectively.

However, topping the table this week is Fundsmith Equity, which is managed by star fund manager Terry Smith. Investors continue to back Smith, unperturbed by short-term performance. Last year was an underwhelming one for Fundsmith Equity investors, with T-Class units returning 12.4% on a total return basis, which is below the 16.8% gain of the MSCI World index. This is the third year in a row that the fund has underperformed the index. 

However, since inception in November 2010, Fundsmith Equity has impressed, producing annualised returns of 15.7% compared to 11.8% for the MSCI World index.

Two of this week’s top 10 aim to deliver both growth and income: JPMorgan Global Growth & Income Ord (LSE:JGGI) and Alliance Trust Ord (LSE:ATST). The respective yields are 3.4% and 2.1%.

Those in the bottom three places have a greater income focus, reflected in their higher yields. City of London Ord (LSE:CTY), which mainly sticks to FTSE 100 dividend payers, has a yield of 5.1%. Royal London Short Term Money Market, which invests in low-risk bonds, is yielding 5.3%, while Greencoat UK Wind (LSE:UKW) yields 7.2%.

Funds and trusts section written by ii’s collectives editor Kyle Caldwell.

These articles are provided for information purposes only.  Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties.  The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article.

Please remember, investment value can go up or down and you could get back less than you invest. If you’re in any doubt about the suitability of a stocks & shares ISA, you should seek independent financial advice. The tax treatment of this product depends on your individual circumstances and may change in future. If you are uncertain about the tax treatment of the product you should contact HMRC or seek independent tax advice.