Interactive Investor

10 hottest ISA shares, funds and trusts: week ended 9 February 2024

In this new 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.

12th February 2024 11:11

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

Helium One Global Ltd Ordinary Shares (LSE:HE1) has kept the top spot for a third week - buy orders made up two-thirds of significant trading volume - as the shares continued to generate significant rewards for shareholders. As I reported a week ago, shares spiked to 3.7p last Monday after the company announced completion of the well which saw helium flow to surface. Chief executive Lorna Blaisse called the drilling campaign “a huge success”. 

It was too much to ask that Helium One held that level for very long, with investors either pausing for breath or taking some profits after a rapid 1,800% rally. However, the shares still ended the week 59% higher, despite news on Wednesday that the company had raised £4.7 million from another share placing, this time at 1.5p a share, a 30% discount to the previous day’s closing price.

There’s now enough money for Helium One “to progress its planning for the next stage of the work programme in Tanzania”.   

There are four new entries in the top 10.

Legal & General Group (LSE:LGEN) is the highest-ranking newcomer. Shares in the insurer are down over 8% from recent highs to a two-month low. They’d already hit reverse, but a negative research note from Citi late in the week accelerated losses. Analysts cut earnings forecasts a month before annual results on 6 March, but income seekers were happy to lock in a dividend yield of more than 8%.

It’s been a similar story at Glencore (LSE:GLEN), where bargain hunting was evident after shares continued their drift lower, reaching a two-year low at the end of the week. In a letter to the commodity firm’s board, activist investor Bluebell Capital reportedly heaped heavy criticism on chief executive Gary Nagle. It no longer has a stake in the business.

Again, this time at AstraZeneca (LSE:AZN), a FTSE 100 company was on the receiving end of a battering after quarterly results missed City expectations. Despite a big rise in cancer drug sales, high costs meant a 7% increase in currency adjusted fourth-quarter core earnings to $1.45, less than the $1.50 predicted. Astra shares are currently as cheap as they’ve been since October 2022.

National Grid (LSE:NG.) makes its debut in the top 10 this ISA season. Interest in the previous week’s 26th most-bought stock in ISAs ballooned after a broker upgrade early in the week. Analysts at Jefferies rate the utility shares a ‘buy’, attracted to the 5.4% dividend yield and valuation at a discount to the 10-year average. It also raised its price target to 1,330p.

And finally, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) fell out of favour last week, dropping seven places down the most-bought list. The company and its owner Elon Musk are never far from controversy, and some investors may have lost a bit of patience with the electric vehicle maker. However, others will have been encouraged by a 3% bounce last week from an eight-month low.

Top 10 funds and trusts in ISAs

The US stock market has a more expensive price tag than other markets, particularly the UK, but as the world’s biggest and most influential it is an area that many investors turn to first when sizing up overseas exposure.

Over the past week, ISA investor interest in the US has increased, with Pershing Square Holdings Ord GBP (LSE:PSH) and Vanguard U.S. Eq Idx £ Acc (B5B71Q7) two of the three new entrants.

Pershing Square is a concentrated portfolio of 10 US-listed stocks, managed by star investor Bill Ackman. Despite being a strong performer, it sits on a discount to net assets of 24.8%. The board has been proactively trying to address the discount, reflected by the trust being one of the most active in buying back its own shares.

Meanwhile, Vanguard US Equity Index is a low-cost way to gain exposure to over 3,500 companies, including large, mid, small and micro-cap stocks. Its yearly charge is 0.1%.

The other new member of the top 10, Polar Capital Technology (LSE:PCT), also has plenty of exposure to the US, in particular the big technology giants that saw their share prices boosted last year owing to investor excitement over the potential of artificial intelligence (AI). It owns six of the seven US tech majors in its top 10 holdings, excluding Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA).

Two other US-heavy funds in the top 10 are L&G Global Technology Index I Acc (B0CNH16) and Vanguard US Equity Index.

The three names dropping out of the top 10 are Alliance Trust Ord (LSE:ATST), Royal London Short Term Money Mkt Y and City of London Ord (LSE:CTY).

    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.