Interactive Investor

Top 10 most-popular investment funds: April 2024

In a month marking the start of the new tax year, and a run of highs for the FTSE 100 index, there’s a new entry and new number one in our table.

1st May 2024 12:08

by Nina Kelly from interactive investor

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Fundsmith Equity, which is overseen by star manager Terry Smith, was bumped down to second place in April after being overtaken by low-cost multi-asset fund Vanguard LifeStrategy 80% Equity.

The one, three and five-year returns for Smith’s £22.7 billion global equity fund are 9.1%, 18.6% and 60.2% respectively. This growth fund appears in our Super 60 list of investment ideas. Up until last November, it had a long run at the top of the table, but has since been facing greater competition.

The Vanguard 80% Equity fund, which knocked Fundsmith off the top spot, is one of two LifeStrategy funds in April’s list, the other being the 100% Equity option (in eighth place). There are five funds in the LifeStrategy range and the weighting to equities is designed to appeal to a range of investors with risk profiles ranging from cautious to adventurous. These funds can function as a one-stop shop for investors and three of them appear on our Quick-start Funds’ list for people seeking a simple way to start investing without making their own fund choices, although they are also popular with investors who like to build their own portfolios.

L&G Global Technology Index remains in third place. This top-performing tracker also scores well in terms of risk-adjusted returns, as our recent analysis of tech-focused funds found.Total returns over one, three and five years are 44%, 52.1%, 168.4% respectively.

With thematic trackers such as this, it is important for investors to maintain a diversified portfolio overall and not become overexposed to any one sector or company. Because of the size of the US mega-caps, some tech trackers have a large amount of the portfolio in just a handful of names.While behemoths such as Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT), which reported a 17% rise in revenue in its third-quarter revenue this month, are enjoying a purple patch, if anything should stymie the demand for artificial intelligence (AI), investors with concentrated tech exposure could see their investments shrink painfully. The L&G fund, for example, has a 17% weighting to Microsoft,13.5% to Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), and 11.7% to NVIDIA Corp (NASDAQ:NVDA).

Royal London Short Term Money Market fund was fourth in our most-bought funds list’ for April, up two places on the previous month. This fund, currently yielding more than 5%, allows more cautiously minded investors to earn an income on their cash with minimal risk. We publish a regularly updated article explaining where income investors can find the highest-yielding money market funds.

Last month, soon after the start of the tax year, my colleague published an article revealing where interactive investor’s “early bird” ISA investors were putting their money in the first week of the new tax year (over the trading days of Monday 8 April to Friday 12 April) when the ISA allowances renew to £20,000 (for over-18s). In terms of the investment funds taking the most cash, Royal London Short Term Money Market fund took the top spot.

Seen through another metric, the top funds by the number of buys in the first week of the 2024-25 tax year were: Fundsmith Equity, Vanguard LifeStrategy 80% Equity, L&G Global Technology Index Trust, Royal London Short Term Money Market, and Jupiter India.

Returning to the most-bought monthly funds in April, Jupiter India was down two places to sixth in April. Over five years, the £1.5 billion fund is up 108% in front of the return of the benchmark at 74.7%.

India’s election is under way and runs until the beginning of June, and as Sam Benstead observed in a recent analysis “if re-elected for a third term, Narendra Modi has pledged to make India the third-largest economy by 2027”. It surpassed the UK as the fifth-biggest economy last year. The country of 1.4 billion people has a young demographic to help propel its growth and support government ambitions. The country’s economy is outpacing other nations, so “Modinomics” appears to be working.

Despite the performance of the FTSE 100 over the past two weeks, with the blue-chip index almost reaching 8,200 for the first time, no UK-focused funds have made it into the top 10, with investors still preferring to “go global”, keep costs low, and keep their options open with passive trackers. The following passive fundsHSBC FTSE All-World Index(fifth place); Fidelity Index World (seventh place); Vanguard FTSE Global All Cap Index(ninth place); and Vanguard US Equity Index (10th place) remained in the top 10 from last month.

The only change was Vanguard FTSE Global All-Cap Index replacing Vanguard LifeStrategy 60% Equity in April’s top 10.

Top 10 most-popular investment funds in April 2024 

RankFundIA sector Ranking change since previous monthOne-year return (%)Three-year return (%)
1Vanguard LifeStrategy 80% EquityMixed investment 40%-85% sharesUp one12%14.9
2Fundsmith EquityGlobalDown one9.1%18.5%
3L&G Global Technology IndexTechnologyNo change44%52.1%
4Royal London Short Term Money MarketShort Term Money MarketUp two5.34%8.12%
5HSBC FTSE All-World IndexGlobalNo change19.1%27.3%
6Jupiter IndiaIndia/Indian SubcontinentDown two59.4%113.3%
7Fidelity Index WorldGlobalUp two20.7%32.7%
8Vanguard LifeStrategy 100% EquityGlobalUp two15.3%24.3%
9Vanguard FTSE Global All Cap IndexGlobalNew entry17.2%23%
10Vanguard US Equity IndexNorth AmericaDown three22.5%31.3%

Source: interactive investor. Note: the top 10 is based on the number of “buys” during the month of April.

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.

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