Interactive Investor

The top 10 most-purchased ETFs in April 2023

2nd May 2023 12:30

by Sam Benstead from interactive investor

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There’s two new entrants to the most-bought list, while buoyant stock markets increased demand for core trackers.

Most-popular ETFs 600

Exchange-traded fund (ETF) investors upped their exposure to gold, global shares and cash in April, as stock markets enjoyed a positive month.

The biggest mover was the iShares Physical Gold ETC, rising from sixth to second place, despite the gold price being flat in dollar terms in April.

Nevertheless, gold is flirting with an all-time high and trades near $2,000 an ounce. It has been boosted by expectations that interest rates are close to their peak. Gold does not pay an income, meaning that rising bond yields hurt its valuation.

Global tracker funds Vanguard FTSE All-World Ucits and iShares Core MSCI World Ucits rose one place each to claim the third and fourth spots on the most-bought ETF list.

US trackers were also very popular in April. The top spot was held by the Vanguard S&P 500 Ucits ETF (distributing), with Vanguard S&P 500 Ucits ETF (accumulating) in sixth place and the iShares Core S&P 500 Ucits ETF in ninth place.

Global and US tracker funds are cheap and liquid ways for investors to own the largest stocks in the world. Around two-thirds of the global index is made up of US shares, so there is lots of overlap in holdings and performance, with the top stocks in each index being America’s top tech stocks, namely Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet.

UK shares also remained popular in April, but fell down the rankings. The iShares Core FTSE 100 Ucits ETF moved down four places to fifth, while the Vanguard FTSE 100 Ucits ETF (distributing) fell seven places to 10th.

UK shares rose about 3% in value in April, while US shares rose about 1%, as investors bet that inflation would keep falling and central banks would soon stop rate rises.

A new entry in April is the Lyxor Smart Overnight Return Ucits ETF. This fund aims to give investors cash-like returns via capital growth instead of income. It was the seventh most-popular ETF in April due to demand for a safe place to park cash with modest growth. The ETF has returned nearly 4% in the past 12 months, driven by rising bond yields.

Dropping off the most-bought list in April were the Vanguard FTSE 250 ETF and the WisdomTree Nasdaq 100 3x Daily Short ETF.

Top 10 most-popular ETFs in April 2023 

ETFChange from MarchOne-year performance to 1 May 2023 (%)Three-year performance to 1 May 2023 (%)
Vanguard S&P 500 Ucits ETF (distributing)Up one2.252.9
iShares Physical Gold ETCUp four3.516.8
Vanguard FTSE All-World Ucits ETFUp one243.5
iShares Core MSCI World Ucits ETFUp one3.148.2
iShares Core FTSE 100 Ucits ETFDown four8.151.6
Vanguard S&P 500 Ucits ETF (accumulating)Down four2.252.9
Vanguard FTSE All-World High Dividend YieldUp one2.647.8
Lyxor Smart Overnight Return Ucits ETFNew entry3.24.4
iShares Core S&P 500 Ucits ETFNew entry2.352.9
Vanguard FTSE 100 Ucits ETF (distributing)Down seven851.6

Source: FE FundInfo/interactive investor, 1 May 2023. 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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