Top 10 most-purchased ETFs in December 2020

by Tom Bailey from interactive investor |

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Investors continue to back one of the best-performing ETFs of 2020.

The most bought ETF on interactive investor in December 2020 was the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (LSE:INRG), climbing by one place from the previous month. The ETF is a member of interactive investor’s ACE 40

iShares Global Clean Energy was one of the best-performing ETFs of 2020, with its one-year performance currently sitting at 127.3%, as of 4 January. The ETF saw strong returns throughout the year. However, the election of Joe Biden as the next US president gave it an extra boost, with many expecting the new administration to increase subsidies and support for renewable energy.

The Global Clean Energy ETF knocked iShares Core FTSE 100 ETF (LSE:ISF) out of its long-held position at the top of the table to second place. Appetite for FTSE 100 ETFs, however, remained strong, with the Vanguard FTSE 100 ETF (LSE:VUKE) also in the top 10. Both ETFs are down around 12% on the year and 5% over three years. The UK market was one of the worst-performing markets in 2020.

There was also continued demand for the WisdomTree FTSE 100 3X Daily Leveraged ETP (LSE:3UKL). This is a leveraged ETF, meaning it provides the daily return of the underlying index multiplied by a certain amount on a daily basis. In this case, it means that the investor will see three times the daily returns or losses of the FTSE 100 index. Such products are highly risky and typically should not be held for more than one day.

Demand for FTSE 250-tracking ETFs was also strong. The Vanguard FTSE 250 UCITS ETF (LSE:VMID) advanced three places compared to the month prior. Meanwhile, the iShares FTSE 250 ETF (LSE:MIDD) entered the ranking. Both ETFs are down around 5% on the year.

Another new entrant to the ranking was the L&G Battery Value Chain ETF (LSE:BATT). This ETF was among the strongest-performing ETFs in 2020, returning investors roughly 70%.

Investor interest in gold remained steady, with the iShares Physical Gold ETC GBP (LSE:SGLN) remaining in fifth place. Gold experienced a strong rally in 2020, with the price hitting a new all-time high in the summer.

When it came to US equities, there was still demand for the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (LSE:VUSA)which kept a place in the ranking, albeit two places below the previous month. However, the Invesco EQQQ NASDAQ-100 UCITS ETF (LSE:EQQQ), which tracks the tech-focused Nasdaq index, fell out of the ranking. The other ETF that exited the top 10 was the iShares Core MSCI World ETF (LSE:SWDA).

The Vanguard FTSE All-World ETF (LSE:VWRL) rose two places. The ETF, which follows the fortunes of 3,455 shares, charges just 0.22% a year.

Most bought ETFs in December 2020

  ETF Change from November One-year performance to 4 January Three-year performance to 4 January
1 iShares Global Clean Energy ETF 1 127.3 210.4
2 iShares Core FTSE 100 ETF -1 -11.9 -5
3 Vanguard FTSE 250 UCITS ETF  3 -5.1 5.7
4 Vanguard FTSE 100 ETF -1 -12.5 -5.7
5 iShares Physical Gold ETC No change 16.6 41.7
6 Vanguard S&P 500 ETF -2 12.3 41.7
7 Vanguard FTSE All-World ETF 2 10.8 29.2
8 iShares FTSE 250 ETF New entry -5 5.4
9 L&G Battery Value Chain ETF New entry 70.3  
10 WisdomTree FTSE 100 3x Daily -3 -50.6 -47.6

Source: FE Analytics. Note: the top 10 is based on the number of “buys” during the month of December.

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 data 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. 

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