Interactive Investor

Top 10 most-purchased ETFs in January 2024

Surging US tech shares increased the appeal of global, S&P 500 and tech sector tracker funds at the start of the year.

2nd February 2024 14:19

Sam Benstead from interactive investor

American technology stocks caught investors’ attention in January, as optimism about artificial intelligence and a strong US economy caused asset prices to rise.  

iShares S&P 500 Technology Sector ETF entered January’s most bought exchange-traded funds (ETF) list in 10th place, while Invesco EQQQ Nasdaq 100 ETF rose two places to fourth place. 

The Nasdaq 100 tracker, which owns the largest shares on the tech-heavy Nasdaq exchange, has risen about 4% this year, while the S&P 500 technology sector tracker is up around 7%. 

There are some key portfolio differences. While the Nasdaq 100 tracker is careful to avoid over-concentration, and therefore rebalanced its portfolio last summer to trim its allocation to some of the Magnificent Seven shares, the iShares tracker is happy to let its winners run. 

Therefore, while the EQQQ ETF has about 9% in Apple and Microsoft, IITU has 24% in Apple and 18% in Microsoft.  

The top three most-bought ETFs – unchanged since last month – are also dominated by US shares. 

In first place is Vanguard S&P 500 Ucits ETF (dis) and in second is the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (acc). Both ETFs charge 0.07% a year to own America’s largest companies, but the first tracker pays out any dividend income and the second reinvests it. iShares Core S&P 500 Ucits ETF also made the list in eighth place. It charges 0.07% as well.  

In third place was iShares Core MSCI World ETF, which is about 70% invested in the US. The Super 60-rated ETF is a common core position for investors. It owns around 1,500 companies in the developed world, with about 4% invested in UK shares. It charges 0.2% a year.  

Three other global funds made the list. Vanguard FTSE All-World Ucits ETF (acc) was down two places in sixth place and Vanguard FTSE All-World ETF USD Acc GBP (LSE:VWRP)  was a new entry in seventh place.   

These trackers own more than 3,000 shares as they also include emerging markets in their portfolios. For this reason they are less concentrated in US shares, with about 60% invested. They cost 0.22%. 

Vanguard FTSE Developed World Ucits ETF, which does not own emerging markets, was up one place to ninth.  

Unchanged in fifth place was iShares Core FTSE 100 Ucits ETF. In contrast to US shares, UK shares are enduring a difficult start to the year, falling about 0.5% so far.  

Dropping off the most-bought list in February were iShares Physical Gold ETC and WisdomTree FTSE 100 3x Daily Leveraged.  

Top 10 most-popular ETFs in January 2024

Source: FE FundInfo/interactive investor,  2 February 2024. The top 10 is based on the number of “buys” during the month of January 2024.

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