Interactive Investor

Top 10 most-purchased ETFs in November 2021

A US tech ETF favourite re-entered the rankings.

2nd December 2021 13:22

Tom Bailey from interactive investor

A US tech ETF favourite re-entered the rankings. 

The three most-popular ETFs in November were the Vanguard S&P 500 UCITS ETF (LSE:VUSD), the iShares Core FTSE 100 ETF GBP (LSE:ISF) and the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF (LSE:INRG).

These three ETFs, in this order, were also the favourites in the previous month.

The Vanguard S&P 500 ETF’s one-year performance stands at 30.6% and over three years it has returned 68.3%. Also on the list was the iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (LSE:IDUS), which kept its position in 10th place.

Investors have also been favouring other routes for US exposure. In November, the Invesco EQQQ NASDAQ-100 ETF GBP (LSE:EQQQ) regained a place in the rankings. The ETF tracks the 100 largest companies listed on the Nasdaq. This index is tech-heavy and often taken as a proxy for the performance of US tech in general.

The one-year gains for the iShares Core FTSE 100 ETF looked strong at 17.5%. Over a three-year period, however, the index has returned just 13.8%. Investors also favoured the Vanguard FTSE 100 UCITS ETF (LSE:VUKE) in November, which climbed three places.

The WisdomTree FTSE 100 3x Daily Lvrgd ETP (LSE:3UKL) also ascended the rankings, rising to the seventh most-bought ETF. As the name suggests, it provides a triple leveraged play on the FTSE 100 index rising by 1% on one day, meaning the investor gains 3%.

However, as the name of the ETF also suggests, it is rebalanced daily. As previously explained, this means that longer term, the ETF’s performance starts to diverge from what is actually three times the return of the FTSE 100.

For example, the leveraged ETF’s one-year returns are 50.9%. That is roughly three times the performance of the iShares Core FTSE 100 ETF. However, over a three-year period, the leveraged ETF’s returns are not three times that of the normal FTSE 100 ETFs but instead a loss of 7.6%.

In third place was iShares Global Clean Energy. This ETF has proven such a hit over the past couple of years that the index of stocks it tracks had to be expanded to accommodate the large amount of inflows. However, over the past year, the ETF has hit a bit of a bump in terms of performance, returning just 2.5%. Longer-term investors, however, will be less disappointed, with three-year returns standing at 166.4%.

Global passive strategies remained popular, with the Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF (LSE:VWRD) and the iShares Core MSCI World ETF (LSE:SWDA) keeping a spot in the rankings. The Vanguard fund was in fifth place, down one spot on the month prior, while the iShares fund was in sixth place, unchanged from the previous month. Both ETFs have provided a return of more than 20% over the past year.

While the iShares Physical Gold ETC (LSE:SGLN) kept a space in the rankings, it fell by three places. So far this year, gold has struggled, with its one-year returns sitting at just 1.6%. While investors flocked to the yellow metal in 2020, the improved economic outlook and expectation of sooner-than-expected rate rises has damaged its prospects in 2021.

Top 10 most-popular ETFs: November 2021

Position ETF Change from October 1-year performance (%) to 1 December 3-year performance (%) to 1 December
1 Vanguard S&P 500 ETF  No change 30.6 68.3
2 iShares Core FTSE 100 ETF  No change 17.5 13.8
3 iShares Global Clean Energy No change 2.5 166.4
4 Vanguard FTSE 100 UCITS ETF Up 3 17.5 13.7
5 Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF Down 1 21.3 51.2
6 iShares Core MSCI World ETF No change 24.5 56.2
7 WisdomTree FTSE 100 3x Leveraged Up 2 50.9 -7.6
8 iShares Physical Gold ETC Down 3 1.6 39.9
9 Invesco EQQQ NASDAQ-100 ETF New entry  31.2 127.1
10 iShares Core S&P 500 ETF No change 30.6 68.3

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

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