Interactive Investor

The top 10 most-purchased ETFs in October 2023

Gold rose in popularity, while US and tech shares fell out of favour last month.

1st November 2023 12:13

by Sam Benstead from interactive investor

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The outbreak of conflict in the Middle East triggered a rebound in the gold price, from around $1,800 an ounce to $2,000 during October, which boosted demand for iShares Physical Gold ETC

This exchange-traded fund (ETF) was a new entry in last month’s most-bought ETF list. Investors tend to turn to gold as a safe-haven asset when they are worried, particularly during times of war and high inflation. However, gold is not without risk – it pays no income, and therefore its price has been under pressure during the ongoing period of rising interest rates, as investors can find a good income, as well as a safe-haven asset, from government bonds.  

UK shares proved popular in October, with the iShares Core FTSE 100 Ucits ETF rising three places to second, knocking Vanguard’s S&P 500 Ucits ETF (acc) down to fifth place. The Vanguard FTSE 100 Ucits ETF held on to 10th place.  

However, Vanguard S&P 500 Ucits ETF (inc) maintained the top spot for another month, and the iShares Core MSCI World Ucits ETF and Vanguard FTSE All-World Ucits ETF, which both have around two-thirds invested in America, were in third and fourth place respectively. 

Over the month, UK, US and global shares all fell. The FTSE 100 was the worst performer of the three, down 3.7%, while US shares (as measured by the S&P 500 index) dropped 1.56% and global shares (MSCI World) fell 2.33%, according to data from FE Analytics.  

The Lyxor Smart Overnight Return ETF fell two places to ninth place. This is an actively managed ETF that invests in a diversified portfolio of financial instruments and repurchase agreements to deliver a cash-like return. Cash-equivalent investments have risen in value over the past two years due to higher interest rates. 

Two leveraged ETFs also made the list: the WisdomTree FTSE 100 3x Daily Leveraged in sixth place, and the WisdomTree Nasdaq 100 3x Daily Leveraged Short in seventh.  

They use derivatives to give investors a bumper return if the index rises or falls in value, therefore making them much riskier than a normal ETF.   

The promotional literature of many leveraged products specifies that they should not be held for more than one day, and our article explains why in more detail.

Dropping off the most-bought ETF list were the Invesco Nasdaq-100 ETF and iShares Core S&P 500 Ucits ETF.  

Top 10 most-popular ETFs in October 2023 

Source: FE FundInfo/interactive investor,  1 November 2023. Note: the top 10 is based on the number of “buys” during the month of October.

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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