Interactive Investor

Top 10 most-purchased ETFs in September 2021

5th October 2021 14:00

Tom Bailey from interactive investor

An ETF that provides exposure to carbon credits was a new entry in the most-bought list. 

Investors have been quick to snap up shares in the re-launched WisdomTree Carbon ETC USD (LSE:CARB), according to the interactive investor most-bought exchange-traded fund (ETF) data.

WisdomTree Carbon was launched in late August. Its previous strategy was forced to close last June after its swap counterparty terminated the contract that was in place.

In September, it was the 10th most-purchased ETF on the ii platform. The ETF tracks the Solactive Carbon Emission Allowances Rolling Futures Index. This index allows investors to gain exposure to ICE Carbon Emission Allowances (EUA) futures contract. It is currently Europe’s only carbon ETF.

WisdomTree Carbon ETC was the only new entry to the most-bought list in September. The ETF’s inclusion knocked the WisdomTree FTSE 100 3x Daily Lvrgd ETP (LSE:3UKL) out of the top 10.

Investor interest in climate change-focused ETFs could also be seen in the continued popularity of the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF USD Dist GBP (LSE:INRG). The ETF was the sixth most-bought ETF, up three places from the previous month. From mid-October onwards, there will be another overhaul of the index the ETF tracks due to changes to the methodology of the S&P Global Clean Energy Index. Over the past three years, its returns outstrip every other ETF in the table, at 151.8%. 

The most-bought ETF was the Vanguard S&P 500 UCITS ETF (LSE:VUSD), as was the case in August. The ETF is now sitting on a one-year return of over 25%.

Investor appetite for US-focused ETFs could be seen elsewhere. The Invesco EQQQ NASDAQ-100 ETF GBP (LSE:EQQQ) kept a place in the top 10, one place above where it had been. The ETF has returned 21.4% over the year, slightly below its S&P 500 tracking counterpart.

There was a slight uptick in interest in gold, with the iShares Physical Gold ETC (LSE:IGLN) moving into third place. However, interest is still well below where it was last year, when several precious metal ETFs were in the most-bought list. That’s likely reflective of gold’s poor performance over the past year, with returns sitting at -12.3%.

Investor appetite for UK-focused ETFs remained strong. The iShares Core FTSE 100 ETF GBP Dist (LSE:ISF) kept its spot in second place. Meanwhile, the Vanguard FTSE 100 UCITS ETF (LSE:VUKE) retained a spot in the table, albeit down by six places. The Vanguard FTSE 250 UCITS ETF (LSE:VMID) came in at number seven, falling by one place compared to August.   

The iShares Core MSCI World ETF USD Acc (LSE:IWDA) saw an uptick in buys, rising by four places to become the fourth most-popular ETF. Its rival, the Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF (LSE:VWRD), kept its spot in fifth place.

Top 10 most-popular ETFs: September 2021 

Position ETF Change from September 1-year performance (%) to 4 October 3-year performance (%) to 4 October 
1 Vanguard S&P 500 ETF  No change 25.6 51.4
2 iShares Core FTSE 100 ETF  No change 23.8 5.1
3 iShares Physical Gold ETC Up 1 -12.3 41.5
4 iShares Core MSCI World ETF Up 4 22.5 40.3
5 Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF No change 20.9 37.4
6 iShares Global Clean Energy Up 3 9.2 151.8
7 Vanguard FTSE 250 UCITS ETF Down 1 34.5 20.3
8 Vanguard FTSE 100 UCITS ETF Down 6 23.8 5
9 Invesco EQQQ Nasdaq 100  Up 1 21.4 88.6
10 WisdomTree Carbon ETC New entry    

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

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