Top 10 most-purchased ETFs in October 2020

by Tom Bailey from interactive investor |

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We examine the most popular ETFs among interactive investor customers. 

The most popular ETF among interactive investor customers in October was once again the iShares Core FTSE 100 ETF (LSE:ISF). For an annual fee of just 0.07%, which works out at £7 on a £10,000 investment, the ETF tracks the FTSE 100.

Despite the ETF’s popularity, the FTSE 100 saw particularly bad performance over the course of October, with the index losing more than 5% in price terms over the course of the month.

Clearly, however, that did not put off investors. The Vanguard FTSE 100 ETF (LSE:VUKE) was also included in the top 10, albeit one place below where it was in September. The ETF also has a charge of 0.07% and was the third-most popular fund in October.

Also popular were leveraged bets on the blue-chip index, with WisdomTree FTSE 100 3x Daily (LSE:3UKL) and L&G FTSE 100 Leveraged Daily 2x (LSE:LUK2) appearing in the table. Both ETFs are daily leveraged, meaning that they provide investors with the daily performance of the FTSE multiplied by a certain amount. The WisdomTree ETF offers investors three times the movements of the FTSE 100, while the L&G ETF offers twice the movements.

In the case of the WisdomTree ETF, this means that if the FTSE 100 goes up by 1% on a day, the ETF will provide a return of 3%. However, it also works the other way, making these products very risky. Leveraged ETFs are not considered suitable to be held for more than a day, as previously explained.

There was renewed interest in more domestic-focused UK stocks, with Vanguard FTSE 250 UCITS ETF (LSE:VMID) making an appearance in the rankings. While the FTSE 100 is seen as driven heavily by the global economic backdrop, due to more than 70% of its earnings coming from overseas, the FTSE 250 is seen as more aligned with the fortunes of the UK economy. The FTSE 250 had a slightly better month than the FTSE 100, with a loss of around 1%. 

Investors still appear to be making big gets on gold, with the iShares Physical Gold ETC GBP (LSE:SGLN) maintaining a place on the list. Gold has seen a strong rally this year, with the price hitting new all-time highs in the summer. However, appetite appears to be cooling, with the iShares gold ETF slipping by three places.

The Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (LSE:VUSA) kept a place in the rankings, as did Invesco EQQQ NASDAQ-100 UCITS ETF (LSE:EQQQ). The US market faced a volatile October, with the S&P 500 rallying at the start of the month only to end the month down by more than 3%. The situation was similar for the Nasdaq index. Spooking the US market were renewed concerns about the continued spread of Covid-19.

Investors continued to keep an interest in the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF, a member of ii’s ACE 40 list. The ETF has seen strong performance over the past year, returning investors more than 80%.

Another new entry was the Vanguard FTSE All-World ETF (LSE:VWRL), which for 0.22% a year follows the fortunes of 3,455 shares.

The three ETFs that have exited the top 10 are iShares Physical Silver ETC (LSE: SSLN), WisdomTree S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures 2.25x Daily Leveraged and L&G FTSE 100 Super Short Strategy Daily 2x (LSE: SUK2).

Top 10 most-popular ETFs: Oct 2020

Rank ETF Change from September One-year performance to 3 November (%) Three-year return to 3 November (%)
1 iShares Core FTSE 100 ETF No change -21 -16.9
2 iShares Global Clean Energy ETF 1 83.9 121.7
3 Vanguard FTSE 100 ETF -1 -21.1 -17
4 WisdomTree FTSE 100 3x Daily 1 -63.5 -63.8
5 iShares Physical Gold ETC -1 24.7 47.6
6 Vanguard S&P 500 ETF 2 8.8 35.7
7 Vanguard FTSE All-World ETF new entry 4 17.8
8 Invesco EQQQ NASDAQ-100 ETF -1 36.4 82.3
9 Vanguard FTSE 250 UCITS ETF  new entry -13 -9.3
10 L&G FTSE 100 Leveraged Daily 2x new entry -44.2 -43.1

Source: FE Analytics. 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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