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The funds getting the lion’s share of adviser attention

By Flora Glaister

Updated on Tuesday, 23 May, 2017

With over 3,000 adviser firms using FE Analytics to streamline their investment process, we used the FE Analytics Market Intelligence (MI) tool to see which funds have been most researched by advisers in quarter 1 this year, and how that compared to last year.

Using the FE research score, an amalgamation of a fund’s factsheet views and the number of times it is charted on the platform, we looked at the funds in the Investment Association with the largest percentage increase in research during the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2016.

To get the below list, we filtered out funds which did not have a research score of at least 3000 in Q1 2016.

The funds that have seen the largest increase in research activity

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The fund which has seen the largest percentage increase between the time periods is Vanguard LifeStrategy 60% Equity, from Vanguard’s popular LifeStrategy range. Funds in the LifeStrategy range are managed to retain their specified asset allocation balance and invest exclusively in Vanguard’s index funds.

The fund’s asset allocation balance is approximately 60% equity securities and 40% fixed income securities. The fund was launched in 2011 and has returned 69.94 per cent since start of data compared to the Mixed Investment 40-85% Shares sector’s 51.06 per cent.

The fund’s position at the top of the table supports the Investment Association’s (IA) February sales figures which showed that mixed asset was the best-selling asset class in February 2017, with net retail sales of £813m.

In addition to investors’ desire for built-in diversification, the fund’s OCF of just 0.22 per cent is also a draw, considering the industry’s dissatisfaction with active fees following the FCA’s Asset Management Market Study in November last year.

The fund is not the only representative from the passive house’s offering, as Vanguard US Index places at number nine. The fund invests 99.30 per cent in US equities and has returned 32 per cent over the past year. It has a modest OCF of 0.10 percent.

However, active funds feature heavily on the list with UK equity funds in particular making up 25 per cent of the top twenty.

Two UK special situations funds come in at 4th and 5th.

Liontrust Special Situations, managed by FE Alpha Managers Anthony Cross and Julian Fosh comes in at 4th on the list. The Liontrust fund’s research score grew by 45 percent and was researched 8,160 times in the first quarter of this year.

The managers identify companies which possess intangible assets and produce barriers to entry for competition. Among the fund’s top ten holdings are Rexl Group, Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline.

The Liontrust duo have returned 25.65 per cent over the past year, and walked away with the trophy for the best UK Smaller Companies managers at the FE Alpha Manager of the Year awards on the 11 May.

Jupiter UK Special Situations comes in at 5th place with 43.95 per cent increase in research score, jumping from 3,019 to 4,346. The fund has returned 31.95 per cent over the past year focussing on companies that manager Ben Whitmore believes to be undervalued.

To find out more about what our Analytics Market Intelligence tool can do, or of you want to know how your funds rank on adviser research contact us at