Which funds grew most in popularity during 2016?

By Flora Glaister

Updated on Wednesday, 28 December, 2016

Recent research on the most bought funds in 2016 showed that Fundsmith and Woodford  Equity funds featured first and second on the list - whilst Vanguard's passive vehicles also bagged top spots.

While this list of most bought funds may not surprise the industry, FE Trustnet looked at the data from a different angle, and saw some unexpected trends in adviser behaviour.

FE Trustnet looked at the top 250 most popular funds among advisers this year, and compared how they ranked last year using Analytics Market Intel (MI) data, which indicates what advisers are researching for their clients on FE Analytics. 

FE Trustnet research found that out of the twenty funds which have climbed the ranks most, nine are cash funds – almost 50%. This trend follows our research in the month leading up to June’s referendum vote on Britain’s exit from the EU where we saw the dash to cash as advisers anticipated some post - leave market volatility.

In addition to the rise in popularity of cash funds, a few absolute return funds have also been researched more by advisers this year. Rising 708 places in the rankings is the J.P. Morgan Global Macro Opportunities fund. The two-year-old absolute return fund sits comfortably among the most researched funds this year, joining the Aviva Inv Multi Strategy Target Income fund which also rose 303 places.

FE Director Mika-John Southworth said: “Given the challenging environment of 2016 – which started with fears of a slowing Chinese economy, had the Brexit referendum in the middle and most recently saw Trump elected as US president – there’s little surprise that professional investors have been showing greater interest in defensive assets like cash and absolute return funds. With plenty more risks on the horizon, such as next year’s elections in Europe, it’s probably a safe guess that advisers will continue to look in these areas for some time to protect clients’ assets.

“But it’s interesting to note that immediately after 2016’s risk events advisers did start to look back to riskier areas, like global equities and parts of the UK market, suggesting investors are not keen to have cash sat in the side-lines for too long once uncertainty clears.”

The twenty funds that have risen the most in popularity since last year

Fund

2016 November rank

2015 November rank

Change in rank

JPM Global Macro Opportunities

93

801

708

Artemis Monthly Distribution

150

525

375

NB Short Duration High Yield Bond

224

599

375

Elite Income Plan Cash

68

420

352

Wise Investments Evenlode Income

164

515

351

Smith & Williamson Cash

66

411

345

L&G (N) Cash Pension

65

386

321

Fidelity Gross Accumulating Cash

56

362

306

Aviva Inv Multi Strategy Target Income

156

459

303

Federated Sterling Cash Plus

60

360

300

Fidelity Moneybuilder Cash ISA

61

357

296

Aviva Investors Global High Yield Bond

189

482

293

Jupiter Cash

63

346

283

Scottish Widows Cash

59

340

281

Wesleyan Risk Averse

57

325

268

Marlborough Cash

58

316

258

Fidelity Global Dividend

125

378

253

Royal London Cash Plus

39

277

238

Aviva Inv Cash

51

281

230

Baillie Gifford Cash

46

262

216

To find out more about how FE can help you understand advisers, contact us now.