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Index funds and gold popular with investors in August

Written by: Emma Lunn
Customers of Interactive Investor flocked to industry stalwart funds and gold in the last month as uncertainty continues.

Index funds took up half the top 10 spots on the DIY investment platform’s top buys list, something that was also achieved in June and February this year.

All of the five bestselling index funds listed in August were from Vanguard, with four coming from the firm’s popular LifeStrategy range. However, Fundsmith Equity and Lindsell Train Global Equity, both actively managed funds, remained rooted in first and second positions on the table.

Investec Global Gold fund, which invests in gold mining companies, was seventh on the table.

Scottish Mortgage secured the number one spot in the investment trust sector, followed by City of London Investment Trust and Allianz Technology.

In addition, discount opportunists flocked to Woodford Patient Capital, helping it onto sixth position on the bestsellers table. The trust trades at a discount of around 42 per cent as of 3 September 2019, according to Morningstar, following a torrid period.

When it comes to equities, Vodafone came top of the class, ahead of National Grid and Lloyds Banking Group.

Interestingly, Burford Capital which shed over 50 per cent of its value in August after US short seller Muddy Water’s allegations about its accounting methods, was the fourth most bought share.

Rebecca O’Keeffe, head of investment at Interactive Investor, said: “August is typically a fairly quiet month for markets as investors are more focused on enjoying the summer holidays. However, this was a particularly animated month, with the political demonstrations in Hong Kong, the escalating US-China trade war and latterly, the prorogation parliament.

“Against an uncertain backdrop for global markets, investors increasingly favour passives while also sticking with household names. The inclusion of Investec Global Gold fund is somewhat reflective of a growing appetite for perceived ‘safe havens’ amid concerns over the global economy and fears of a recession.”

Keith Bowman, investment analyst at Interactive Investor, said: “In the shadow of the US central bank’s first cut in interest rates since the financial crisis, investors’ hunt for income yield during August remained evident. The second-quarter/half year results season would have given investors opportunity to assess prospects for blue chip companies such as Lloyds, BP and Vodafone.

“Consumers’ eye for a potential bargain, now so evident across UK high streets, has clearly shaped the bestsellers table in August. A sell-off following uninspiring results from high-yielding insurers Aviva and Legal & General attracted bargain hunters. Investors were tempted to have a nibble at company shares down over 20 per cent across the month such as Sirius Minerals, while volatility at Thomas Cook proved attractive to those investors comfortable with extra risk.”


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