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What have ISA investors been buying?

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01/03/2016
ISA investors sought comfort in the form of large blue chip companies in 2015, according to analysis by online platform The Share Centre.

FTSE 100 giants GlaxoSmithKline and Royal Dutch Shell were the top selling shares held within ISAs on the platform last year.

Lloyds Banking, Glencore and BP, which are also listed on the UK’s flagship index, made up the remainder of the top five.

The top stocks are based on the number of deals completed by The Share Centre customers.

According to investment research manager, Sheridan Admans, three of the five pay a yield higher than the yield for the FTSE 100 and two are paying no income at all.

He said GlaxoSmithKline’s defensive nature and its competitive yields meant the group’s pole position was “unsurprising”.

“Future improvement should be helped by a pipeline of new drugs, diversification across consumer healthcare as well as biotechnology, and increasing exposure to emerging markets,” he added.

The platform currently recommends the company as a ‘buy’ for lower risk investors.

Moving on to second place Royal Dutch Shell, Admans said its position suggested investors were looking to benefit from the low oil price.

“Over the last 12 months investors have seen the share price fall away however, the high dividend yield remains very attractive,” he said.

The platform currently recommends the group as a ‘buy’ for medium risk investors.

Lloyds Banking Group and Glencore are currently a ‘hold’, while BP is a ‘buy’ for medium risk investors.

Most popular funds held in ISAs

In terms of funds, veteran investor Neil Woodford’s CF Woodford Equity Income topped the best-selling table, followed by AXA Framlington Biotech and Polar Healthcare Opportunities.

Old Mutual UK Mid-Cap and Insight Equity Income Booster took fourth and fifth position respectively.

Admans said: “There is a general healthcare theme in the top three funds, albeit most investors are likely to be buying the Woodford Equity Income fund for the manager’s strong long-term track record over him currently favouring healthcare stocks.”

Savers have until 5 April to use up this year’s tax-free ISA allowance, which is £15,240. 

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