Square Mile’s quarterly MI Report captures the viewing patterns among users of our Academy of Funds, which provides insights and data on what advisers have been researching over the last quarter. Below are some of the key trends we saw over Q3 2021.
Developed equity markets ended Q3 at a similar level to where they started the quarter, but the real picture was a turbulent period when markets rose and fell. In the bond markets, fears of more persistent inflation and central banks being forced to raise interest rates to combat it, moved government bond yields higher.
In light of this, it was perhaps unsurprising that the most popular IA sector by number of views was the IA Sterling Strategic Bond, which represented 15.7% of searches which was double the proportion the sector had in the previous quarter. This was followed by the IA Global, IA UK All Companies and the IA UK Equity income sectors, which are commonly the most viewed sectors.
Equities remained the most viewed asset class at 52%, up nearly 4% from Q2. Fixed income dropped nearly 6% to 29.5%, while multi asset represented 18.5% of views.
The most popular fund groups by searches were Schroders, Baillie Gifford, Jupiter and First Sentier Investors.
Reflecting the interest in Strategic Bond funds, the most viewed fund was the Aegon European ABS fund, with 4.8% of views, and with the Schroder Strategic Credit coming in 3rd, with 4.5% of views. Whilst the Baillie Gifford Japanese Income fund came in 2nd, with 4.8% of views, perhaps reflecting where investors are looking at a more contrarian value play.
Within the Square Mile Responsible rated funds, the most viewed fund was the FSSA Greater China Growth fund, followed by the Wellington Global Impact Bond fund and the Threadneedle UK Social Bond fund. However, the newly rated Liontrust Sustainable Future Managed Growth fund range had a significant number of views across their funds, 9.1% of all Responsible rated fund views in aggregate.
Despite concerns that the UK might be entering a prolonged inflationary period, inflation protection remained the least researched outcome at a mere 4.5%, down from the 6.8% share it registered in Q2. Capital accumulation, however, continued to dominate although its share shrank from 59.5% to 52.2%, while income was the biggest mover, accounting for 32.8%, up from 20.3%.
The Fund Dashboard has been on the Academy of Funds website for over a year now and the Opinion and ESG pillars continue to be where investors focus their initial searches for information.
Turning to passives, Vanguard Investments has retained the top spot in the passive funds sector with BlackRock and Legal & General following close behind.
For a quick snapshot of the findings from Square Mile's Q3 2021 Market Intelligence Report, download the summary report. If you would like more information, get in touch.