2023 was a rollercoaster of a year. The macroeconomic situation unfolded more positively than many in the market expected. Recessionary risks receded towards the end of 2023, which was broadly positive, especially for equities. However, despite the monetary tightening phase in the US and Europe appearing to be coming to an end in Q4, volatility and a higher inflationary environment still characterised the markets.
The key take-aways from our Q4 report
With inflation therefore proving to be stickier in 2023, inflation protection searches increased this quarter, though with a smaller jump than previously seen in Q3 to 7.2% (up from 6.7%). However, most searches were for income and capital accumulation, both attracting 40.6% of views. Income searches, whilst one of the most popular, decreased from 46.7% in Q3, whereas capital accumulation funds increased from 33.3%. Capital preservation fund searches saw a small decrease to 11.6% from 13.3%.
Even though volatility continued to plague the markets in Q4, views per asset class stayed largely the same in comparison to Q3. Equity continued to be the most popular search, with 53.6% of views, followed by fixed income at 26%, and then multi asset with 19.4%. Alternatives were by far the least viewed asset class with just 1% of views.
Turning to views per sector, the most popular this quarter was the IA UK All Companies - taking the top spot from IA Sterling Strategic Bond. IA UK All Companies pulled in 11.8% of views, with IA Sterling Strategic Bond attracting 10.4%. In third position was the IA Targeted Absolute Return which garnered 8.0% of the views, which included a number of multi asset funds that aim to protect investors capital.
There was also a change in leadership in the most researched fund groups with Schroders regaining its position as most viewed, moving up from fourth place in Q3 and accounting for 4.9% of views. Second was Aegon Asset Management which had a 4.8% share of views, an increase of 1.9%, the largest uptick across all fund firms, moving it from 10th position in Q3. Meanwhile, Jupiter Asset Management maintained its position as the third most research group with 4.5% of all searches.
Searches for active funds also saw a change in both top and second spot. Aegon Diversified Monthly Income came in first attracting 3.5% of views, with WS Amati UK Listed Smaller Companies behind it gaining 2.6% of views. The abrdn Standard Liquidity Sterling fund came in third with 2.2%.
For Responsible Rated funds, BlueBay Impact-Aligned Bond came in top with 5.8% of views. The Edentree Responsible and Sustainable Shorted Dated Bond fund came in joint second attracting 5.0% of views alongside last quarter’s first place holder, Wellington Global Impact Bond.