More than half of all searches for a particular investment outcome on Square Mile’s Academy of Funds platform were for capital accumulation, according to its Q3 market intelligence report, while one in every four searches was for income.
The Academy of Funds is a depository of insight and opinion for strategies that hold a Square Mile rating. Currently, this encompasses over 350 active, passive, and risk targeted funds. Its latest report analysed over 7,000 unique website visitors and more than 54,000 page views.
The Ninety One UK Alpha, Premier Miton Multi Asset Distribution, and Baillie Gifford Multi Asset Growth funds made up the top three most-viewed active strategies. The first two each received a 2.5% share of views in their section.
Earlier in the quarter, the Ruffer Diversified Return fund gained an A rating from Square Mile, alongside the TT European Opportunities Long/Short fund. Passive fund searches were dominated by Vanguard, as its Global Bond Index Hedged, US Equity Index, and Emerging Markets Stock Index funds filled the top three searches for the sector.
At a group level, Baillie Gifford climbed to pole position from fifth place last quarter, comprising 7.5% of searches in Q3. Jupiter Asset Management and Schroders retained their positions in second and third place, with 5.9% and 5.6% of views respectively.
Turning to Investment Association sectors, the IA UK All Companies and IA Sterling Strategic Bond sectors remained the top two most popular. Combined, they accounted for close to 25% of searches in the sector. IA Mixed Investment 20-60% Shares and IA Targeted Absolute Return continued to move up the rankings and took the plaudits for third and fourth place.
The report also identified a shift in attitude among users of the Fund Dashboard, an interface through which advisers can access information across core fund selection criteria; the opinion pillar became less popular as a primary access point, with uptake dropping from 36% to 28%, while the frequency with which the ESG pillar was used increased 10 percentage points, to 36%.
The responsible investment rankings saw the Wellington Global Impact Bond fund reach the top despite its overall share being slightly down on Q2.
James Glover (pictured), strategic relationships director at Square Mile, said: “We have rarely seen a more challenging environment in which to make asset allocation decisions. In the UK, the new chancellor of the Exchequer has reversed the tax cuts set out in his predecessor’s ‘mini-budget’ in an attempt to restore confidence in the economy. Meanwhile, the cost-of-living crisis continues unabated, with mortgage holders facing the additional squeeze of spiralling interest rates as the UK’s central bank strives to dampen inflation. Globally, we see the ongoing conflict in Ukraine intensifying, the real prospect of recession in Europe, and the spectre of Covid-related lockdowns in China all adding to investor concerns.
“Against this backdrop, it is interesting to note that strategies with the promise of capital accumulation continued to gain traction, perhaps a reflection that, with market sentiment so weak, there may be more upside to be had from assets offering some level of appreciation. Nonetheless at a sector level, caution still lingers. The IA Mixed Investment 20-60% Shares and Targeted Absolute Return sectors are both fishing grounds for investors seeking a combination of growth alongside capital protection.”