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  • Most popular funds

    The most popular funds with HL clients over the last five years.

    Most popular funds

    Important notes

    This isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investments will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in. Past performance isn’t a guide to the future.

    Tom Mills and Kate Marshall, Investment Analysts

    The past year has been so eventful, it’s almost possible to forget events other than the coronavirus crisis.

    But a look over the past five years reminds us a lot has happened. The UK voted to leave the EU, then we watched what felt like never-ending negotiations. Boris Johnson beat Jeremy Corbyn to become the UK’s next Prime Minister, while Donald Trump was elected the 45th US President, serving one term. Over this time, we’ve seen several events that once seemed impossible, become possible.

    Investors were also in for a rollercoaster ride. Global stock and bond markets have generally performed well over recent years, though there have been some big setbacks along the way.

    We’ve taken this as an opportunity to look at some of the most popular investments with investors. The table below shows the 10 most popular funds with HL clients over the past five years. These funds are provided for your interest, but you should choose investments based on your own objectives and attitude to risk.

    Source: Hargreaves Lansdown, 6 April 2016 – 5 April 2021. Based on net fund purchases. Funds listed alphabetically.

    Share markets have produced some of the strongest returns over that time so perhaps it's not a surprise to see funds that invest in shares featuring prominently. However, what’s popular now won’t necessarily be popular or perform well in future. A well-diversified portfolio should include a mix of assets, such as shares and bonds, as well as a mix of geographies and investment styles.

    Here we take a closer look at five of the most popular funds.

    Investing in these funds isn’t right for everyone. Investors should only invest if the fund’s objectives are aligned with their own, and there’s a specific need for the type of investment being made.

    Investors should understand the specific risks of a fund before they invest, and make sure any new investment forms part of a diversified portfolio.

    This article isn’t personal advice or a recommendation to invest. All investments can fall as well as rise in value, so you could get back less than you invest. If you’re not sure an investment is right for you, please seek advice.


    Baillie Gifford Managed

    This fund invests across six major investment areas: shares in the UK, the US, Europe, Asia and the emerging markets, and bonds. It provides a huge amount of diversification in one fund. You should be aware that the fund's investments in emerging markets add risk.

    The team behind this fund is made up of eight experienced investors who are all experts in their fields. Iain McCombie and Steven Hay have been the fund's lead managers since November 2012. The other six managers are representatives of the fixed income, US, Europe, emerging markets and developed Asia equity teams. To choose investments they draw on the research and analysis of their colleagues in their respective teams, but also on the best investment ideas of around 100 investment managers and analysts at Baillie Gifford. This fund has a growth style that has benefitted its recent performance, but this style can come in and out of favour, as we have seen more recently.

    The managers like to keep things simple. They tend to invest around 75% of the fund in shares because they think shares will be the main driver of returns over the long run. The rest is invested in bonds and cash with the aim to dampen volatility and add diversification. The fund may also invest in derivatives, which can add risk.

    Please note the fund currently holds shares in Hargreaves Lansdown PLC.

    Annual percentage growth
    Apr 16 to Apr 17 Apr 17 to Apr 18 Apr 18 to Apr 19 Apr 19 to Apr 20 Apr 20 to Apr 21
    Baillie Gifford Managed 23.4% 8.7% 9.6% 6.7% 37.9%
    IA Mixed Investment 40-85% Shares 17.2% 4.9% 4.1% -4.0% 21.5%

    Past performance isn't a guide to the future. Source: Lipper IM to 30 April 2021


    HL Multi-Manager High Income

    In a world of ultra-low interest rates, generating an attractive income from savings and investments is a challenge. This fund aims to deliver a high monthly income, by blending different types of funds and moving between different areas of the market when more attractive opportunities emerge. Fund managers Ellen Powley and Richard Troue invest roughly 60% in shares and 40% in bonds. The managers may invest in higher-risk areas like smaller companies and high yield bonds. They also have the flexibility to invest in other income producing assets such as property and infrastructure if they see attractive opportunities.

    A Multi-Manager fund involves an additional element of management. This means the cost is higher than for standard funds. Please note the fund's charges can be taken from capital. This increases the yield, but reduces the potential for capital growth.

    The HL Multi-Manager Funds are run by our sister company Hargreaves Lansdown Fund Managers Ltd.

    Find out more about the HL Multi-Manager fund range


    HL Select Global Growth Shares

    This fund was launched in May 2019 and invests in around 30-40 global companies, chosen by the HL Select team. This is a concentrated approach where each holding can make a real difference to performance, though it increases risk. The management team looks for companies with the potential for long-term durable growth. They invest mostly in developed markets but can also invest in higher-risk emerging markets.

    The managers like businesses with quality attributes including exceptional products and services, recurring revenue, high profit margins and returns on capital, and strong cash flows. They also look for companies with little or no debt, and management with the vision to remain at the forefront of their industries. They also have the freedom to invest in higher-risk smaller companies. They believe these types of businesses should have the ability to grow year after year, and to be resilient when conditions are less favourable.

    The HL Select Funds are run by our sister company Hargreaves Lansdown Fund Managers Ltd.

    Find out more about the HL Select fund range


    Legal and General US Index

    The US is the largest market in the world and is home to many world-leading businesses. This fund is a low-cost option for accessing a broad range of US companies. Legal & General has been running index tracker funds longer than most. It’s also one of the largest providers of tracker funds in the UK – that means it’s got the resources and expertise to track indices as closely as possible, and the scale to keep charges to a minimum.

    The fund aims to track the performance of the FTSE USA Index by investing in every company in that index. It’s currently made up of around 600 companies, focused on sectors such as technology, financials and consumer services. While the fund diversifies across the US, technology companies make up around 30% of the fund. Derivatives may be used to help manage the fund efficiently, which can add risk. However, these usually make up a very small part of the portfolio.


    Rathbone Global Opportunities

    For this fund, manager James Thomson seeks companies across the globe that offer superior sales and profits growth, compared with their competitors. Thomson is one of only a few global fund managers to show they can pick great companies and perform better than the broad global stock market over the long term. We think he has the potential to repeat this success in future, although there are no guarantees and this ‘growth’ style of investing won’t always be in favour. Remember past performance isn't a guide to future returns.

    His success can be put down to a straightforward, disciplined approach, and a willingness to view the world a little differently. He looks for easy-to-understand businesses that can grow to dominate their industry and defend themselves from competition. He'll also search off the beaten track to find companies with superb potential that might be overlooked by other investors. Thomson has the flexibility to invest in smaller companies and emerging markets which are higher-risk areas but he generally avoids these as he thinks they’re too risky compared to other areas.

    Annual percentage growth
    Apr 16 to Apr 17 Apr 17 to Apr 18 Apr 18 to Apr 19 Apr 19 to Apr 20 Apr 20 to Apr 21
    Rathbone Global Opportunities 27.6% 13.4% 16.0% 6.1% 35.7%
    FTSE World 31.0% 7.5% 11.7% -1.0% 33.9%
    IA Global 27.7% 8.1% 8.9% -0.9% 33.6%

    Past performance isn't a guide to the future. Source: Lipper IM to 30 April 2021

    Important notes

    This isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investments will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in. Past performance isn’t a guide to the future.

    Find out more about investing

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