Barclays Stockbrokers: iShares Became Popular Investment In March

Investors are on the hunt for income returns through ETFs and funds, according to Barclays Stockbrokers. Trading activity in ETFs through Barclays Stockbrokers increased by 31% in March compared to February trading figures and up by 123% on the same

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Investors are on the hunt for income returns through ETFs and funds, according to Barclays Stockbrokers. Trading activity in ETFs through Barclays Stockbrokers increased by 31% in March compared to February trading figures and up by 123% on the same month in 2008.

Barclays Stockbrokers found ETF investments increased by 67% in March, with 90% of those assets invested in iShares. Client behaviour in March proves that investors are continuing to seek out income opportunities in iShares, with income based iShares dominating the top ten client purchases for example the iShares Sterling Corporate Bond. Confidence in the FTSE appears to be growing as well; March saw a 12% increase in purchases of the iShares FTSE 100, and a fall of 49% in its sales as more clients continue to hold the investment.

When it comes to fund investments, seven of the top ten funds bought by clients in March this year had an income objective; overall, income funds accounted for 30% of all Barclays Stockbrokers funds trades and almost half (49%) of all assets invested for March 2009. Specifically, the Corporate Bond funds from Invesco Perpetual and M&G, Invesco’s Income and High Income funds and Fidelity’s Moneybuilder Income fund all proved popular investments with clients.

This contrasts sharply with the funds bought in March 2008, where the top ten purchases were focused on China and the Asian Pacific region, Emerging Markets, and specialist funds with a commodities focus such as Blackrock Gold and General and JP Morgan Natural Resources. There were no income objective funds in the top ten from March 2008,- and overall only two funds in the top ten from March 2008 feature in this years list.

“It is encouraging that clients are using ETFs such as iShares to achieve their income goals, with products like iShares Sterling Corporate Bond being a popular investment, and other ETFs such as the iShares FTSE UK Dividend Plus available for those with a focus on income from equity dividends,” says Barbara-Ann King, head of Investments, Barclays Stockbrokers.

ETFs will be attractive to those investors who are looking to actively diversify their portfolio while being able to take advantage of different markets and sectors.

The desire for income in the market place is clear when you look at how our clients are investing. They are turning to Fixed Income (Gilts and Bonds) and dividends from equities to compensate for capital losses, continues Barbara-Ann King.

Whilst many investors are happy choosing individual investments, many others look for the diversification and convenience offered by ETFs and funds where in some instances there is the added benefit of professional management in a self-directed portfolio.

L.D.

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