Recent data from savings and investment platform Chip illustrates how ETFs are flourishing even at an individual investor level.
In an overview of its 350,000 users, the fintech highlighted a record number of female investors were using its platform and that ETFs were among the top five most popular funds chosen by female and male investors, respectively.
While BlackRock’s Consensus and MyMap fund ranges formed the bedrock of core allocations for Chip users, ETFs were the main way of gaining exposure to future investment themes.
Coming in as the second-most popular fund used by male investors, the iShares Healthcare Innovation UCITS ETF (HEAL) has gained traction due to the demand for medical and pharmaceutical products during the pandemic which is expected to continue as new COVID-19 waves require new treatments.
Among female investors, the iShares Global Clean Energy UCITS ETF (INRG) ranked as the fourth-most popular fund. Having booked triple-digit returns in 2020 and seen its assets under management (AUM) grow by more than six times, INRG remains Europe’s most popular clean energy ETF.
The popularity of INRG among women on its platform was in line with a wider trend highlighted by Chip – that female investors have had a greater appetite for themes and core exposures associated with environmental, social and governance (ESG) characteristics.
Simon Rabin (pictured), CEO of Chip, commented: “The past few years have really fuelled investors' interest in ESG and thematic funds. In fact, I would say it is one of the key trends to emerge from the uncertainty and turbulence of the pandemic era.
“It is especially prominent among younger retail investors who want their money to have a positive impact on the world, and so they are drawn to ESG and thematic funds,” Rabin added. “I am very curious to see how the next generation will shape the investing landscape.”
“When it comes to ETFs, they allow retail investors to start small, enabling them to invest in ESG and thematic funds for the long term, without breaking the bank. We believe that investing is a tool everyone should be using to grow their finances, and in this context, ETFs play a major role.”
Aside from Chip, online investment platform support for ETFs is widespread and growing. Nutmeg offers ETFs to its users, all of Tickr’s impact investment plans are ETF-based and at ETF Stream’s ETF Ecosystem Unwrapped event, Revolut chair Martin Gilbert, said his company’s entry into using the wrapper was a “natural progression” if it moved into asset management.