Important information: The value of investments and the income from them, can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest.

IN a month that saw fuel crises, the collapse of a Chinese property giant, supply chain instability and rising prices, investors would be forgiven for feeling a little wobbly. However, the corporate sector continued in vibrant health and stock markets proved resilient. This quixotic environment sent investors in two directions: to the safety of cash, or to ‘business as usual’ growth areas such as technology.

Cautious investors found much to be pessimistic about and gravitated towards cash and low risk assets. The Fidelity Cash Fund appears on the list in spite of continued low rates on cash savings. This may be a sign that investors are keeping their options open at an uncertain moment in markets – cash would leave them with flexibility to take advantage of any sell-offs in markets.

However, it is still a high risk strategy at a time when inflationary pressures are mounting, which of course is a significant drag on the purchasing power of long-term savings. Equally, it is difficult to time the right moment to move back into markets. In 2020, the stock market started to recover from late March, when there was still overwhelming uncertainty about the potential impact of the virus.

The Trojan Fund, managed by Troy Asset Management has also proved popular. The fund targets steady, resilient growth and has proved a stable option during the recent crisis. The fund still has around 40% in stock market investments, while also holding inflation-linked bonds, no doubt appealing as an option for cautious investors who want to protect themselves against rising inflation.

Top 10 best-selling funds on Fidelity Personal Investing in September 2021

1.    Fundsmith Equity Fund
2.    Rathbone Global Opportunities Fund
3.    Baillie Gifford Positive Change Fund
4.    Fidelity Index World Fund
5.    Fidelity Cash Fund
6.    Fidelity Global Technology Fund
7.    Trojan
8.    Fidelity Index US Fund
9.    Fidelity Global Special Situations Fund
10.  BlackRock Continental European

Source: Fidelity International. Gross sales in September 2021 for Personal Investors only.

Nevertheless, there are plenty of optimists who continue to look on the bright side. The Fidelity Index World Fund, Fidelity Global Technology Fund and Fidelity Index US Fund all saw strong inflows, suggesting many investors aren’t concerned over the shorter-term challenges facing the global economy. This approach also has sound arguments behind it: despite ongoing wrangles with regulators, big tech keeps delivering strong earnings and significant growth.

There is also the view that the pandemic has fast-forwarded long-term structural trends of which technology will be a significant beneficiary – from the adoption of cloud-computing, to ecommerce, to digitisation. For long-term investors, a weighting in technology could provide necessary ‘future proofing’ for a portfolio.

Terry Smith’s Fundsmith Equity Fund and Rathbones Global Opportunities Fund, managed by James Thomson remain firm favourites with their band of loyal investors. Sustainable strategies also continue to draw investors, notably the Baillie Gifford Positive Change Fund. COP26 is likely to put climate change firmly on the radar for the many investors.

For more information on ESG funds, see our Sustainability Investing hub.

Important information: Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. A number of the funds listed invest in overseas markets so the value of investments can be affected by changes in currency exchange rates. Reference to specific securities should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell these securities and is included for the purposes of illustration only. The Investment Manager of the Baillie Gifford Positive Change Fund’s focus on securities of companies which maintain strong environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) credentials may result in a return that at times compares unfavourably to similar products without such focus. No representation nor warranty is made with respect to the fairness, accuracy or completeness of such credentials. The status of a security’s ESG credentials can change over time. Select 50 is not a personal recommendation to buy or sell a fund. This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to a Fidelity adviser or an authorised financial adviser of your choice.

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