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Best and worst-performing funds of 2020

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Being an investor in 2020 has felt a bit like being a parent at a fun fair… if the magic roundabout your kids are on had been possessed by a demon. We’ve seen some investments flung from their carousel horses – dizzy, bruised, unsure how to climb back up. But we’ve also seen investments having a great time. “More! More!” yells Apple through giddy tears of excitement. “Faster!” echoes Amazon.

It’s easy to see why tech companies would do well from their customers working at home and ordering in more, and why that would be good news for their investors. (Apple’s market value overtook the combined value of the FTSE 100 index at the start of this month). But which other companies have been raking it in throughout lockdown? Or better yet – which investment funds? We take a look at the stats from FE fundinfo.

Fund – an investment product that splits the money you invest between multiple companies and other assets, so you don’t have all your eggs in one basket.


2020: A good year for…

The top 20 funds of the year so far point to success in North America, gold, technology and e-commerce. Taking the top spot both this year and over 3 years, Baillie Gifford’s American fund includes star investments like Amazon, as well as education supplies and e-commerce companies – both of which have had plenty of business as workers and students take their work home.

6 of the top 20 are focused on gold and precious metals, often thought of as a safe haven during times of uncertainty. Gold recently reached a record high with a 30% higher value in August than at the start of the year. However, while it may seem like a haven when markets struggle, the opposite is said to be true when markets recover.

It’s worth noting that although top fund lists are interesting, just be careful about making decisions off the back off this. 12 months is not really long enough to prove skill over luck. And chasing the best performers means you’re always behind the curve – who knows what the future holds for US and tech stocks? That being said, here is the top 20 table in full:

 

Top 20 funds by performance - 1 Jan to 1 Sep 2020

Fund name

Sector

2020 performance %

3-year performance %

Baillie Gifford American

North America

83.3

174.2

Morgan Stanley US Growth

North America

79.5

141.9

LF Access Long Term Global Growth Investment

Unclassified

72.3

-

Baillie Gifford Long Term Global Growth Investment

Global

70.5

137.3

LF Ruffer Gold

Specialist

69.2

118.5

MFM Junior Gold

Specialist

63.0

32.2

Matthews China Small Companies

China

58.5

87.9

ES Gold and Precious Metals

Specialist

57.1

15.3

Morgan Stanley US Advantage

North America

54.2

112.3

Baillie Gifford Positive Change

Global

54.0

118.5

Baillie Gifford Global Stewardship

Global

49.5

87.1

Morgan Stanley US Advantage

North America

49.2

103.4

Lord Abbett Innovation Growth

North America

48.7

105.4

Aubrey Capital Management Ltd Global Conviction

Global

46.0

76.4

T. Rowe Price Global Technology Equity

Tech & Telecomms

45.5

81.3

Baillie Gifford Global Discovery

Global

43.7

101.3

Ninety One Global Gold

Specialist

43.2

82.0

BlackRock Gold & General

Specialist

43.1

56.2

Polar Capital Global Technology

Tech & Telecomms

42.2

113.8

Quilter Investors Precious Metals Equity

Specialist

42.1

52.2

Source: FE fundinfo


2020: A bad year for…

8 of the bottom 20 funds this year are focused on Latin America, which many experts are attributing to the slow response to the Covid-19 outbreak. Energy companies have also taken a hit, due in part to the oil-price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. And closer to home, following a recession announcement in August, 6 of the bottom funds are from UK sectors. What happens next – both in terms of the UK’s slow return to a ‘new normal’ and overall market movements – is anyone’s guess.

 

Bottom 20 funds by performance – 1 Jan to 1 Sep 2020

Fund name

Sector

2020 performance (%)

3-year performance (%)

LF Equity Income

Unclassified

-64.0

-74.4

Schroder ISF Global Equity

Global

-42.7

-48.6

ASI UK Recovery Equity

UK All Companies

-42.6

-54.9

Guinness Global Energy

Global

-41.8

-40.4

TB Guinness Global Energy

Specialist

-40.8

-29.5

HSBC GIF Brazil Equity

Specialist

-40.0

-27.9

Invesco Latin American (UK)

Specialist

-37.9

-33.4

GVQ UK Focus

UK All Companies

-37.8

-29.2

GVQ Opportunities

UK All Companies

-36.4

-29.6

Brown Advisory Latin American

Specialist

-34.8

-43.9

BlackRock GF Latin American

Specialist

-34.5

-31.9

Alquity Latin America

Specialist

-34.3

-34.8

Liontrust Latin America

Specialist

-34.3

-21.0

BlackRock GF Latin American

Specialist

-34.3

-26.4

UBS UK Equity Income

UK Equity Income

-33.8

-32.2

Aberforth UK Small Companies

UK Smaller Companies

-33.7

-26.6

Quilter Investors Equity 2

Unclassified

-33.6

-24.6

ASI Latin American Equity

Specialist

-32.9

-29.0

MFS Meridian Latin American Equity

Specialist

-32.9

-22.3

UBS UK Opportunities

UK All Companies

-32.8

-29.3

Source: FE fundinfo

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