Best and worst-performing funds of 2020

By Mike Narouei, Content Producer at Boring Money

21 Sep, 2020

Tracking the top 20 (and bottom 20) investment funds based on their 2020 performance.

Stats from FE fundinfo.

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

Baillie Gifford American

  • Sector: North America

  • 2020 performance %: 83.3

  • 3-year performance %: 174.2

Morgan Stanley US Growth

  • Sector: North America

  • 2020 performance %: 79.5

  • 3-year performance %: 141.9

LF Access Long Term Global Growth Investment

  • Sector: Unclassified

  • 2020 performance %: 72.3

  • 3-year performance %: -

Baillie Gifford Long Term Global Growth Investment

  • Sector: Global

  • 2020 performance %: 70.5

  • 3-year performance %: 137.3

LF Ruffer Gold

  • Sector: Specialist

  • 2020 performance %: 69.2

  • 3-year performance %: 118.5

MFM Junior Gold

  • Sector: Specialist

  • 2020 performance %: 63.0

  • 3-year performance %: 32.2

Matthews China Small Companies

  • Sector: China

  • 2020 performance %: 58.5

  • 3-year performance %: 87.9

ES Gold and Precious Metals

  • Sector: Specialist

  • 2020 performance %: 57.1

  • 3-year performance %: 15.3

Morgan Stanley US Advantage

  • Sector: North America

  • 2020 performance %: 54.2

  • 3-year performance %: 112.3

Baillie Gifford Positive Change

  • Sector: Global

  • 2020 performance %: 54.0

  • 3-year performance %: 118.5

Baillie Gifford Global Stewardship

  • Sector: Global

  • 2020 performance %: 49.5

  • 3-year performance %: 87.1

Morgan Stanley US Advantage

  • Sector: North America

  • 2020 performance %: 49.2

  • 3-year performance %: 103.4

Lord Abbett Innovation Growth

  • Sector: North America

  • 2020 performance %: 48.7

  • 3-year performance %: 105.4

Aubrey Capital Management Ltd Global Conviction

  • Sector: Global

  • 2020 performance %: 46.0

  • 3-year performance %: 76.4

T. Rowe Price Global Technology Equity

  • Sector: Tech & Telecomms

  • 2020 performance %: 45.5

  • 3-year performance %: 81.3

Baillie Gifford Global Discovery

  • Sector: Global

  • 2020 performance %: 43.7

  • 3-year performance %: 101.3

Ninety One Global Gold

  • Sector: Specialist

  • 2020 performance %: 43.2

  • 3-year performance %: 82.0

BlackRock Gold & General

  • Sector: Specialist

  • 2020 performance %: 43.1

  • 3-year performance %: 56.2

Polar Capital Global Technology

  • Sector: Tech & Telecomms

  • 2020 performance %: 42.2

  • 3-year performance %: 113.8

Quilter Investors Precious Metals Equity

  • Sector: Specialist

  • 2020 performance %: 42.1

  • 3-year performance %: 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

LF Equity Income

  • Sector: Unclassified

  • 2020 performance %: -64.0

  • 3-year performance %: -74.4

Schroder ISF Global Equity

  • Sector: Global

  • 2020 performance %: -42.7

  • 3-year performance %: -48.6

ASI UK Recovery Equity

  • Sector: UK All Companies

  • 2020 performance %: -42.6

  • 3-year performance %: -54.9

Guinness Global Energy

  • Sector: Global

  • 2020 performance %: -41.8

  • 3-year performance %: -40.4

TB Guinness Global Energy

  • Sector: Specialist

  • 2020 performance %: -40.8

  • 3-year performance %: -29.5

HSBC GIF Brazil Equity

  • Sector: Specialist

  • 2020 performance %: -40.0

  • 3-year performance %: -27.9

Invesco Latin American (UK)

  • Sector: Specialist

  • 2020 performance %: -37.9

  • 3-year performance %: -33.4

GVQ UK Focus

  • Sector: UK All Companies

  • 2020 performance %: -37.8

  • 3-year performance %: -29.2

GVQ Opportunities

  • Sector: UK All Companies

  • 2020 performance %: -36.4

  • 3-year performance %: -29.6

Brown Advisory Latin American

  • Sector: Specialist

  • 2020 performance %: -34.8

  • 3-year performance %: -43.9

BlackRock GF Latin American

  • Sector: Specialist

  • 2020 performance %: -34.5

  • 3-year performance %: -31.9

Alquity Latin America

  • Sector: Specialist

  • 2020 performance %: -34.3

  • 3-year performance %: -34.8

Liontrust Latin America

  • Sector: Specialist

  • 2020 performance %: -34.3

  • 3-year performance %: -21.0

BlackRock GF Latin American

  • Sector: Specialist

  • 2020 performance %: -34.3

  • 3-year performance %: -26.4

UBS UK Equity Income

  • Sector: UK Equity Income

  • 2020 performance %: -33.8

  • 3-year performance %: -32.2

Aberforth UK Small Companies

  • Sector: UK Smaller Companies

  • 2020 performance %: -33.7

  • 3-year performance %: -26.6

Quilter Investors Equity 2

  • Sector: Unclassified

  • 2020 performance %: -33.6

  • 3-year performance %: -24.6

ASI Latin American Equity

  • Sector: Specialist

  • 2020 performance %: -32.9

  • 3-year performance %: -29.0

MFS Meridian Latin American Equity

  • Sector: Specialist

  • 2020 performance %: -32.9

  • 3-year performance %: -22.3

UBS UK Opportunities

  • Sector: UK All Companies

  • 2020 performance %: -32.8

  • 3-year performance %: -29.3

Source: FE fundinfo