The first half of 2019 has generally been a positive one for investors, with every fund sector reporting positive returns on average*.
Led once again by North American (21.27%*) and Technology (20.55%*) funds, all asset classes have risen in value – most rallying quite strongly after a difficult end to 2018.
Even the 'worst' performing fixed income sector - IA UK Gilts - was up 5.88%*, which is an exceptional return for UK government bond funds.
The most disappointing area was perhaps Japanese equities. The IA Japan and IA Japanese Smaller Companies sectors returned 8.49%* and 7.49%* respectively – still a decent return, but lagging other equity sectors by some margin. Targeted Absolute Return funds were also underwhelming, with an average return of 2.77%*.
The best performing individual fund was Brown Advisory US Smaller Companies (30.30%*), closely followed by Threadneedle Pan European Focus (30.07%*) and TM Cavendish AIM (29.95%*).
In contrast, the worst performing fund was VT Garraway Absolute Equity, which fell some 36.14%*. BMO Global equity Market Neutral was the second worst performing fund, losing 16.69%*.
Commenting on the findings, Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea Financial Services, said: “With the exception of Japan, those asset classes that fell furthest at the end of 2018 have risen the most so far in 2019: namely the US and technology.
“In Europe, Russian equities have done best - possibly due to the world focusing its attention on China and Iran, coupled with a steadily improving oil price.
“As we head into the second half of the year, 'new resolutions' will be key to what continues to perform well: resolution of trade wars would help Asia and Japan rebound, while resolution of Brexit would help the UK. Whether we get those resolutions, especially in that time scale, remains to be seen."
|1||IA North American Smaller Companies||21.27%|
|2||IA Technology & Telecommunications||20.55%|
|3||IA North America||19.13%|
|5||IA Europe excluding UK||16.13%|
|6||IA Europe including UK||15.99%|
|7||IA China/Greater China||15.33%|
|8||IA European Smaller Companies||15.30%|
|9||IA Property Other||14.81%|
|10||IA Global Equity Income||14.29%|
|1||Brown Advisory US Smaller Companies||30.30%|
|2||Threadneedle Pan European Focus||30.07%|
|3||TM Cavendish AIM||29.95%|
|4||Smith & Williamson Artificial Intelligence||29.54%|
|5||Baillie Gifford American||29.09%|
|6||Kames Global Sustainable Equity||28.90%|
|7||Legg Mason IF Martin Currie European Unconstrained||28.27%|
|8||Franklin US Opportunities||28.17%|
|9||Jupiter International Financials||27.67%|
|10||Morgan Stanley US Advantage||27.62%|
|1||VT Garraway Absolute Equity||-36.14%|
|2||BMO Global Equity Market Neutral||-16.69%|
|3||LF Woodford Equity Income||-11.98%|
|4||Standard Life Investments UK Equity Recovery||-11.89%|
|5||LF Woodford Income Focus||-8.18%|
|6||LF Miton UK Smaller Companies||-5.05%|
|7||Merian Global Equity Absolute Return||-5.01%|
|8||Jupiter Absolute Return||-4.38%|
|9||MI Downing UK Micro-Cap Growth||-3.88%|
|10||Barings Korea Trust||-3.75%|
*Source: FE Analytics, All IA sectors and funds available on the Aegon platform, total returns in sterling, 1 January 2019 to 24 June 2019.
Past performance – especially very short term performance - is not a reliable guide to future returns. You may not get back the amount originally invested, and tax rules can change over time. Darius' views are his own and do not constitute financial advice.