Top 5/Bottom 5: Japan funds

There are mixed messages coming out of Japan at the moment. Consumer spending is increasing and policies to end 15 years of deflation are kicking in; but this is happening in tandem with a planned hike in sales tax which could discourage spending.

In June 2013, Japan funds had the highest monthly inflows in almost two years with net retail sales standing at £62m according to the latest figures from the Investment Management Association (IMA). From outflows of £4m on average over the previous 12 months to net retail sales increasing to £62m in June, interest in Japan funds has visibly picked up.

The Table below shows the top and bottom 5 performers in the IMA Japan sector over the past 12 months to 5 August. On an initial investment of £1,000, the average return for the sector was £1,343. No funds in the sector failed to return a profit. The lowest performing fund was the Scottish Widows HIFML Japanese Focus 1 which returned £1,201 on its initial investment.

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The highest return came from Legg Mason Japan Equity, with £1,866. The Legg Mason fund focuses heavily on technology and healthcare, and is considerably ahead of the second best-performing fund, the Neptune Japan Opportunities fund, which returned £1,546 and invests primarily in industrials and financial services.

Best And Worst Japan Funds One Year To 5 August 2013
Top 5
Legg Mason Japan Equity A£1,866
Neptune Japan Opportunities A£1,546
Baillie Gifford Japanese A£1,503
IP Japan£1,482
GLG Japan CoreAlpha Retail Acc£1,468
Bottom 5
Fidelity Japan Acc£1,260
Lindsell Train Japanese Eq A GBP Quoted£1,257
Schroder Japan Alpha Plus Acc£1,208
Tiburon Taiko Unhdg GBP£1,204
Scottish Widows HIFML Japanese Focus 1£1,201
Sector average£1,343
Figures as at 5 August 2013, based on £1,000 initial investment. Source: Morningstar