Europe funds have not been investor favourites over the past few years and it is obvious why. Across the continent there have been bailouts, recessions and threats to leave the monetary union.
European managers have rightly been cautious of where to invest and how. The Europe excluding UK sector over the past year alone has seen a variety of performance levels. Although, based on an initial £1,000 investment, just three funds out of the 111 in the sector failed to return, which is no bad thing considering the troubles the space has seen recently.
To qualify for the European excluding UK sector, funds must invest at least 80 per cent of their assets in European equities and exclude UK securities – although the remaining 20 per cent can be allocated to UK stocks.
The top performing fund is the Scottish Widows European Focus, managed by Jupiter’s Alexander Darwall, who also manages the second best performer, the Jupiter European fund. The funds are different in allocation and have a different sector bias. For example, the Scottish Widows fund has its top holdings in the healthcare sector, while the Jupiter fund has more of a focus on industrials.
At the bottom end of the scale, the Neptune European Opportunities, managed by Rob Burnett, failed to deliver over the past 12 months. Seeing a return of £968, the fund has a very different portfolio to the top performing funds. With its highest allocation to financials, telecoms and consumer discretionary stocks, the fund favours Italian and French equities.
|Top 5/Bottom 5: North American Funds, One Year To 13 April 2015|
|Scottish Widows HIFML European Focus 1||£1,223|
|GLG Continental Europe Fund Retl||£1,201|
|Old Mutual Threadneedle Eurp Sel A £ Acc||£1,185|
|Threadneedle Eurp Sel Ret Net GBP||£1,182|
|Marlborough European Multi-Cap A Inc||£1,019|
|CF Odey Continental European R Acc||£1,004|
|Cavendish European Fund A||£991|
|St James’s Place Continental Europe Inc||£988|
|Neptune European Opportunities A Acc||£968|
Notes: Figures as at 7 April 2015, based on £1,000 initial investment. Source: Morningstar
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