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Strong returns from cautious IFSL fund

Strong returns from cautious IFSL fund

Investing in a cautious mix of asset classes has helped the IFSL Brooks Macdonald Cautious Growth Fund outperform its sector over the past three years, according to FE data.

Ranked 16th in the IA Mixed Investment 20-60 per cent sector, the £33.4m fund has returned 22.18 per cent since January 2013.

Fund managers Jonathan Webster-Smith and Mark Shields aim to provide investors with long-term capital growth and income, by investing largely in fixed interest and equity markets through collective investment schemes, according to the fund’s latest factsheet.

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The portfolio has a strong equity bias, with the highest exposure in UK equities at 23.38 per cent, and international equities at 15.17 per cent. Global fixed interest follows closely behind at 14.19 per cent.

Top holdings in the portfolio include Liontrust Special Situations at 7.37 per cent, Standard Life Investments UK Equity Income Unconstrained at 6.33 per cent, Fidelity Index US at 6.15 per cent, and IFSL Brooks Macdonald Defensive Capital at 6.07 per cent.

The minimum initial investment is £1,000, and the fund has a low ongoing charge of 1.25 per cent.

In the same sector, the Old Mutual Voyager Diversified Fund invests in a diverse range of asset classes, according to its most recent factsheet.

The portfolio has a large exposure to international equities at 47.1 per cent, and just over a quarter is invested in global fixed interest. The remaining asset allocation has 18.3 per cent invested in real return funds, and a 9.5 per cent exposure to money markets.

Despite this, the £783.1m fund has scored under its sector for two years running after being aligned with the IA Mixed Investment 20-60 per cent Shares division for much of 2013.

According to FE figures, portfolio managers Anthony Gillham and Sacha Chorley have delivered a return of 3.2 per cent in the past three years, placing the fund 114th in the sector.

The FE factsheet does not specify the regional breakdown, but the fund’s top holdings include Old Mutual Voyager Global Dynamic Equity at 21.3 per cent, Old Mutual UK Midcap Equity at 4.5 per cent, and TwentyFour Asset Management at 4.4 per cent.

As per the IFSL fund, the minimum investment into the fund is £1,000, and the annual charge is 1.25 per cent.

IFSL Brooks Macdonald Cautious GrowthOld Mutual Voyager Diversified
Liontrust Special Situations 7.37%Old Mutual Voyager Global Dynamic Equity 21.3%
Standard Life Investments UK Equity Income Unconstrained 6.33%Old Mutual UK Midcap Equity 4.5%
Fidelity Index US 6.15%TwentyFour Asset Management 4.4%
IFSL Brooks Macdonald Defensive Capital 6.7%Artemis UK Growth Fund 4.3%
Fundsmith Equity 5.67%Investec Asset Management 4%

Adviser says…

Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea Financial Services, said: “In 2008, the IFSL Brooks Macdonald Cautious Growth Fund fell further than the FTSE 100, which you really wouldn’t expect or want from a ‘cautious’ fund.

“But since Jonathan and Mark started running the fund together in 2011, performance has been less volatile and more consistent. It has done especially well in the recent sell-off since the markets peaked last year, and has managed to stay in positive territory, albeit by a very small amount.