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Baillie Gifford bond fund surrenders crown

If you're reading this you are probably just back from holidays, feeling refreshed and optimistic about the rest of the year.

Not that we aren't great fun at parties, but we have used the quieter summer months to find out which funds were the most sold by allocators in our database so far in 2022. 

It's time to get your small violins out, because the most sold fund of the year so far is the still very widely-owned BlackRock Continental European Income, which was sold by a net five allocators this year to date.

Despite those sales, the fund remains widely held, being in the portfolios of 10 of the allocators in our database. 

In performance terms, the fund is actually top quartile year to date, albeit having lost 9 per cent.

But for most of this year European equities in general have been about as popular as Asset Allocator at parties.

The next most sold funds this year to date were Lindsell Train Japanese Equity, and Man GLG Japan CoreAlpha, both of which have been sold by a net four allocators this year to date.

Lindsell Train Japanese Equity is now held by two of the allocators on our database, while Man GLG Japan CoreAlpha is held by three (we recently discussed the widespread selling of the Man GLG fund, which goes back to 2019, here).

In performance terms, the Lindsell Train fund is having a stonking 2022, returning 5 per cent when the sector has returned a loss of 4 per cent.

But that appears to be a rose between several thorns as the fund is bottom quartile over one, three and five years. 

The Man GLG fund has had an even better 2022, being the absolute top performer from 90 funds in its sector, which has allowed it to present some favourable cumulative performance figures over three and five years. 

When looking at its performance in descrete calendar years though, you'll see it had a wretched 2019 and 2020.

Selling has not been limited to equities this year: on the bond side, Baillie Gifford High Yield Bond was the most sold fund in 2022 so far, with four sales meaning it is now held by just two DFMs.

This means that during the year it lost its crown as the most popular high yield bond fund in our database, which is now held by Axa US Short Duration High Yield which is held by four DFMs.

Unlike some Baillie Gifford funds, this one doesn't have the excuse of 2022's macro turmoil. Its performance has been mediocre at best for several years.

Recently it has underperformed its sector but even before that, its highest high was second quartile performance in 2018 and 2019.

In Baillie Gifford's recent value assessment report, the managers said these are short-term issues due to a defensive position during the Covid-19 pandemic which meant the fund missed out on the vaccine bounce. And more recently several individual investments have underperformed.

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