Investments  

Hargreaves Lansdown clients shun UK focused funds

Hargreaves Lansdown clients shun UK focused funds

Equity funds that invest in the UK market fell from favour with Hargreaves Lansdown clients in February.

The company released the most bought funds on its platform for last month, UK-focused funds making up only two of the top ten.

One was the Marlborough UK Micro Cap Growth fund, which has assets of £1.1bn and is managed by Giles Hargreave.

The only other UK-centric fund to feature among the top ten was the £2.3bn Jupiter Income Trust, managed by Ben Whitmore. The yield on this fund is 4 per cent.

A host of funds with long track records and significant assets under management, notably the Lindsell Train Global Equity fund, the Fundsmith Equity fund and Crux European Special Situations fund were also among the most popular.

Two distinct trends to emerge from the data was the popularity of Japanese equity funds, and emerging market equity funds.

The GLG Japan Core Alpha fund and the Legg Mason Japanese Equity fund were among the best sellers.

The £1.1bn JP Morgan Emerging Markets fund, run by Austin Forey, was also in with the most loved, along with the First State Asia Focus fund.

Perhaps the least well known fund among Hargreaves Lansdown most popular list is the £407m Eden Tree Higher Income fund. This is on Hargreaves Lansdown Wealth 150 list, and has a yield of 4.6 per cent.

If the fund list implies a severe aversion among Hargreaves Lansdown clients to investing in the UK market, the the most bought shares list tells a different story, with Lloyds Banking Group stock the most popular.

Lloyds is the UK FTSE 100 bank with the greatest exposure to the UK economy.

Neil Woodford, who runs the £7bn Woodford Equity Income fund is keen on Lloyds Banking Group shares, saying the progress made by the company is not yet reflected in the share price.

David Scott, an adviser at Andrews Gwynne in Leeds said a number of economic indicators in the UK were more negative in February than they had been for several months.  

David.Thorpe@ft.com