Investments  

Barnett’s funds enter dog list of underperformers

Barnett’s funds enter dog list of underperformers

Funds run by Invesco’s head of UK equities Mark Barnett have made it onto Bestinvest’s “spot the dog” list of underperforming funds.

The list is made up of funds which have both failed to beat their benchmark and fallen by at least 5 per cent over three years.

Mr Barnett succeeded Neil Woodford as manager of the £9bn Invesco High Income fund, which has returned 10 per cent over the past three years, compared with 25 per cent for the IA UK All Companies sector over the same time period.

Meanwhile his £4bn Invesco Perpetual Income fund, which returned 8 per cent over the past three years compared to the same sector, was also on the list.

Mr Barnett has taken a starkly more positive view of the prospects for the UK economy than many of his peers and has invested in UK domestic companies which have performed poorly as uncertainty, induced by Britain's decision to leave the European Union, clouds the landscape.

A total of 58 funds made the list, more than double the previous edition, with five Invesco funds represented, the same number as Aberdeen Standard Investments, though the amount of capital held in the Invesco funds is larger.

The IA sector with the largest number of funds represented on the list is the IA Global, with 19.

Bestinvest’s head of communications Jason Hollands said many of the underperforming funds in the Global sector had income generation as part of their mandate, while the best performing stocks of late have been businesses in the technology area which are yet to become significant dividend payers.

Mr Hollands said: "In the previous edition of Spot the Dog we questioned whether ‘dog’ funds were under the threat of extinction as the number of funds in the kennel had dropped to 26 amounting to £6.4bn of assets, the lowest level we could recall.

"We welcomed this turn and hoped this would prove a sustainable trend rather than a mere blip but six months on it appears that the Lassies of the investment world have come home.

"In reality there are numerous reasons why a fund might hit a period of relative underperformance and so it is important to delve deeper before deciding to switch and move your cash elsewhere.

"In some cases, bad decision making is at fault, and the case to move on makes sense but in others a previously sound investment process or an agreed mandate may be out of favour with recent market trends, in which case some patience is required.

"For example, some of the global and US funds listed in this edition have income generation as part of their objectives and this has led them to be underweight the fashionable 'growth' stocks that have performed particularly well in recent years but where dividends are low or non-existent."

david.thorpe@ft.com