Investments 

Worst performing funds revealed

Worst performing funds revealed

Two funds run by Neil Woodford and the £983m Jupiter UK Growth fund run by Steve Davies were among the worst performing open ended funds over the past three years.

Data compiled by Chelsea Financial Services showed the worst performer in the three-year period was a passive fund, Close FTSE Techmark, which invested in UK technology businesses and had an underperformance of 48 per cent.

The £75m Argonaut European Alpha fund, run by Barry Norris, was also the worst performers after it underperformed its index, the IA UK All Companies sector, by 27 per cent.

Mr Davies' fund underperformed by 26 per cent after losing 14 per cent in the period, while Mr Woodford’s flagship Equity Income fund underperformed its sector by 25 per cent over the three year period to January 1. 

The fund lost 13 per cent between those dates, while the average fund in the sector gained 12 per cent.

Mr Woodford’s firm also manages the Quilter Investors UK Equity Income fund, which also made the list.

Neither Jupiter, Woodford Investment Management nor Quilter wanted to comment.

A representative of Argonaut said: "The Argonaut European Alpha fund has been a top quartile performer in three of the last six calendar years, and a top quartile performer since launch in 2005.

"The fund had a particularly difficult 2016, which is reflected in the three year performance ranking.

"Our other long only European equity fund, the Argonaut European Income Opportunities fund, is a top quartile performer since launch in December 2016.

"Both funds have had a good start to 2019 and were top quartile performers in January."

Sam Slater, head of communications at Chelsea Financial Services, said the Close fund had lagged because it invested only in UK, not global technology.

Of the Woodford fund she said: "The is a point of contention in the Chelsea offices. Some – like myself – have lost patience and are no longer invested in the fund. In my view, there are a number of excellent alternatives available.

"Others here have more faith in manager Neil Woodford being able to turn his performance around. He does, after all, have a very good, long-term track record."

Brian Dennehy, who runs Dennehy Weller, an advice firm in London said of the Woodford fund: "It has never really been good enough.

"And from the beginning there was simply not enough clarity around the objective. It sits in UK All Companies – but it has an income tag in the title.

"It is always possible it could become a fund we select if it has momentum versus peers - but it doesn’t have momentum."

david.thorpe@ft.com