ISAs 

Best-performing Isa funds revealed

Best-performing Isa funds revealed

The best-performing Isa fund over the last 20 years was the Marlborough Special Situations fund, according to analysis by Willis Owen.

Using FE Analytics data based on total returns from April 6, 1999 to February 14, 2019, the online investment service provider calculated the Marlborough Special Situations fund has delivered a tax-free return of 2,448 per cent.

The best-performing sector was found to be China/Greater China, which delivered a return of 771.8 per cent over the past two decades, according to FE Analytics data for the same period.

Adrian Lowcock, head of personal investing at Willis Owen, said the best-performing funds and sectors over the past 20 years provided some interesting insights for investors.

He said: "The fact China leads the best performing sector and is well represented in the list of top 10 funds reflects the impressive growth of the country as well as emerging markets and Asia over the past 20 years.

"However, the existence of several UK smaller company funds in the list isn't a surprise to us, we have often believed there have been some exceptional fund managers investing in UK smaller companies and plenty of opportunity for them to outperform.

"Perhaps what is more surprising is that the US didn't feature higher up in the lists.

"Over the past decade or more the US has been a difficult market for active fund managers to outperform as it has been very open and efficient making it hard for them to get a competitive edge."

Ten best-performing Isa funds

Fund

 

Percentage Return

 

Marlborough Special Situations

 

2,448

 

Stewart Investors Asia Pacific

 

1,437

 

Artemis UK Smaller Companies

 

1,396

 

Threadneedle European Smaller Companies

 

1,200

 

Barings Hong Kong China

 

1,196

 

BlackRock UK Smaller Companies

 

1,138

 

Janus Henderson China Opportunities

 

1,082

 

The MI Discretionary Unit

 

1,048

 

Stewart Investors Global Emerging Markets

 

1,045

 

Baillie Gifford Emerging Markets Growth

 

1,042

 

FE Analytics, HMRC, based on total return from 6 April 1999 to 14th February, total return

Mr Lowcock said the UK, Japan and emerging markets were three attractive themes for investors to consider in the current Isa season because they are currently cheap and have the potential to deliver strong performance going forward.

Funds that he would recommend as investments in these themes include the Merian UK Mid Cap, Man GLG Japan Core Alpha and Lazard Emerging Markets funds.

Ten best-performing Sectors

Investment Association Sector

 

Percentage Return

 

China/Greater China

 

771.8

 

European Smaller Companies TR in GB

 

572.51

 

UK Smaller Companies

 

523.04

 

Asia Pacific Excluding Japan

 

522.26

 

North American Smaller Companies

 

470.51

 

Global Emerging Markets

 

467.6

 

Asia Pacific Including Japan

 

348.55

 

Global Emerging Markets Bond

 

337.41

 

Japanese Smaller Companies

 

280.31

 

Specialist

 

239.45

 

FE Analytics, HMRC, based on total return from 6 April 1999 to 14th February, total return

But Jason Hollands, managing director of Tilney Investment Management Services, said all the data revealed was that over 20 years Asia, emerging markets and smaller companies delivered the best returns.

Over other time periods, Mr Hollands noted that won't have been the case.

He said: "What matters when selecting a fund is the future outlook and whether you have conviction in the management team now in place.

"Most funds will have experienced management changes over 20-year time periods and the profile of a fund can also evolve, for example due to growth in size, which may impact the ability to replicate previous successes."

emma.hughes@ft.com

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