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Tiny £13m fund tops November performance charts

Tiny £13m fund tops November performance charts

Liontrust’s UK Opportunities fund was the best performing onshore portfolio of November, according to data from FE Analytics.

The data showed the fund returned 10.7 per cent during the month of November, beating all other onshore mandates in the Investment Association universe for performance.

The Liontrust UK Opportunities fund — which holds only £13m despite being five-years old — is one of the portfolios transferred to Liontrust through its acquisition of Neptune earlier this year.

Its top holding, accounting for 8 per cent of the fund, is Devron — a multinational company which primarily distributes and manufactures sausage casings.

The manager of the fund, Mark Martin, also manages Liontrust’s UK Mid Cap fund which features fourth place in the best onshore performing funds of the month.

Top 10 funds November 2019Return (%)
Liontrust UK Opportunities10.73
Axa Framlington Biotech10.32
Baillie Gifford Global Discovery10.21
Liontrust UK Mid Cap9.84
JPM US Small Cap Growth9.28
Baillie Gifford American9.02
Miton US Smaller Companies8.79
Aberdeen Standard UK Smaller Companies8.04
Baillie Gifford UK Equities7.91
Gresham House UK Multi Cap Income7.76

Elsewhere giant fund house Baillie Gifford performed well, accounting for three of the top 10 fund spots.

According to Ben Yearsley, founder and investment consultant at Fairview Investing, Baillie Gifford funds tended to perform well during “risk on” months — when investors are happier to take more risk — as the fund house is known for generally investing in higher risk stocks.

Gold and precious metal funds flopped in November following the slip in the price of gold in October and therefore accounted for more than half of the top 10 worst performing onshore funds.

Bottom 10 funds November 2019Return (%)
MFM Junior Gold-11.07
Ruffer Gold-6.53
Threadneedle Property-6.35
BMO Global Equity Market Neutral-5.28
Smith & Williamson Global Gold & Resources-5.01
Blackrock Gold & General-4.56
Quilter Precious Metals-4.45
Church House Deep Value Investments-3.94
TC South River Gold & Precious Metals-3.85
Clear Peak Capital UK Long/Short Equity-3.75

In terms of sectors the US and technology performed best while the UK All Companies also featured in the top five.

Top 5 Sectors November 2019Return (%)
North American Smaller Companies5.31
Tech & Telco5.22
UK Smaller Companies4.59
North America4.46
UK All Companies3.32

Mr Yearsley said the UK’s bounce back was possibly down to the poll numbers suggesting a Conservative majority.

He said: “Political clarity has been lacking – Brexit and a hung parliament has led to paralysis and lack of investment. The resurgence of small and mid-cap companies in the UK is possibly a sign that confidence is returning.”

UK Index Linked Gilts was the worst performing sector in the month, losing 1.8 per cent, while UK Gilts, Global Emerging Market Bonds, Global Bonds and China/Greater China completed the bottom five.

Overall Adrian Lowcock, head of personal investing at Willis Owen, said: “The outlook for the UK changed notably, from an October of chaos and uncertainty, the announcement of a general election should have continued that uncertainty, but the polls throughout the month suggested that a clear Conservative majority was possible.

“This would remove the stalemate over Brexit and the inability for parliament to make any decisions. The UK market looks attractive based on an improved outlook.”

Mr Yearsley added: “There was much to digest last month, but it is encouraging to see UK equities finally start to deliver some decent performance. 

“The next two weeks will determine whether that rally will continue; if the election result is clear then December could well be another good month for UK shares.”

imogen.tew@ft.com

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