InvestmentsDec 10 2019

Best performing investment trusts named

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Best performing investment trusts named

BlackRock’s £475m Throgmorton Trust has been named the top performing investment trust of the year to date.

Latest figures from the Association of Investment Companies showed the trust returned 49.3 per cent in share price terms from January 1 to November 30 this year, bagging the top spot in the AIC universe.

It was closely followed by Ingot Capital Management's £405m UIL, returning 48.4 per cent, and the £316m JP Morgan Russian Securities, which returned 47.4 per cent over the same time period.

Although the top 10 performers came from a variety of sectors, the UK Smaller Companies featured most prominently with four appearances among the top 10.

Top 10 trusts:

TrustReturn YTD (%)AIC Sector
BlackRock Throgmorton Trust49.3UK Smaller Companies
UIL48.4Flexible Investment
JPMorgan Russian Securities47.4Country Specialist: Europe ex UK
Aberdeen Smaller Companies45.5UK Smaller Companies
HgCapital Trust45.2Private Equity
Gresham House Strategic45UK Smaller Companies
Pershing Square Holdings44.8Hedge Funds
Mercantile40.6UK All Companies
Standard Life UK Smaller Companies40.5UK Smaller Companies
JPMorgan Chinese40.3Country Specialist: Asia Pac ex Japan

Dan Whitestone, manager of BlackRock Throgmorton Trust, said: “As we have long argued, stock and industry specific outcomes can triumph over the volatility created by macro, political and economic events. 

“This certainly held true in 2019, which has been a strong year for the trust in absolute and relative terms, aided by positive contributions from both long and short positions.”

Mr Whitestone said the trust aimed to identify and own exciting and fast-growing companies “for the long term” and focused on firms it believed were “truly differentiated and disruptive”.

He added: “Our belief is that the stock market persistently undervalues these companies, which have strong balance sheets, and have been able to heavily invest ahead of their peers.”

The trust’s top holding is 4Imprint Group, a London-based direct marketer of promotional merchandise, accounting for 3.4 per cent of the portfolio, while polling site YouGov and financial services platform Integrafin are the next largest holdings.

The IT Technology and Media Sector was the top-performing investment company sector over the year to November 30, returning 34 per cent compared with the average investment trust return of 14 per cent over the same period.

As interest in sustainable investing continued to grow, the Environmental Sector delivered the second highest return of 30 per cent while the UK All Companies and UK Smaller Companies came in third and fourth, returning 27 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.

Top 10 sectors:

SectorReturn YTD (%)
Technology & Media34
UK All Companies27
UK Smaller Companies26
Hedge Funds25.6
Global Smaller Companies25.4
North America23.2
Private Equity22.6

Annabel Brodie-Smith, communications director of the AIC, said: “Political uncertainty, trade wars and worries about an economic slowdown have been on investors’ minds all year. So it’s good to see the average investment company delivering a healthy 14 per cent return.

 “Despite the lack of clarity surrounding Brexit, the UK sectors have delivered strong returns and as more investors have become interested in ESG investing, it’s encouraging the Environmental sector has performed well.”

Ms Brodie-Smith said it was important investing should be for the “long term” and urged investors to have a balanced portfolio.