Investments  

Best performing trusts of 2019 named

Best performing trusts of 2019 named

An £18m minnow trust and a £294m trust from JP Morgan have topped the performance charts for investment trusts in the 2019 calendar year.

In share price terms, according to data from FE Trustnet, the £18.25m Golden Prospect Precious Metals investment trust was the best performer of 2019, returning 77.5 per cent. It is a Guernsey-listed trust but the shares are also traded on the London Stock Exchange. 

The next best performer was the £294m JP Morgan Smaller Companies trust, which returned 67.5 per cent during the year.

This trust has returned 93 per cent over the past three years, compared with 28 per cent for the average trust in the AIC UK Smaller Companies sector in the same time period. The trust was the best performer in its sector in 2019. 

It trades at a discount to net asset value of 6.5 per cent today, after at the end of 2019 the discount was 6.8 per cent.

The Golden Prospects Precious Metals trust traded at a discount to net assets of 25.5 per cent at the end of 2019. This means that even with the share price gains it made the trust’s market cap was still lower than the value of the assets in its accounts. 

Another UK equity investment trust with a focus on smaller companies was the third best performer in share price terms.

The £673m BlackRock Throgmorton investment trust can go both long, that is, invest in shares in the belief they will rise in value and generate a profit, or short, that is, invest in such a way as to profit from the fall in the share price of a company. 

One of its successful short positions in 2019 was the former Woodford Patient Capital trust, which had suffered a period of chronic underperformance under the management of Neil Woodford, prior to his resignation as manager and the appointment of Schroders as fund manager in December. 

The Throgmorton Investment Trust returned 60 per cent in share price terms in 2019, and traded at a premium to its net assets of 3.7 per cent at the end of the year. 

david.thorpe@ft.com

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