The best and worst performing funds of 2020

When it came to funds, those exposed to the oil market — such as energy portfolios or Latin American funds — fared worst. 

The price of oil tanked at various points in 2020 as global demand dwindled amid the crisis.

Brent Crude Oil, the industry standard, averaged $43 a barrel in 2020 — down a third from the $64 a barrel in 2019. At one point, prices turned negative as demand fell flat and oil storage facilities were full.

Guinness Asset Management’s global energy funds, a pair of long-only energy funds offering direct exposure to the conventional energy sector, were the worst performers, both losing 36 per cent.

Schroders and BlackRock’s equivalent funds also feature among the worst performers, while Brown Advisory’s Latin America fund completed the bottom five.

Bottom 5 funds of 2020Return (%)
Guinness Global Energy-35.95
TB Guinness Global Energy-35.68
Schroder ISF Global Energy-33.62
Blackrock GF World Energy-30.19
Brown Advisory Latin America-28.95

A spokesperson from Guinness Asset Management said: “Covid represented the largest external shock to world oil demand that we have seen in many, many years and despite significant efforts from Opec the impact was significantly negative on the sector. 

“No conventional energy companies were immune. 2020 was a particularly negative year for energy company share prices and the funds performed broadly in line with their long run historical relationship to the index.

"We continue to run the fund in the same manner, positioning it to benefit from an improving conventional energy macro environment.”

Schroders, BlackRock and Brown Advisory were approached for comment.

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