The 10 most popular investment funds – April 2018

In April’s list of most-bought funds on Money Observer’s sister website Interactive Investor, Fundsmith Equity came first once again. The fund has over half of its assets in US equities such as Facebook, Microsoft and PayPal, and it is managed by the highly regarded Terry Smith.

Lindsell Train Global Equity went up by one slot to take second place on the list. Jointly managed by Michael Lindsell and Nick Train, the fund returned 6.4 per cent over six months and 20 per cent over one year.

It was followed by Legg Mason IF Japan Equity in third place. Managed by Tokyo-based Hideo Shiozumi, the fund has 28 per cent of its holdings in health care and 25 per cent in industrials. It tops the IA Japan sector over one year, returning 38 per cent; however, over the past month it has shed 4.2 per cent and is languishing at the bottom of the IA Japan sector.

More generally, while Japan has been an investor’s favourite over the last year, it has underperformed since the beginning of 2018

Passive tracker Vanguard LifeStrategy 80% Equity came fourth in the table. The tracker focuses on North American equities, UK equities and European ex UK equities as well as global bonds. 

Baillie Gifford Japanese Smaller Companies was fifth, while Marlborough UK Micro Cap Growth went up by ten places to come sixth on the list.

Smaller companies tend to have greater exposure to the domestic economy, which is why they are more vulnerable to a downturn than the more internationally facing stocks in the FTSE 100. UK smaller company funds, though, have recovered since their initial wobble after the 2016 referendum on membership of the EU, and it seems investors may finally be acknowledging their attractions.  

Vanguard LifeStrategy 60% Equity went up by four places to come seventh on the list. It was closely followed by Vanguard LifeStrategy 100% Equity which came eight. The global equity tracker returned 7.6 per cent over one year and 35.2 per cent over three years. 

Jupiter India went up six spots and came ninth. The fund gained 3.9 per cent over one month but has lost 10.8 per cent over the year to April.  

And finally, Baillie Gifford Greater China came tenth. After facing fears of a hard landing last year, the Chinese economy remained resilient. 

Henderson Global Technology dropped out of the top 10 list, as did Baillie Gifford American in the face of mutual threats and the risk of a trade war between the US and China

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