10 most-popular investment trusts – September 2019

by Tom Bailey from Money Observer |

Scottish Mortgage has once again topped the list of the most-bought investment trusts, but who's next?

Scottish Mortgage (LSE:SMT) has once again topped the list of the most bought investment trusts, according to the latest data from interactive investor (Money Observer's parent company).

The global, technology-focused investment trust has seen a significant slip in performance lately, with the share price down 11% since the start of August.

That, however, does not seen to have deterred investors, perhaps because manager James Anderson makes no secret of his long-term perspective. The trust's three-year share price total returns still stand at above 60%, one of the highest on the most popular list. Its three- and five-year performance figures also stand above the AIC's global sector average.

Coming in at second place is Nick Train's Finsbury Growth & Income (LSE:FGT), moving up two places from the month prior. Of all the trusts on the list, Finsbury Growth & Income has seen the best one-year performance in share price terms, returning 17.4% over the year to 1 October. The trust has produced a five-year return roughly triple that of the UK equity income sector average.

City of London (LSE:CTY), meanwhile, falls one place from the previous month, coming in at number three. Run by Job Curtis, the trust is seen as relatively defensive, with a portfolio that can hold up in rockier market conditions.

Terry Smith's Smithson saw a slight move up the rankings to fifth place. The trust, which launched in October last year, holds the title for the largest UK-domiciled IPO for an investment trust, raising over £800 million at launch.  

Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon (LSE:BGS) has managed to regain its place in the top 10. Previously a favourite among investors, Shin Nippon started to fall out of favour over the past year due to sagging performance. Over one year its share price has fallen by around 11%. However, on a longer-term basis the numbers look better, with three-year performance coming in at 57.6%.

Renewables Infrastructure Group (LSE:TRIG) also regained its place in the rankings. The trust was added to Money Observer's Rated Fund list for the first time in 2019, replacing Bluefield Solar Income.

Leaving the rankings was Woodford Patient Capital Trust (LSE:WPCT), which had previously come in at number six. The beleaguered trust has seen the value of several of its unlisted holdings written down, and has also suffered continuing negative press following the suspension of its open-ended sister fund, Woodford Equity Income.

It is interesting to see the highly defensive Capital Gearing (LSE:CGT) make a new appearance in the table at number 10. Its focus is on capital preservation and absolute returns through a multi-asset portfolio; although it has complete freedom in its asset allocation, it currently holds only 19% in equities.

Rank Investment trust AIC sector Rank change from August 1-year return (as at 1 October) 3-year return
1 Scottish Mortgage (LSE:SMT) Global no change -0.60% 63.30%
2 Finsbury Growth & Income (LSE:FGT) UK equity income 2 17.40% 51.90%
3 City of London (LSE:CTY) UK equity income -1 3.80% 17.70%
4 Smithson Investment Trust (LSE:SSON) Global smaller companies 1    
5 Polar Capital Technology (LSE:PCT) Technology & Media 5 9.40% 82.60%
6 Renewables Infrastructure (LSE:TRIG) Infrastructure new entry 13.30% 43.10%
7 Monks (LSE:MNKS) Global 1 7.80% 74.20%
8 Henderson Far East Income (LSE:HFEL) Asia Pacific Income new entry 7.20% 28.50%
9 Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon (LSE:BGS) Japanese Smaller Companies new entry -11.40% 57.60%
10 Capital Gearing (LSE:CGT) Flexible Investment new entry 5.80% 21.30%

This article was originally published in our sister magazine Money Observer. Click here to subscribe.

These articles are provided for information purposes only. Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided by third parties. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

Full performance can be found on the company or index summary page on the interactive investor website. Simply click on the company's or index name highlighted in the article. 

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