Interactive Investor

Fund winners and losers in November 2020

2nd December 2020 10:42

Hannah Smith from interactive investor

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Some written-off funds and sectors were the biggest winners.

Stock markets roared ahead in November in a dramatic turnaround from the previous month, as Covid-19 vaccine news lifted investor optimism and stock prices.

A strong 13% rise from the FTSE 100 index and a bounce for sterling over the month meant that beleaguered UK fund sectors suddenly returned to strength. The Investment Association’s (IA) UK Equity Income sector rose 16%, while IA UK All Companies posted a 14% increase.

Top five fund sectors in November 2020

Fund sector Return (%)
UK Equity Income 15.8
UK All Companies 14.2
Europe ex UK 14.1
European Smaller Companies 13.2
UK Smaller Companies 12.5

Source: FE Analytics. Table returns 31 October 2020 to 30 November 2020. Fund sectors exclude Money Market sectors.

Among investment trusts, there was a similar trend, with the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) UK Equity Income sector proving the best performer, up 20%, and the AIC UK All Companies and AIC UK Equity & Bond Income also in the top five.

Top five trust sectors in November 2020

Trust sector Return (%)
UK Equity Income 20.5
UK Equity & Bond Income 19.9
UK All Companies 19.8
European Emerging Markets 19.6
Latin America 18.8

Source: FE Analytics. Table returns 31 October 2020 to 30 November 2020. Trust sectors exclude Venture Capital Trusts.

Among the losers for the month were bond sectors, with a slight negative return from IA UK Gilts and IA UK Index Linked Gilts, while IA Global Bonds and IA Sterling Corporate Bond generated a slight positive return.

Bottom five fund sectors in November 2020

Fund sector Return (%)
UK Gilts -0.7
UK Index Linked Gilts -0.6
UK Direct Property 0
Global Bonds 0.5
Sterling Corporate Bond 1.8

Source: FE Analytics. Table returns 31 October 2020 to 30 November 2020. Fund sectors exclude Money Market sectors.

Fund winners and losers

At the individual fund level, energy funds were among the winners during November, with energy funds from Schroders and Guinness taking first and second place. Schroder ISF Global Energy boasted an impressive 43% return as the oil price saw a $10 bounce from below $40 per barrel to approaching $50 per barrel.

The rest of the list was a bit of a mixed bag, notes Ben Yearsley, director at Shore Financial Planning, who supplied the figures. “The top 10 was a smorgasbord, with equity income, Europe and special situations funds all in the list. The recently retired Alastair Mundy’s Ninety One Special Situations and Global Special Situations funds both made the top 10 – a sure sign value had a good month,” he says.

Top 10 funds in November 2020

Fund Return (%)
Schroder ISF Global Energy 42.9
Guinness Global Energy 34.7
BlackRock GF World Mining 33.1
Courtiers UK Equity Income 31.2
Aviva UK Listed Equity High Alpha 30.8
LF Odey Continental European 29.4
Ninety One UK Special Situations 29.3
VT Cape Wrath Focus 29
Ninety One Global Special Situations 28.3
Quilter Investors Global Unconstrained Equity 26.8

Source: FE Analytics. Table returns 31 October 2020 to 30 November 2020.

At the foot of the tables, seven of the 10 worst-performing funds were gold and precious metals. Yearsley points out: “Clearly those investors who bought in much earlier in the year are still sitting on nice gains. Ninety One Global Gold propped up the table, falling 11.1%. Argonaut’s Absolute Return fund was the second worst-performing fund, showing that shorting (seeking to profit from share price falls) is fraught with danger in volatile markets.”

Bottom 10 funds in November 2020

Fund Return (%)
Ninety One Global Gold -11.1
Argonaut Absolute Return -9.2
Smith & Williamson Global Gold & Resources -9.1
BlackRock Gold & General -8.7
Quilter Precious Metals Equity -8.6
Winton Diversified -6.6
ES Gold & Precious Metals -6.6
DMS Charteris Gold & Precious Metals -6
Oxeye Hedged Income -5.7
Ruffer Gold -5.7

Source: FE Analytics. Table returns 31 October 2020 to 30 November 2020.

Yearsley says November’s performance figures show the importance of having a balanced portfolio, as the rebound for value investing will have caught many investors by surprise.

“While in the long term, you need companies in your funds to grow, November does highlight the need for balance in your portfolio,” he argues. “Some of the written-off funds and sectors were the biggest winners. If a Brexit deal is imminently signed, you could see the UK being the market to follow in 2021 as, on many measures, it looks good value against global peers.”

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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