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Investors warned to steer clear of UK trackers after easy money made from Brexit

Written by: Adam Lewis
Some three months after Brexit, investors are warned that the “easy money has been made” so now is not the right time to buy an index tracking fund.
Investors warned to steer clear of UK trackers after easy money made from Brexit

After falling some 5.62% in the opening two days after the UK’s shock decision to leave the European Union, the FTSE 100 – the index of the UK’s largest companies – was back into positive territory in under a week.

It was a tougher road to recovery for the nation’s smaller companies, which in the immediate aftermath of the vote were down 10.3%. While it took these companies just over a month to recover their losses, FundCalibre’s managing director, Darius McDermott, says they still surprised many with their resilience.

He says: “Many of the fund managers I speak to are starting to suggest the ‘easy money has been made’ out of Brexit and there is caution as the downside risks are yet to come through when we actually start the process of exiting the EU.”

For this reason McDermott, also the managing director of Chelsea Financial Services, suggests now is not the time to buy a market tracker.

“The recent surge is making the indices look expensive and you risk buying right as we are on the cusp of renewed volatility,” he says.

“Instead, I would recommend a few carefully chosen active funds, whose managers will be looking to exploit this volatility, rather than simply being taken for the ride.”

The best performing UK funds post-Brexit

Of the 37 (out of a possible 290) UK-invested funds which carry a FundCalibre Elite rating, the top performing in the time since Brexit (as measured from 23 June to 21 September) was Neil Woodford’s Woodford Equity Income. Versus returns of 8.86% and 8.06% from the FTSE 100 and FTSE All-Share respectively, Woodford’s fund posted a gain of 12.08%, just ahead of Evenlode Income (11.86%) and R&M UK Equity Long Term Recovery (11.12%).

Funds which are given an Elite Rating by FundCalibre have to pass several quality screens. The research process begins with a proprietary research tool, AlphaQuest, which strips away the impact of market movements and quantifies how much value a fund manager has added.

Only managers that display skill consistently over a minimum of three years and show more than 60% probability of demonstrating this skill over the next 12 months make it to the next stage: a face-to-face meeting. Finally its analysis is subjected to peer group review across the research team before deciding whether it is to be awarded an Elite Fund Rating.

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