The most popular investments of 2018
For both the Share Centre and Bestinvest, the top traded fund in 2018 was the Fundsmith Equity fund. Bestinvest said the fund’s ‘unfussy investment approach as ‘buy good companies. Don’t overpay. Do nothing’ has found resonance with investors. It said the fund has consistently been the most popular choice with Bestinvest clients for several years. The fund invests in a concentrated portfolio of 20-30, blue chip ‘quality’ companies from across the globe which includes the likes of PepsiCo, Microsoft, Paypal and Estee Lauder.
Lindsell Train Global Equity also made both lists. ,It was second for Bestinvest and fifth for the Share Centre. The fund takes a similar approach to FundSmith Equity, focusing on
cash-generative businesses across the globe, taking a long-term buy-and–hold approach. It is full of companies that own well-known consumer brands, including ice cream to soap owner Unilever, Guinness-owning drinks giant Diageo, Heineken, Walt Disney, Modelez (which owns Cadburys) and Japanese cosmetics group Shiseido.
These two funds were the only areas of commonality between the two lists. For the Share Centre, the LF Woodford Equity fund proved popular in spite of Neil Woodford’s recent well-publicised run of weak performance. Axa Framlington Global Technology also made the list, as investors looked for specialist technology exposure at a time when the sector led markets higher.
For Bestinvest, this was reflected in the strength of the HSBC American Index fund. Technology makes up by far the biggest weighting in the US market, so this index fund would have given investors a chunky exposure. The group points out that the US is the only major stock market that is still up for the year to date.
In spite of the rout in Chinese and other emerging market stocks, the top-performing Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders and Fidelity Emerging Markets funds also made the list. Investors may have been topping up in the hope of a rally in the new year.
Sheridan Admans, investment manager at the Share Centre, said: “In a year where volatility has picked up from historically low levels in 2017, established managers with broad appeal and proven track records seems to have stirred investor interest. Despite many in 2017 highlighting the heady valuations of technology companies, FAANGs in particular, they have still managed to capture the imagination of investors and today still remain one of the best performing sectors in 2018.”