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Best-selling funds: Terry Smith takes the top spot

Best-selling funds: Terry Smith takes the top spot

by Michelle McGagh Feb 01, 2018 at 16:20


Citywire AAA-rated Terry Smith’s Fundsmith Equity fund has topped the league tables of best-selling funds as investors reaffirmed their faith in global equities last year.

Global synchronised growth encouraged investors with the major fund platforms to remain in the stock markets as they bypassed bond and property funds in favour of equities.

Fundsmith Equity was the best-selling fund on the Bestinvest and Fidelity platforms, and also featured in the top 10 for Hargreaves Lansdown, which did not disclose the rankings within the 10.

On the Bestinvest platform, Smith’s global equity fund was the top selling in every month across 2017, a position it has held for more than 20 months.

Jason Hollands, managing director of Bestinvest, said investors liked the ‘no nonsense buy-and-hold approach’ of Smith and the fact ‘that he doesn’t sit on the fence with his views’.

‘Earlier in 2017 some were calling time on the types of quality growth companies that Smith backs, instead anticipating a resurgence in the fortunes of value stocks and cyclical businesses on the back of the reflation of the global economy,’ he said.

‘But the year turned out to be another strong one for managers with this style bias.’

Over 2017, the £13.4 billion fund returned 22% against the MSCI World Index’s 11.8%.

Citywire AAA-rated Michael Lindsell and AA-rated Nick Train also had funds featured on all three bestseller lists.

Lindsell Train Global Equity made the top 10 on all the lists, and Hargreaves Lansdown also featured Lindsell Train UK Equity .

The £3.8 billion global fund delivered 28.2% in 2017 aganst the 14.3% average for funds in the Investment Association Global sector.

The UK equity fund, which sits at £4.8 billion, returned 19.4% last year against 13.2% for theUK All Companies sector.

Hargreaves Lansdown investment analyst Dominic Rowles said the managers were ‘among the most talented stock-pickers in their fields’.

‘They seek strong businesses that are able to stand the test of time and survive for decades, or even centuries,’ he said.

‘They are particularly fond of companies with a strong brand and barriers to entry from competition, such as Diageo (DGE) and Unilever (ULVR).’

Who made the bestseller lists?


Rank Fund
1 Fundsmith Equity
2 Rathbone Global Opportunities
3 Fidelity Multi Asset Income
4 Fidelity Global Dividen
5 Fidelity Index World
6 Lindsell Train Global Equity
7 Old Mutual North American Equity
8 Fidelity Global Special Situations
9 Fidelity Emerging Market
10 Baring German Growth Trust


Rank Fund
1 Fundsmith Equity
2 CF Woodford Equity Income
3 Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders
4 HSBC American Index
5 Liontrust Special Situations
6 Threadneedle European Select
7 Lindsell Train Global Equity
8 Threadneedle UK Equity Income
9 Vanguard Life Strategy 80%
10 Vanguard Life Strategy 100%

Hargreaves Lansdown

Best-selling funds in alphabetical order
FP Crux European Special Situations
Fundsmith Equity
HL Multi Manager Special Situations Trust
HL Select UK Income Shares
Jupiter India
LF Lindsell Train UK Equity
LF Woodford Income Focus
Lindsell Train Global Equity
Marlborough UK Micro Cap Growth
Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders

Who fell out of favour?

While sales data from the online platforms gives a good picture of private investor behaviour, analysis of fund flow data from Lipper shines a light on buying and selling from the wider investment community, of both private and institutional investors.

Last year saw the giant Standard Life Global Absolute Return Stratgies fund toppled from its position as the UK's largest fund, with Lipper data showing the fund also suffered the heaviest outflows last year, of £5.5 billion, falling to £21.2 billion.

The fund which overtook it as the UK's largest, the £22.5 billion M&G Optimal Income fund, was the second-best selling of the year, attracting £6.2 billion of inflows.

It was a tracker fund that took spot, with the BlackRock ACS 50:50 Global Equity Tracker fund attracting £8.4 billion of assets, one of a number of 'authorised contractual scheme' funds to make the top 10, thanks to pension fund inflows largely down to tax reasons.

A number of Baillie Gifford funds also made the top 10 list, largely due to technical reasons, as the Edinburgh fund group launched new funds to cater for pension investors in the life funds it was closing.

The list of the 10 funds with the heaviest outflows makes for more interesting reading. It features two entries for Mark Barnett's whose Invesco Perpetual Income and High Income funds continued to suffer outflows in a year of poor performance.  

Top 10 fund outflows in 2017

Rank Fund Outflow
1 Standard Life GARS £5.4bn
2 Scottish Widows International Equity Tracker £1.3bn
3 Invesco Perpetual High Income £1.1bn
4 JOHCM UK Opportunities £960m
5 Scottish Widows UK All Share Tracker £946m
6 AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities £878m
7 Invesco Perpetual Income £779m
8 Scottish Widows UK Index Linked Tracker £771m
9 M&G Recovery £740m
10 Scottish Widows International Bond £669m
Add a comment

Comments  (3)

  • Law Man: 

    Belatedly, investors may be cottoning on: buy high quality funds and cheap index trackers, and sell over charging Absolute Return and index trackers.

    18:26 on 01 February 2018

  • Dennis .: 

    And also ignore the HL150 list?

    09:23 on 02 February 2018

  • Stephen B.: 

    Baring German Growth???

    11:49 on 03 February 2018

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