FTSE 100: 7682.27 ▲ 125.83 (1.67%)
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%.
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.
|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|
|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%|
|Best-selling funds in alphabetical order|
|FP Crux European Special Situations|
|HL Multi Manager Special Situations Trust|
|HL Select UK Income Shares|
|LF Lindsell Train UK Equity|
|LF Woodford Income Focus|
|Lindsell Train Global Equity|
|Marlborough UK Micro Cap Growth|
|Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders|
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.
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.
|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|
|10||Scottish Widows International Bond||£669m|