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ISA 2012: a guide to the Citywire Selection of best funds

by Gavin Lumsden, Caelainn Barr Mar 29, 2012 at 00:01

What is an ISA?

Watch Victoria Bischoff's introductory video to find out what an individual savings account (ISA) is and how it works.

In the 2011-12 tax year you can invest up to £10,680 in a stocks and shares ISA. This rises to £11,280 in 2012-13.

Below we detail the top fund recommendations from Citywire Selection, our independently researched list of the best investment ideas for private investors. We start with five ISA ideas for novice investors before moving on to more specialist suggestions for investors requiring income or wishing to invest in different parts of the world.

If you are unsure what a fund is read The Lolly guide to'What are investment funds and how do I buy them?'

To learn more about the investment ideas, just click on the links to view our factsheets, which feature up-to-date charts showing the performance figures.

Our picks

5 ISAs for novice investors

child on bike

There are thousands of different accounts and investment funds that can be bought through an ISA. To make things easier we have picked five we think are particularly good for new savers and investors. We start with two c ash ISAs: one instant access account that allows you to withdraw your money at any time; and a fixed interest account that offers a higher rate of interest in return for locking your money away for a few years. We've also picked three ISA funds from our Citywire Selection list that have a great track record in preserving their investors’ money.

See main article for full details

Virgin Money Easy Access Account

What Citywire's analysts say: For savers who want to be able to get their hands on their cash instantly, our favourite cash ISA right now is the online Virgin Money Easy Access Account. Provided by Northern Rock – which is now owned by Richard Branson’s Virgin Money – it pays a yearly interest rate of 2.85%. This is not the best rate you can get but it is competitive and, equally important, it is straightforward.

Halifax ISA Saver Fixed

What Citywire's analysts say: For savers happy to leave their money alone for a few years, we like Halifax’s ISA Saver Fixed account. Your interest rate will depend on how long you’re willing to lock your money away for – 2.25% for one year, 3.50 % for two years, 3.55% for three years, 4.10% for four years or 4.20% for five years.

Trojan

What Citywire's analysts say: Our first stocks and shares ISA recommendation is the Trojan fund run by Sebastian Lyon of Troy Asset Management. The fund succeeded in growing investors’ money in each of the past five years. This is an impressive achievement. While there are funds that have beaten Trojan’s 51.5% five-year return, few will have avoided making losses during the 2007-08 financial crisis.

CF Ruffer Total Return

What Citywire's analysts say: If you thought Trojan was good, the Ruffer Total Return fund is arguably even better. Fund managers Steve Russell and David Balance use a similar ‘multi-asset’ approach to Sebastian Lyon at Trojan, holding a mix of shares, gold and index-linked government bonds (these offer protection against inflation). The main difference is a bigger bet (17% of the fund) on Japan.

CF Miton Special Situations Portfolio

What Citywire's analysts say: Our last ISA recommendation is another multi-asset fund, this time from MAM Funds in Reading, Berkshire. Managers Martin Gray and James Sullivan are very defensive and invest two-thirds of the Miton Special Situations Portfolio fund in a broad range shares, bonds and property, in the UK and around the world.

5 income fund tips

balloon

With interest rates set to stay at their historic low of 0.5% for some time to come, locating a cash savings account that will beat inflation is like looking for a needle in a haystack. The alternative is to put your money in a fund that will invest in shares or bonds paying good dividends and levels of interest.

It is a long-standing tenet of investment that the best way to grow your money is to re-invest the income you receive from investments. Income investing is no cure all, however. Many income funds were badly damaged by the 2008 financial crisis which saw banking shares, which until then had paid big dividends, slump in value. Indeed one of the big debates among equity income fund managers is whether UK banks are recovering and worth buying again.

See main article for full details.

Trojan Income

What Citywire's analysts say: We have long admired the investment skills of Francis Brooke at Troy Asset Management. Brooks is one of the few fund managers who appears to take capital preservation seriously, and one who can do something about it. Brooke's Trojan fund has been a star pick of Citywire Selection for some time.

Fidelity Moneybuilder Income

What Citywire's analysts say: Our second fund invests in bonds, not shares. Historically, bonds have been viewed as safer and less volatile than shares because they pay a fixed level of interest. However, the banking crisis which led to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe put paid to that notion.

Threadneedle UK Equity Income

What Citywire's analysts say: Our remaining income fund picks focus entirely on equties, or shares. Although this gives them the prospect of generating an income that will rise in time, it does make them higher risk. The Threadneedle UK Equity Income fund is one of our tips from last year and, as its name suggests, it specialises in the UK stockmarket. The fund has been run by manager Leigh Harrison since 2006 with the help of Citywire A-rated Richard Colwell since 2010.

JOHCM UK Equity Income

What Citywire's analysts say: By contrast the JOHCM UK Equity Income fund offers investors a different approach to the Threadneedle fund we just looked at. Fund managers Clive Beagles and James Lowen, both Citywire AAA rated for their three-year performance, believe many defensive stocks have become 'monstrously overvalued' and steer clear of the pharmaceutical and tobacco stocks favoured by other income fund managers.

Newt on Global Higher Income

What Citywire's analysts say: The benefit of income investing applies to most stock markets outside the UK. The Newton Global Higher Income fund, from BNY Mellon, which we also tipped last year, has proved the validity of a global approach to buying income shares with an income yield of 4.8%. Under manager James Harries the fund has produced a total return of nearly 41% in the past five years.

6 UK fund tips

big ben

The UK stock market is the natural place to start when thinking about where to invest money into an ISA (tax-free individual savings account). Despite the economic uncertainty many companies in the UK doing well. Also, many of the big companies in the FTSE 100 have operations around the world so that by investing in them you are tapping into the global economy.

See main article for full details

AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities

What Citywire's analysts say: The veteran manager of this £2.6 billion fund, Nigel Thomas, has a top AAA rating from Citywire. Although AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities fell heavily with the FTSE All Share in the 2007 financial crisis, it quickly pulled away in subsequent years as his superior stock picking left both the index and rival managers for dust.

JOHCM UK Opportunities

What Citywire's analysts say: JO Hambro Capital Management's John Wood is one of a rare breed of fund managers who can protect investors from some of the losses when stock markets crash. His £850 million JOHCM UK Opportunities fund fell less than the FTSE All Share during the credit crunch and matched the market’s subsequent recovery. In the last 12 months, when many funds were loss making, he produced a 5.5% return to place his fund near the top of its sector.

Jupiter Growth & Income

What Citywire's analysts say: Philip Matthews took over the £220 million Jupiter Growth & Income fund in 2006, a year before all hell broke loose in the banking crisis. However, he has handled the fund well and earned a Citywire A-rating for his performance. Over five years the fund has grown a creditable 22%, putting it in the very top tier of funds in its sector.

Cazenove UK Smaller Companies

What Citywire's analysts say: Citywire Selection added this fund to its recommended list at its last review in October. Fund manager Paul Marriage has run the £90 million Cazenove UK Smaller Companies fund since 2006. In the past five years it has established a good track record, with total returns of 30.75%, way ahead of both the FTSE Small Cap and Hoare Govett Small cap Extended indices.

Marlborough UK Micro Cap Growth

What Citywire's analysts say: Giles Hargreave is one the best known smaller company fund managers in the UK and currently has a Citywire A-rating for his performance. He established his name with the Marlborough Special Situations fund but we like the £75 million Marlborough UK Micro Cap Growth fund he launched eight years ago.

Artemis Alpha Trust

What Citywire's analysts say:The Artemis Alpha Trust is a ‘best ideas’ fund from a group with a long track record in smaller companies investing. Co-fund managers John Dodd and Adrian Paterson successfully ran the Artemis UK Smaller Companies and UK Growth funds for many years, although they have both stepped back from those funds.

6 funds for global, gold and commodities investing

big ben

Here we pick out three global funds from our Citywire Selection list that invest across the world, mainly in shares but also including other asset classes such as bonds and gold. Taking a global approach has two advantages. It gives fund managers the maximum amount of flexibility in choosing the best companies and areas in which to invest. In a world that is increasingly inter-connected it also makes sense to think globally.

See main article for full details

Jupiter Merlin Growth Portfolio

What Citywire's analysts say: This fund is a bit unusual in that it does not invest in stocks and shares but in other funds. Jonathan Miller, head of research at Citywire, says: ‘Astute macroeconomic calls have added value over the long term and the management team are balancing the portfolio with defensive picks and exposure to growth areas such as Asia.’

Murray International

What Citywire's analysts say: Murray International is easily the best performing global investment trust. Over 10 years the share price has generated a 259% total return, miles better than the 57% return from the FTSE World ex UK index, a commonly used global benchmark. There is a similar picture over five years.

M&G Global Basics

What Citywire's analysts say: The £5.9 billion M&G Global Basics fund was a pioneer in investing in companies linked to the growth of the emerging market consumer, the big investment theme of the past decade. It is managed by Graham French, who has a Citywire A rating for his performance. Over five years the fund has turned £1,000 into £1,415, a 41% return that beats the MSCI World index’s gain of 22.5%.

BlackRock Gold & General

What Citywire's analysts say: The £3.3 billion BlackRock Gold & General fund invests in gold and in the shares of gold miners. It is managed by Evy Hambro, who has a Citywire A-rating for his performance. Over five years the fund has more than doubled investors’ money with a return of 112%. Although returns are volatile, in the 12 months to the end of February the fund lost just 1%, which in the circumstances of 2011 was good.

First State Global Resources

What Citywire's analysts say: This £825 million First State Global Resources fund invests in a wide range of mining companies. Managed by Joanne Warner, it has grown investors’ money by 76% over five years, putting it first in its sector, although it nearly halved during the crash in 2008/09.

Inve stec Enhanced Natural Resources

What Citywire's analysts say: This fund was launched in 2008 to try and alleviate the inherent turbulence of investing in commodities and natural resources. Over three years the fund, which is betting on rising prices in oil, copper and potash (the essential ingredient of fertiliser) has grown by 52%.

5 best bond funds

big ben

Bonds are a form of IOU issued by companies and governments when they borrow money from investors. Bonds are attractive because they pay a fixed level of interest (or coupon) with the prospect of your money back when they mature. By contrast, the income (or dividends) from shares is unpredictable, and although it can grow, it can also fall. It is this predictability that has given bonds a reputation for being a ‘safe’ asset class compared to shares. However, this is a dangerous generalisation for it is quite possible to lost as much money on bonds as it is on shares.

See main article for full details

iShares BC Global Inflation-Linked Bonds

What Citywire's analysts say: This iShares BC Global Inflation-Linked Bonds exchange traded fund (ETF) is a good way of capturing the movements in index-linked bonds, although it is denominated in dollars so does introduce some currency risk. Jonathan Miller, head of research at Citywire, said: ‘Inflation linked bonds were one of the best performing areas in 2011 and this pick tracks the global index.'

Fidelity Moneybuilder Income

What Citywire's analysts say: This fund, jointly managed by Paul Causer and Paul Read, has had one negative 12-month period in the last five, and that was in the 2008/09 crisis when it lost 8%, much less than typical UK funds investing in shares. Jonathan Miller of Citywire says: ‘Paul Read and Paul Causer’s long-term track record makes them stand out from their peers, even though a large position in bank bonds weighed on performance during the second half of 2011.'

Invesco Perpetual Corporate bond

What Citywire's analysts say: The £5.9 billion M&G Global Basics fund was a pioneer in investing in companies linked to the growth of the emerging market consumer, the big investment theme of the past decade. It is managed by Graham French, who has a Citywire A rating for his performance. Over five years the fund has turned £1,000 into £1,415, a 41% return that beats the MSCI World index’s gain of 22.5%.

M&G Optimal Income

What Citywire's analysts say: The £6.3 billion M&G Optimal Income fund has grown large on the back of consistently good performance in recent years. Citywire’s Jonathan Miller says: ‘High yield bonds make up nearly half the portfolio and Woolnough has a strong track record of successfully rotating the fund, which offers flexibility in different market conditions.’

Kames High Yield Bond

What Citywire's analysts say: The Kames High Yield Bond fund focuses entirely on high yield bonds and as a result is at the high risk end of the bonds market. High yield bonds are closer to shares rather than bonds in terms of the risk – and potential reward – they offer. You can see this in the chart by the fact the fund lost 21% in the financial crisis but soared 56% in the following year.

The best funds for the Far East and ‘emerging markets’

emerging markets

Over the past 10 years the average return from global emerging markets funds investing in countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China has been over 230%. By comparison, investing in UK funds would have delivered an average gain of 66%. However, emerging markets are notoriously high risk, prone to huge fluctuations as hot money flows in and out. Last year they plunged as investors fled to safe havens over fears of a sharp slowdown in China and the knock-on effects of the eurozone debt crisis. With this in mind Citywire Selection has chosen good funds that spread their bets as far as they can.

See main article for full details

First State Asia Pacific Leaders

What Citywire's analysts say: The £5.3 billion First State Asia Pacific Leaders fund is run by Angus Tulloch, a highly experienced investor in the region. Tulloch’s cautious approach has enabled the fund to avoid the worst losses when Asian markets fall and to capture most of the upside when they recover. In the past 12 months as other funds in the sector have lost an average 7%, Tulloch’s fund has been basically flat. Over five years, however, it is one of the sector’s top funds with an impressive total return of 91.3%.

Fidelity South East Asia

What Citywire's analysts say: Allan Liu, manager of the £2.2 billion Fidelity South East Asia fund, takes a higher risk approach. Although like Tulloch, China, Hong Kong and South Korea, are his main country weightings, he eschews Tulloch’s stake in Australasia, preferring a pure play approach to the region. The fund has lost nearly 11% in the past year, putting it towards the bottom of its sector. However, it is likely to do well if markets make a sustained recovery. Over five years the fund has grown by 83%.

Polar Capital Japan

What Citywire's analysts say: It is fair to say Japan has been a perennial disappointment to many UK investors. If you are going to venture into Japan, it might be a good idea to take a different approach. Under manager James Salter the Polar Capital Japan fund focuses on smaller companies more than the big multi-nationals. Its five-year return of 23% looks modest compared to the other two funds but in the context of Japan, is actually second in its sector.

First State Global Emerging Market Leaders

What Citywire's analysts say: This £2.2 billion First State Global Emerging Market Leaders fund is a generalist in emerging markets, investing primarily in Asia, but also in the Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. In the past five years the fund delivered a total return of 92%.

BlackRock Latin American Investment Trust

What Citywire's analysts say: This is a higher risk fund for someone looking for specific exposure to Latin America. Its share price has given investors a roller-coaster ride in recent years but as it currently trades below the value of its investments, there is an opportunity for a long-term investor.

JPM New Europe

What Citywire's analysts say: The JPM New Europe fund takes a similar approach to emerging Europe. Fund managers Oleg Biryulyov and Sonal Pandit have two thirds of the fund invested in Russia, the regional power, but also invest in Turkey, Poland, Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic. Consumer stocks are also favoured.

The best funds for the US and Europe

US
flag

The S&P 500, the main index used to measure the US stock market, has startled everybody with a 12% gain since January. This is double the rally in the UK’s FTSE All Share index, which has mounted a similar recovery from a dismal second half last year. There is clearly a case for having a US fund as part of a balanced portfolio. In the following pages we've picked out three funds from Citywire Selection, before looking at Europe.

See main article for full details

iShares S&P 500 exchange traded fund

What Citywire's analysts say: The $10 billion iShares S&P 500 exchange traded fund (ETF) is one of the biggest and oldest of the US trackers. It has grown investors’ money by 39.5% since its launch 10 years ago. Frank Talbot, senior researcher at Citywire, said: 'Picking a fund to consistently outperform the S&P 500 is extremely challenging. We see the iShares S&P 500 as an efficient and cost-effective way to share in the spoils of the world’s largest economy.'

Smith & Williamson North American Trust

What Citywire's analysts say: Over five years this fund has achieved a 27% return, shielding investors from the worst losses in 2008/09 but lagging the index’s return in more recent years. Frank Talbot of Citywire said: 'Lady Tana Focke and co-manager Robert Royle are bracing themselves for a period of structurally higher unemployment in the US and 2% annual growth rates over the next few years. This is leading them to favour companies with an attractive dividend that aren’t as dependent on economic growth.'

AXA Framlington American Growth

What Citywire's analysts say: In the past five years this fund has generated a 51.8% return, by avoiding a huge fall in the crash and beating the S&P 500 in the past two years. Citywire’s Frank Talbot said: 'Stephen Kelly is one to go for if you think America can continue its recent strong run. Like many of his peers he is heavily into technology, with Apple the top holding.'

Neptune European Opportunities

What Citywire's analysts say: The Neptune European Opportunities fund takes a more defensive position than some rivals. Manager Rob Burnett remains cautious about the European banking sector, believing the ECB’s Mr Draghi could disappoint markets about the size of future loan facilities. Consequently Burnett does not think Europe will start an economic recovery at this point. The fund has grown by 26% in the past three.

BlackRock European Dynamic

What Citywire's analysts say: This is a higher-risk fund. Alister Hibbert, the BlackRock European Dynamic fund’s manager, has earned a top AAA Citywire rating for his ability to fall with the markets but to race ahead when they recover. His fund has captured the recent rally and has returned over 70% growth in the past three years, although, like most funds, its five-year return is lower at 38%.

Montanaro European Smaller Companies

What Citywire's analysts say: Our highest-risk choice is the Montanaro European Smaller Companies investment trust focusing on the shares of smaller European companies. Its share price has soared 82% in the past three years, although over five years the shareholder return has been just 3%. Fund manager Charles Montanaro thinks markets will pause for breath but remains optimistic for the year ahead.

The best ethical and green funds

trees

Here we have picked eight of the best-performing ethical and green funds. Some are drawn from Citywire Selection, our independently researched recommendations, while some have been highlighted by advisers specialising in this area. Not all of these funds have beaten the benchmarks used to measure funds in their areas, but they have given investors good returns in recent years.

See main article for full details

Pictet Clean Energy

What Citywire's analysts say: The Pictet Clean Energy fund is managed by Citywire AAA-rated manager Luciano Diana, with investments in businesses that aim to develop clean alternatives in the energy sector. The fund has returned 21.9% over the past three years compared with the benchmark S&P Global Clean Energy total return, which made a loss of 41.63%.

Jupiter Ecology

What Citywire's analysts say: The Jupiter Ecology fund is run by veteran ethical fund manager Charlie Thomas and is on our Citywire Selection hot list. The fund has returned 46.3% over the past three years compared with the benchmark LCI UK & World Eequity (50:50) total return of 66.3%.

Ecclesiastical Amity International

What Citywire's analysts say: Ecclesiastical’s funds rule out investing in companies that derive over 10% of their pre-tax profits from tobacco, alcohol, pornography, arms and a number of other contentious areas. The Amity International fund is managed by Robin Hepworth, and is a Citywire Selection star pick. Over the past three years it has given returns of 64%, compared with the benchmark MSCI World index's return of 67.4%.

Sarasin Sustainable Water

What Citywire's analysts say: The Sarasin Sustainable Water fund aims to invest in companies that will contribute to sustainable water use and is managed by Matthias Priebs. The fund is based in Luxembourg and has generated returns of 74.8% over the past three years compared to the 78.2% total return from the MSCI World index.

CF Canlife General

What Citywire's analysts say: The CF Canlife General fund invests in UK companies that pass through its five ethical screens against alcohol, armaments, tobacco, pornography and nuclear energy. The fund has returned 54.8% over the past three years compared with the benchmark FTSE 100's total return of 70.8%.

Allianz RCM Global Agriculture Trends

What Citywire's analysts say: The Allianz RCM Global Agriculture Trends fund is managed by Bryan Agbabian and invests in companies working in agriculture and the food industry that aim to provide find solutions for the world’s growing population and food needs. The Luxembourg-based fund has grown investors' money by 84.2% over the past three years, slightly more than its benchmark, the DAXglobal Agribusiness index.

First State Asia Pacific Sustainability

What Citywire's analysts say: The First State Asia Pacific Sustainability fund is run by David Gait, who is part of the same team. Its ethical and environmental approach to shares in the region has seen it grow investors' money by 96.2% over the past three years, although this is below its benchmark, the FTSE World Asia Pacific ex-Japan index.

Sta ndard Life Ethical Corporate Bond

What Citywire's analysts say: The Standard Life Ethical Corporate Bond fund invests in the corporate bonds of companies. As with shares, this fund excludes companies that fail to meet its ethical criteria and invests in those deemed to have made a postitive contribution to society. The fund has returned 30.4% over the past three years compared with the benchmark Bank of America Merrill Lynch Sterling Corporate Bond index total reurns index's return of 47.1%.

The best investment trusts

sweet shop

Investment trusts are the oldest form of investment scheme in the UK. They are companies in their own right and invest in the stocks and shares of other companies. Owning shares in an investment trust can be a cost-efficient way of investing in a wide range of companies and markets. However, many of these trusts are quite high risk, and are only suitable for the long-term saver.

See main article for full details

Artemis Alpha Trust

What Citywire's analysts say: The Artemis Alpha Trust is regarded as a bit of a ‘best ideas’ fund run by experienced Artemis managers John Dodd and Adrian Paterson. The portfolio is quite high risk and is concentrated in UK and some international shares. Its shares have generated a total return of 31.54% over the past five years to the end of February, compared withthe benchmark Hoare Govett Small Cap total return of 16.81%.

BlueCrest AllBlue

What Citywire's analysts say: BlueCrest AllBlue is a fund of AllBlue hedge funds managed by Michael Platt. The trust’s share price has given a total return of 65.53% over the past five years to the end of February, compared with the benchmark FTSE World total return which increased 26.17%.

Murray International Trust

What Citywire's analysts say: The Murray International Trust invests in global equities and is managed by Bruce Stout who also acts as senior investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management. The trust’s share price has beaten its benchmark four-fold, with an impressive total return of 96.48% over the past five years to the end of February, compared with the benchmark MSCI All Country World index’s total return of 22.51%.

RIT Capital Partners

What Citywire's analysts say: RIT Capital Partners invests in quoted and unquoted companies and is managed by Micky Breuer-Weil. Lord Rothschild is chairman of the trust and has over £200 million invested in its shares. The trust’s share price has given a total return of 32.36% over the past five years to the end of February, compared with the benchmark FTSE World total return index, which added 26.17%.

Ruffer Investment Company

What Citywire's analysts say: Steve Russell is investment director of the Ruffer Investment Company, which featured in our ISA tips for ‘novice’ savers. Its top holdings are in index-linked US treasuries, Vodafone and Japanese financial group T&D Holdings. The trust’s total return has nearly doubled over the past five years, compared with the benchmark FTSE World index, which generated a total return of 26.17%.

Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies Trust

What Citywire's analysts say: Scottish Oriental Smaller Companies has been the top performer of all selection funds over the past three years, with impressive total returns of 225.69%, which is its share price including dividends. Its shares have returned 140.39% over the past five years to the end of February, ahead of the benchmark MSCI Asia ex Japan index, which rose 68%.

TR Property Investment Trust

What Citywire's analysts say: TR Property is the only property-focused investment trust in Citywire Selection. The trust is overseen by Marcus Phayre-Mudge with core holdings in European equities and UK property. In 2011 the trust reduced its exposure to Continental Europe to increase its exposure to the UK property market. The trust is currently trading at 158.9p a share, a 12.8% discount to its NAV of 182.2p.

BH Macro

What Citywire's analysts say: BH Macro invests in the Brevan Howard Master hedge fund and was founded by Alan Howard in 2003. Private investors can’t access the hedge funds directly, and the complexity of its trades make it difficult to mirror the fund’s performance. However the fund tends to give an inverse return versus the FTSE. In the 59 months to the end of February, when the FTSE World total return only took on 23.83%, the trust’s share price added 100.69%.

HgCapital Trust

What Citywire's analysts say: HgCapital Trust is a private equity trust investing in 31 companies with a focus on telecoms, media and technology (TMT); healthcare; and industrials. The trust’s share price has produced a total return of 46.86% over the past five years to the end of February, compared with the benchmark LPX50 index, which has made a loss of 29.35%. It is currently trading at 975p, an 11.1% discount to its NAV of £10.96.

Montanaro European Smaller Companies Trust

What Citywire's analysts say: As its name suggests, the Montanaro European Smaller Companies investment trust focuses on the shares of smaller European companies. Its share price has soared 82% in the past three years, although over five years the shareholder return has been just 3%. The trust’s share price trades 14% below the value of its investments, which could provide a buying opportunity for long-term investors.

British Empire Securities & General Trust

What Citywire's analysts say: The British Empire Securities & General Trust is a fund of funds, focusing on companies whose share prices are trading at a discount compared with their underlying value, and is managed by John Pennink. The trust had a difficult 2011 and its most recent fall in share price is partly down to a 55% drop in the value of Vivendi, which makes up almost 10% of the trust’s holdings.

Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust

What Citywire's analysts say: The Edinburgh Worldwide Investment Trust has holdings in about 40 global companies with a view to long-term growth. The trust’s share price has given a total return of 29.02% over the past five years to the end of February, compared with the benchmark MSCI World index’s total return of 26.44%. The trust is currently trading at 294p, or a 12.2% discount to its NAV of 334.9p.

BlackRock Latin American Investment Trust

What Citywire's analysts say: Will Landers oversees the BlackRock Latin American investment trust with holdings in large– and mid-cap companies across the region. The trust’s share price has given a total return of 80.4% over the past five years to the end of February, underperforming the benchmark MSCI EM Latin American index’s total return, which increased 104.4%.

BlackRock World Mining Trust

What Citywire's analysts say: The BlackRock World Mining trust invests in global mining companies, precious metals and diamonds, and is managed by Evy Hambro and Catherine Raw. Over a five-year period to the end of February its share price has given returns of 76.3%, compared with the benchmark FTSE World Mining index, which has added 76.5%.

Impax Environmental Markets

What Citywire's analysts say: Bruce Jenkyn-Jones and Jon Forster manage the Impax Environmental Markets trust, which focuses on investing in waste technology and alternative energy. The environmental sector has suffered with the credit crisis and sentiment has yet to pick up. The trust's share price has given a loss on its total return of 10.53% over the past five years to the end of February, to marginally outperform to the benchmark FTSE ET50 index, which dropped 10.58%.

Add a comment

Comments  (17)

  • graham tremble: 

    Is the Ruffer Innvestmeny Company still a good buy considering recent events in Japan?

    Regards,

    Graham.

    08:47 on 30 March 2011

  • Rich Harris (Citywire): 

    Graham - very good question. We've spoken to Ruffer for their take on the situation, and you can read the article here: http://citywire.co.uk/money/ruffer-whats-going-on-with-our-japan-bet/a479628

    Our analysts have also been looking into this - the short answer is that it's still a star pick in Citywire Selection. You can read their latest assessment (published yesterday) here: http://www.citywire.co.uk/money/selection/absolute-returns/profiles/content.aspx?ID=384895

    Hope this helps

    Rich

    09:19 on 30 March 2011

  • Alan, Bristol: 

    I’m not sure that Citywire is correct in stating that the ETFS Physical Gold fund can be held in an ISA. My online broker (Selftrade) wouldn’t let me add this particular ETF to my ISA a couple of months ago.

    10:47 on 30 March 2011

  • john court: 

    Alan, I have held it my ISA for some time

    11:12 on 30 March 2011

  • bb 42: 

    This beating the benchmark isn't a reason for investing in a fund if at the same time it is losing money and charging a fee to do so.

    11:39 on 01 April 2011

  • Antony: 

    Really surprised to not see any mention of the Schroders QEP range of products OR the HSBC range of retail trackers, both ranges with v low TERs. I bet the average TER of the equity funds listed above is around 1.6%!

    12:56 on 03 April 2011

  • Theophanis Pantzaris: 

    Why all this emphasis on past performance? Fund companies are printing health warnings on every packet, is not any one reading them?

    There are 2600 UT/OEICS on the market and if each one had a chimpanzee for manager, every year, purely by chance, 650 of them will score 1st quartile, which will earn them congratulations from the company and a big fat bonus.

    Next year 162 of them will score 1st quartile again and they will become the objects of admiration of every girl in their office. The CE will pat them on the back, take them for lunch at the Savoy, and give them an even bigger bonus.

    Even on the 5th year, 3 managers will have scored 5 first quartiles in a row, by which time they will be the toast of the city, will be invited by the BBC to give us their views on Libya on TV and will be writing their own salary checks and bonuses. It is a wonderful industry my friends.

    .

    16:11 on 03 April 2011

  • Anonymous 1: 

    I can just about survive relying on some cash ISAs to supplement my pitiful government pension which as you know is the lowest in the EU..

    But with cash ISA's paying 3% at the most and inflation now running at 5.5% (RPI), I realised it was a mug's game. Annuities as we all know are legalised robberies of the poor by the rich. They are for idiots

    So I have used the cash ISAs to buy 10 global income type UT paying about 5% net. and my investment income has risen by 67%. overnight. I think with such geographical and management spread my capital is safe enough and the dividends should keep up with inflation at least. .Any fall in UT values for a year or two I can ride, knowing they will later recover. Most UT are covert index trackers.

    There must be millions of people in a similar situation to mine in this country, they should consider copying me..

    19:48 on 03 April 2011

  • bwanakuba: 

    Yes Anonymous !!

    I agree about these legalised robberies

    I fully agree about income UTs; I have doubled my capital over years

    starting from 92/93 PEPS for five successive years and few ISAs---could not find money to put aside all years----

    09:02 on 04 April 2011

  • Anonymous 2: 

    hi anon 1. as a matter of interest which global equity uts did you go for? i am giving up on cash isas too. thanks

    16:30 on 18 July 2011

  • Antony: 

    Anon 1: your investment income may have increased by 5%, but that is irrelevant if you sustain a 10% capital loss on investment. The reason people hold cash ISAs are for 100% nominal capital protection. Have you looked at the Newton Real Return Fund or Personal Assets Trust? Both would do a reasonable job for you, I reckon. Also, do you really need to diversify across 10 global equity income UTs? 3 would have sufficed.

    16:52 on 18 July 2011

  • Eileen Obrien: 

    what is a u t and which ones - need advice !

    thanks?

    15:18 on 05 March 2012

  • Dreckly: 

    Unit Trust

    13:16 on 14 May 2012

  • Franco: 

    Those who invest in UT better be careful. ALL recommendations are based on past performance which as you know has no bearing on future performance,

    Citywire depends on advertising UT and only gives you one side of the picture. Their fund recommendations will change tomorrow. Investing for your future should not be treated as a gamble. Buy HSBS index trackers and sleep well at night.

    14:25 on 14 May 2012

  • Jonas Cord: 

    Under '5 Best Bond Funds' in the above list, the Fidelity Moneybuilder Income Fund is stated as being run by the 'Two Pauls' (Causer & Read).

    As these two gentlemen are both employed by Invesco Perpetual this would be surprising !

    To my certain knowledge, this fund is managed by Ian Spreadbury.

    15:26 on 14 May 2012

  • William Goulding: 

    A Stock/share Isa is not completely free from tax as the div.cr.cannot be reclaimed unlessn its a Gilt or Bond investment .

    15:49 on 14 May 2012

  • JR Mistry: 

    Please advise of large amount fix term depost account any bank in uk

    09:30 on 21 January 2013

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