First 50 Funds update: One third of Britain's best-performing funds are core funds

Outperforming graph

Nine of the UK’s 25 best-performing funds – and three of Moneywise’s top 50 First Funds for beginner investors – are “core funds”, according to new research from TD Direct Investing.

A core fund can be described as being “solid”. It will usually consist of a well-diversified collection of stable, proven companies that are likely to grow at a steady pace.

These funds are often used as foundation in portfolios. In contrast, individual shares, flutters on riskier investments, and other exotic trades generally act as ‘satellites’ around these so-called core funds.


But new research from TD Direct Investing highlights that of its top 25 funds, nine funds are core funds, and of these, three are also recommended in Moneywise’s 50 First Funds list.

These are CF Lindsell Train UK Equity, CF Woodford Equity Income, and AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities

The table below details these funds in full, and we’ve highlighted which are recommended as part of Moneywise’s First 50 Funds. Click on the fund names to see their factsheet.

To qualify as ‘best-performing’ in the first instance in TD Direct Investing’s eye, its key requirements are that the fund manager must have a 10-year track record running either the same fund or two funds managed consecutively in the same style, while the funds must outperform both their Investment Association sector peer group and their benchmark within this time.

A benchmark is the standard against which funds are typically measured. Different funds use different benchmarks, but common ones include the performance of the FTSE All-share, the S&P 500, or even the rate of inflation.

If a fund doesn’t beat its benchmark, then you may want to consider putting your money into a passive fund that tracks the benchmark instead of an actively managed fund that isn’t performing as well.


Fund manager Fund Morningstar rating Annualised return (%) Sector outperformance (%)
Mark Slater MFM Slater Growth Bronze 12.2 7.1
Michael Lindsell & Nick Train CF Lindsell Train UK Equity - Moneywise First 50 fund Gold 11.5 6.3
Anthony Cross & Julian Fosh Liontrust UK Smaller Companies Bronze 11.7 4.4
Francis Brooke Troy Trojan Income Silver 9.3 4
Neil Woodford CF Woodford Equity Income - Moneywise First 50 fund Bronze* 9 3.8
John Wood JOHCM UK Opportunities Silver 8.6 3.7
Mark Barnett IP UK Strategic Income Bronze 8.6 3.7
Harry Nimmo SLI UK Smaller Companies Silver 10.9 3.6
Daniel Nickolls Old Mutual UK Smaller Companies Gold 10.5 3.2
James de Uphaugh & Chris Field Majedie UK Equity Bronze 8.4 3.2
Martin Cholwill Royal London UK Equity Income Silver 8.4 3
Mike Fox Royal London Sustainable Leaders Bronze 7.2 2
Matt Hudson Schroder UK Alpha Income Bronze 7.3 2
Audrey Ryan Kames Ethical Equity Silver 6.9 1.7
Nigel Thomas AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities - Moneywise First 50 fund Gold 6.7 1.6
Adrian Frost & Adrian Gosden Artemis Income Gold* 6.6 1.3
Richard Buxton Old Mutual UK Alpha Silver 6.2 1
Alastair Mundy Investec UK Special Situations Gold 6.1 1
Jan Luthman & Stephen Bailey Liontrust Macro Equity Income Bronze 6.2 0.9
Derek Stuart Artemis UK Special Situations Gold 6 0.8
Carl Stick Rathbone Income Bronze 5.8 0.6
Stephen Adams Kames UK Equity Bronze 5.7 0.6
Lesley Duncan SLI UK Ethical Bronze 5.6 0.4
Mark Costar JOHCM UK Growth Silver 5.5 0.3
Richard Newbery & Alistair White Aberforth UK Small Companies Silver 7.4 0.1