Worst-performing 'dog' funds named and shamed

Kyle Caldwell
1 August 2016

The number of serially underperforming funds has fallen from 54 to 30, but the amount of assets remains the same, according to Tilney Bestinvest's latest Spot the Dog report.

Its biannual report highlighted that 60% of 'dog' fund assets - £11.7 billion out of £18 billion in total - are languishing in three funds run by the same company, M&G Investments. The funds are: M&G Global Dividend (£5.5 billion), M&G Recovery (£3.4 billion) and M&G Global Basics (£1.8 billion).


Aberdeen also fared badly. The group had six of its funds given a dog tag, which was more than any other fund group. But this did mark an improvement from the last time the study was conducted in January, when 11 funds were in the kennel.

Tilney Bestinvest's report names and shames investment funds that have underperformed the benchmark index for three consecutive years and by more than 10% over that time period.

According to Tilney Bestinvest by examining a period of three years, funds that have simply had a short run of back luck will not be included.

While the number of dog funds has fallen, Tilney Bestinvest points out this is not down to markedly improved performance. Instead, the adviser and broker says, the decline is mainly down to its decision to analyse the lower cost commission-free share classes rather than the old-style bundled versions.

Geographically, the highest proportion of dog funds is found in the global sector (16), followed by North America (6). In UK equites two funds were identified as dogs: M&G Recovery and NFU Mutual UK Growth.


Groups that managed to avoid the hall of shame altogether include Axa, Artemis, Baillie Gifford, Baring, BlackRock, BMO Global, First State, JO Hambro CM, JPMorgan, Liontrust, Man GLG, Royal London, and Standard Life Investments.

It was, however, the first time in the dog house for Invesco Perpetual and Columbia Threadneedle, with Invesco Perpetual Global Equity Income and Columbia Threadneedle Japan named and shamed.

Jason Hollands, managing director of communications at Tilney Bestinvest, comments: "While fund management companies like to push their star managers and the funds that happen to be doing well at the time, the reality is many of them will have skeletons in the closet that don't get mentioned in advertising campaigns.

"The financial services industry has an unfortunate habit of overpromising and under-delivering. When all is going well, funds are heavily promoted and managers are feted like City rock stars. Yet some of these stars may have simply got lucky and turnout to be shooting stars that crash out of orbit."

This article was originally written for our sister magazine, Money Observer.

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