Moneywise First 50 Funds: Trackers beat actives in 2016

13 January 2017

The tracker funds selected for Moneywise’s First 50 Funds list for beginner investors beat the performance of the active funds on the same list during 2016.

The average performance across the entire First 50 Funds range in 2016 was 14.6%. However, the 20 tracker funds posted average returns of 19.4%, with the 20 active open-ended funds posting average returns of 10.3%, and the 10 investment trusts post returns of 13.9%.

This compares to a total return of 19.1% from the FTSE 100 index and 16.8% from the FTSE All Share Index in 2016. However, bear in mind that not all funds in the selection would benchmark against these indices. The First 50 Funds includes funds that invest across all major asset classes, including UK and global shares, government bonds, corporate bonds, commercial property and gold. 

The best performer in the selection was Murray International, a global investment trust, which returned 50.4% to its investors. Fund manager Bruce Stout is a ‘contrarian’ investor, which means he takes the opposite view to other investors. In second place was the Vanguard Global Small Cap Index fund, posting a 34.2% return, followed by Fidelity Index Emerging Markets and the two US index funds.

The worst performers in the selection posted negative returns to investors in 2016. These included the two property funds, which were forced to close to investors after the Brexit vote in June 2016, plus Jupiter European Opportunities investment trusts. Marlborough Multi Cap Income fund and Henderson Smaller Companies investment trust also made small losses.

Neil Woodford’s fund meanwhile, CF Woodford Equity Income, was in the bottom 10 performers, due to its lack of exposure to oil and mining stocks.

See below for full performance tables. 

10 best performers:

First 50 FundCalendar year performance 2016 %
Murray International50.4
Vanguard Global Small Cap Index Fund34.2
Fidelity Index Emerging Markets34
HSBC American Index33.5
Legal & General US Index33.4
Man GLG Japan CoreAlpha Professional32.4
L&G International Index Trust30.2
Vanguard FTSE Developed World ex-UK Equity Index Fund29.3
Fidelity Index World Fund29
Fundsmith Equity28.2



10 worst performers:

Name of fundCalendar year performance 2016 %
M&G Property Portfolio-7.1
Jupiter European Opportunities-6.9
Henderson UK Property-4.3
Marlborough Multi Cap Income-3.2
Henderson Smaller Companies-2.3
Kames Absolute Return Bond Fund1
CF Woodford Equity Income3.2
Fidelity MoneyBuilder Income3.4
Vanguard Global Bond Index3.5
AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities4











Full performance list:

First 50 Fund Calendar year performance 2016 %
Vanguard LifeStrategy 20% Equity Fund 10.4
Vanguard LifeStrategy 60% Equity Fund 18.3
Vanguard LifeStrategy 100% Equity Fund 26.1
BlackRock 100 UK Equity Fund 18.2
Fidelity Index UK Fund 16.1
HSBC FTSE 250 Index 6.1
Vanguard FTSE UK Equity Income Index 12.4
Fidelity Index World Fund 29
Vanguard FTSE Developed World ex-UK Equity Index Fund 29.3
L&G International Index Trust 30.2
Vanguard FTSE Developed Europe ex-UK Equity Index 19.3
Vanguard Global Small Cap Index Fund 34.2
Fidelity Index Emerging Markets 34
HSBC American Index 33.5
Legal & General US Index 33.4
Vanguard UK Gov Bond Index 10.8
L&G Short Dated Sterling Corp Bnd Index 4.9
BlackRock Corporate Bond Tracker 10.3
Vanguard Global Bond Index 3.5
Source Physical Gold P-ETC 8.8
CF Woodford Equity Income 3.2
MI Chelverton UK Equity Income 4.6
Marlborough Multi Cap Income -3.2
AXA Framlington UK Select Opportunities 4
Old Mutual UK Mid Cap 10
Marlborough UK Micro-Cap Growth Fund 15.1
Fundsmith Equity 28.2
Lindsell Train Global Equity 23.8
Artemis Global Income 22.5
Man GLG Japan CoreAlpha Professional 32.4
Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders 19.6
Fidelity Emerging Markets 19.7
Newton Real Return 4
Kames Absolute Return Bond Fund 1
Fidelity MoneyBuilder Income 3.4
Jupiter Strategic Bond 7.4
MI TwentyFour Dynamic Bond 4.5
Marlborough Global Bond 16.6
M&G Property Portfolio -7.1
Henderson UK Property -4.3
City of London Investment Trust 9.3
Finsbury Growth and Income 12.5
Henderson Smaller Companies -2.3
Scottish Mortgage 16.5
F&C Global Smaller Companies 25.7
Witan Investment Trust 18.3
Jupiter European Opportunities -6.9
Murray International 50.4
F&C Managed Portfolio Income 9.2
F&C Commercial Property Trust 6.3

Source: for tracker fund and active fund data. Morningstar for investment trust data (shows share price return) and Source Physical Gold. Data sourced on 9 January 2017.

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