Consistency is the key for investors concerned about Brexit

13 June 2018

Investors should look through the Brexit noise and consider consistency of performance after research has found that the UK smaller company sector has performed well.

Research conducted by the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) has found that among its member investment companies, UK smaller companies-focused trusts are the most consistent performers.

The AIC explains that consistency of performance is determined by benchmarking an investment company’s discrete annual share price total return against the overall sector. The most consistent performers, therefore, are picked from the investment companies that consistently outperform this benchmark each year.

Of the top 20 most consistently performing investment trusts in the past 10 years, the UK smaller companies sector makes up a quarter of the list. The AIC says that this might come as a surprise to investors when considering the current uncertain economic and political climate around Brexit.

Annabel Brodie-Smith, communications director of the AIC, explains: “Concerns about Brexit and a UK economic slowdown are ever-present, but UK investment companies, and particularly the UK smaller companies sector, have performed consistently well.”

This consistency comes despite nearly two years of anxiety over the British economy in the wake of the EU referendum.

Top performers

Topping the list was Lindsell Train Investment Trust managed by Michael Lindsell and First 50 manager Nick Train, whose Finsbury Growth & Income Trust (FGT) – one of Moneywise’s First 50 Funds for beginner investorscame second for most consistent performance. While Lindsell Train is a global-focus investment company, FGT is UK equity income oriented.

Overall, UK-focused trusts make up a third of the list (seven out of 20). This is followed by the global equities sector with four.

Nick Train, manager of Finsbury Growth & Income Trust (FGT) explains that consistency in investing is key to his fund’s success: “The performance of FGT over the 17-plus years of our responsibility makes us proud, but it also surprises us, a bit.

“What we have done and will continue to do is simple – so simple that you might wonder about its efficacy. We take big positions in what we analyse to be exceptional companies then we hold the positions for a long time, preferably forever. We have found that if you own good companies for long enough then good things tend to happen for investors.

Peter Ewins, manager of F&C Global Smaller Companies – another of Moneywise’s First 50 Funds for beginner investors – adds: “It’s pleasing that smaller company shares have delivered consistently strong returns in recent years across most global markets.

“These returns have been driven by a general equity market re-rating but also by solid underlying earnings growth over a protracted period of time. The fact is that in many markets, smaller companies are more exposed to faster growing parts of the economy, and the sector skew has played a part in helping small caps to beat larger stocks over the last decade.”

But Ms Brodie-Smith caveats: “Investors should bear in mind that performance is just one criteria to consider when researching investment companies and they also need to look at other criteria including portfolio composition, gearing, discounts and charges. Investors usually focus on the latest top performers, but consistent long-term past performance is key when considering potential investment companies.”

See the table below for the investment companies that have performed most consistently in the last 10 years:

RankCompanyAIC sectorNo. of times above Overall Weighted AverageVolatility of Return% Share price total return over 10 years to 30 April 2018
 Overall Weighted Average-- 133.63
1Lindsell TrainGlobal915.48714.42
2Finsbury Growth & Income*UK Equity Income916.18307.49
3F&C Global Smaller Companies*Global916.38297.39
4Invesco Perpetual UK SmallerUK Smaller Companies917.70301.73
5JPMorgan US Smaller CompaniesNorth American Smaller Companies919.84350.44
6Montanaro UK Smaller CompaniesUK Smaller Companies820.91175.64
7Mid Wynd International Inv Tr PLCGlobal820.94243.04
8Dunedin Smaller CompaniesUK Smaller Companies821.83233.66
9TR PropertyProperty Securities821.99220.27
10HeraldSector Specialist: Small Media, Comms & IT Cos822.04331.58
11Edinburgh DragonAsia Pacific - Excluding Japan822.15151.38
12Schroder Oriental IncomeAsia Pacific - Excluding Japan824.02220.34
13Standard Life UK Smaller CompaniesUK Smaller Companies824.92387.26
14Polar Capital TechnologySector Specialist: Tech Media & Telecomm825.45501.83
15BlackRock Smaller CompaniesUK Smaller Companies826.37409.79
16Baillie Gifford Shin NipponJapanese Smaller Companies827.15645.42
17Electra Private EquityPrivate Equity834.07237.71
18JPMorgan AmericanNorth America712.75254.67
19Standard Life Equity IncomeUK Equity Income715.52148.70
20JPMorgan Elect Managed GrowthGlobal716.17151.34

* Denotes a member of Moneywise First 50 Funds for Beginners. Source: AIC using Morningstar




In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Investing in share funds is not the same as investing on the stockmarket.Do your first 50 funds mean share isas which are tax exempt?

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

But the ratings of these small companies are all historical, ie; as in the UK being in the EU.Whilst the methodologies used by fund managers etc may have worked fairly reliably to date, after brexit (if it happens), or particularly a hard brexit, then the whole economic landscape will be changed, perhaps catastrophically.So what will these pre brexit ratings be worth then?

Add new comment