Investment trust insider on UK equity trusts – James Carthew: UK trust laggards should merge not seek new fund managers
UK investment trusts of all types are enjoying a post-election rally, particularly those with the highest perceived exposure to domestically-focused companies. I am kicking myself for not having bought Aberforth Split Level Trust (ASIT), one of the biggest risers, despite suggesting it to a couple of people who’d asked me for suggestions of UK recovery plays. Personally, I didn’t want to gamble on the election outcome.
Managers of UK equity funds have walked a tightrope for well over three years as sterling swung around and foreign investors deserted the market in droves. It has been possible to make decent money, however, and quite a few trusts have managed it.
As things stood just before the election, the best performing UK fund over the past three years was BlackRock Throgmorton (THRG), which had returned 16.7% a year over that period, ahead of (in order) Standard Life UK Smaller Companies (SLS), JPMorgan Smaller Companies (JMI) and Invesco Perpetual UK Smaller Companies (IPU).
Next on the list was Finsbury Growth & Income (FGT), which tops the UK Equity Income sector with an average 14.1% gain over three years. If you wanted your income trust to actually pay you an above-average yield, the next best performing was Murray Income (MUT) on 9.7%.
The best performing UK All Companies trust was Mercantile (MRC) with an annualised three-year return of 13.8%.
In all, 39 of 60 UK trusts beat the FTSE All-Share index over three years, which is not too bad considering how volatile markets have been.
Of course, there are some funds that have struggled in this environment. The worst performers are… read more here