Which were the best and worst funds for H1 2017?

Eight of the 10 worst performing funds in the first half this year were energy funds and could act as a warning for sector-specific funds that have topped the performance tables over the last six months.

The IA Technology & Telecommunications sector delivered 18.3 per cent over the period, only beating the China/Greater China sector, which delivered 19.9 per cent, and the European Smaller Companies, which delivered 18.6 per cent.

However, it was a UK equity fund, Old Mutual UK Smaller Companies Focus, that topped the performance tables delivering 32.2 per cent.

Money market sectors aside, Targeted Return, UK Gilts and North American Smaller Companies delivered the lowest returns with 2.4 per cent, 2.3 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively.

Within the technology sector T Rowe Price and Polar Capital funds delivered the best performance returning 27.9 per cent and 27.1 per cent respectively.

But Architas investment director Adrian Lowcock warns investors that the concentration of energy funds in the bottom of the performance tables is a reminder that sector funds can be volatile and move from top to bottom performers very quickly.

Investors have been focussed on tech companies hoovering up market share, Lowcock says. But he adds: “At some point investors will need to focus on the fundamentals of each business as not all technology companies offer the same risk and return.”

Schroder ISF Global Energy, Investec Global Energy and Guinness Global Energy were among the worst performers delivering -24.2 per cent, -20.9 per cent and -19.3 per cent respectively. However, LO Global Energy bottomed the table with -26.4 per cent.

“The sector rebounded strongly following the sell-off in 2016 but has lagged behind the wider market as the oil price found a ceiling and more recently began to fall again as investors became concerned over excess supply.”

Lowcock notes that while absolute return continues to languish, single digit returns are in keeping with many of the funds’ objectives.

“The sector remains hard to analyse as it comprises funds with very different objectives and risk characteristics.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has helped secure dampen the US smaller companies rally. “It has become increasingly clear Donald Trump will struggle to deliver his tax and spending reforms this year and any final agreement is likely to be less than initially expected,” Lowcock says.

Best Performing sectors

IA Sector

% Total Return

China/Greater China


IA European Smaller Companies


IA Technology & Telecommunications


IA Asia Pacific Excluding Japan


IA Asia Pacific Including Japan


Source: FE Trustnet, 31st December 2016 to 23rd June 2017


Best Performing Funds


% Performance

Old Mutual UK Smaller Companies Focus


Baillie Gifford Greater China


NB China Equity


Aubrey Global Conviction


T. Rowe Price Global Technology Equity


Polar Capital Global Technology


GS India Equity Portfolio


Morgan Stanley US Growth


Baillie Gifford Pacific


JPM Asia


Source: FE Trustnet, 31st December 2016 to 23rd June 2017

Worst Performing Sectors

IA Sector

% Total Return

Targeted Absolute Return


UK Gilts


IA North American Smaller Companies


IA Money Market


IA Short Term Money Market


Source: FE Trustnet, 31st December 2016 to 23rd June 2017


Worst performing funds


% Total Return

HSBC GIF Russia Equity


GS North America Energy & Energy Infrastructure Equity Portfolio


Artemis Global Energy


BlackRock GF World Energy


CF Canlife Global Resource


Guinness Global Energy


Investec Global Energy


VT Craigshannoch Multi Strategy


Schroder ISF Global Energy


LO Global Energy


Source: FE Trustnet, 31st December 2016 to 23rd June 2017