Woodford and Fundsmith among most sold funds in January

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Star fund managers Neil Woodford and Terry Smith are among the most sold funds in January, according to Charles Stanley Direct.

Only the Axa Framlington Biotech fund was more sold over the month, while the Artemis Global Income was the best selling.

The Woodford UK Equity Income fund suffered a “disappointing” 2016 delivering investors returns of just 3.3 per cent compared to 16.8 per cent in the FTSE All Share index.

Woodford has previously admitted his clients’ resolve would have been tested over the period, particularly with stocks such as Capita and Next not performing as well as expected.

Fundsmith delivered good returns for the full year, but underperformed in the second half of the year, a period when it saw large inflows from investors seeking global exposure following Brexit.

The Fundsmith Equity fund returned 12.3 per cent between 24 June, when the Brexit vote was revealed, and the end of the year, compared to 21.5 per cent in the MSCI World index, FE data shows.

The IA Global sector returned 19.2 per cent over the period.

Rob Morgan, pensions and investments analyst at Charles Stanley Direct, says the funds did also feature on the most bought list in second and fourth place respectively. Morgan says while Fundsmith’s performance has been waning recently the fund retain good long-term performance.

Passives featured heavily in the top 10 most bought funds in January, with four Vanguard products, including three from the LifeStrategy range, as well as the Legal & General US Index fund and the Fidelity Index World.

However, the Vanguard LifeStrategy 80% Equity and Legal & General US Index also both featured in the most sold list alongside two other passive products; the Vanguard FTSE All Share Index and Global Small-Cap funds.

The Artemis Global Income made the top 10 for a third month in a row and has benefited from its bias towards more economically sensitive parts of the market, in contrast to Fundsmith’s bond proxies bias.

Morgan says the Axa Framlington Biotech fund has suffered due to volatility in the sector.

The US health care system seems to be on course for reform, and investors may remain cautious until there is more clarity on the impact of President Donald Trump’s legislative priorities on prescription drug prices,” Morgan says.

The top ten fund buys:

  • Artemis Global Income
  • CF Woodford Equity Income
  • Fidelity Index World
  • Fundsmith Equity
  • JOHCM UK Equity Income
  • Legal & General US Index
  • Vanguard FTSE Developed World Ex UK Equity
  • Vanguard LifeStrategy 100% Equity
  • Vanguard LifeStrategy 60% Equity
  • Vanguard LifeStrategy 80% Equity

The top ten fund sells

  • AXA Framlington Biotech
  • CF Woodford Equity Income
  • Fundsmith Equity
  • Investec Global Gold
  • Legal & General US Index
  • Smith & Williamson Global Gold & Resources
  • Standard Life Investments Global Absolute Return Strategies
  • Vanguard FTSE All Share Index
  • Vanguard Global Small-Cap
  • Vanguard LifeStrategy 80% Equity