Best and Worst Funds in 2021

Fri 17 Dec 2021

By Brian Dennehy

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Fund analysis

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Here we look at the 20 Best and Worst funds this year. The wide range of funds emphasises how important fund selection is to your investing success.

Here we look at the 20 Best and Worst funds this year. The wide range of funds emphasises how important fund selection is to your investing success.

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Energy, India and North American Funds all shine

There is a similar picture between the top funds and the top sectors, the latter analysis you can view here. Whether it be individual funds or the sectors as a whole, India, North America and Commodity/Natural Resources are dominant.

Commodity/Natural Resources makes an appearance thanks to a couple of big energy funds run by BlackRock and Guinness. There’s also Schroder ISF Global Energy, the current fund in our Bonkers 6-Month Portfolio, which sits in the Global sector.

25% of the top 20 are Indian funds, including a duo of Jupiter funds.

Similarly, five North America funds feature, one being smaller companies.

China Funds Disappoint

Just under half of the stragglers are China funds!  The worst is down 20%.

The worst fund is Brazilian, down 25%, and the number of Latin America funds reflect that this region was also the standout dud in our sector analysis.

With all that fear about inflation, it will surprise gold fans, but not our readers, that gold had a poor year.  The Jupiter fund is down 16%.

At the beginning of the year all the talk was about “disruptive innovation”, and investors rushed into a fund managed by a previously unknown individual, moving rapidly towards retirement.  That Nikko AM ARK fund is down 23% - we did highlight “issues” with the fund early on in 2021.

Similarly, the growth-style Baillie Gifford Global Discovery fund has gone from a top fund in 2020 to a bottom fund in 2021 – a remarkable turnaround for the worse, and re-emphasising this ever evolving Value vs Growth debate.

Lessons to Take Away

Looking at the best and worst funds this year is all well and good. But this doesn’t tell us what will do well and what will do badly next year.

This is why using an objective process like Dynamic Fund Ratings to select funds, and sticking to it with discipline, is crucial.

And, as Table 2 indicates, having a Stop-Loss in place is vital. If you don’t already use our Stop-Losses tool then you should decide what action you will take when you encounter sharp falls. Pre-commit now, in a moment of calm.

Table 1: Top 20 Performing Funds in 2021

Name

Sector

Performance %

Schroder ISF Global Energy

(UT) Global

47.9

BlackRock GF World Energy

(UT) Commodity/Natural Resources

44.5

Guinness Global Energy

(UT) Commodity/Natural Resources

44.5

Nomura India Equity

(UT) India/Indian Subcontinent

40.8

Fiera Capital Europe Magna New Frontiers

(UT) Specialist

40.5

T. Rowe Price Frontier Markets Equity

(UT) Specialist

38.6

NB US Real Estate Securities

(UT) Property Other

38.0

JGF-Jupiter India Select

(UT) India/Indian Subcontinent

37.2

Pimco GIS MLP & Energy Infrastructure

(UT) Specialist

37.1

Jupiter India

(UT) India/Indian Subcontinent

36.0

GS India Equity Portfolio

(UT) Specialist

35.8

Vontobel S.A. Commodity

(UT) Specialist

35.7

JPM Emerging Middle East Equity

(UT) Specialist

35.5

AB US Small & Mid Cap Portfolio

(UT) North American Smaller Cos.

35.4

Fiera Cap Europe Fiera Capital US Equity

(UT) North America

34.8

VT De Lisle America

(UT) North America

34.8

Liontrust India

(UT) India/Indian Subcontinent

34.6

HSBC US Multi-Factor Equity

(UT) North America

33.8

L&G Global Technology Index Trust

(UT) Tech & Telecoms

33.6

Scottish Widows American Growth

(UT) North America

33.5

 

Table 2: Bottom 20 Performing Funds in 2021

Name

Sector

Performance %

HSBC GIF Brazil Equity

(UT) Specialist

-25.1

Nikko AM ARK Disruptive Innovation

(UT) Specialist

-23.7

Alger Sicav-Alger Small Cap Focus

(UT) North American Smaller Cos.

-22.1

Invesco PRC Equity

(UT) China/Greater China

-21.8

JPM Brazil Equity

(UT) Specialist

-21.3

Baillie Gifford Global Discovery

(UT) Global

-20.7

Fidelity China Consumer

(UT) China/Greater China

-20.0

GAM Star China Equity

(UT) China/Greater China

-19.7

ASI Strategic Investment Allocation

(UT) Specialist

-19.3

Threadneedle Latin America

(UT) Latin America

-19.3

Comgest Growth Emerging Markets

(UT) Global Emerging Markets

-17.1

Threadneedle China Opportunities

(UT) China/Greater China

-16.8

HSBC GIF Chinese Equity

(UT) China/Greater China

-16.8

Invesco China Equity (UK)

(UT) China/Greater China

-16.4

JGF-Jupiter Gold And Silver

(UT) Specialist

-16.2

Pictet China Equities

(UT) China/Greater China

-16.2

Janus Henderson Horizon China Opps

(UT) China/Greater China

-15.6

Comgest Growth Emerging Markets Plus

(UT) Global Emerging Markets

-15.3

Quilter Investors China Equity

(UT) China/Greater China

-15.2

RWC Nissay Japan Focus

(UT) Japan

-15.1

 

NOTE

Fund performance 01/01/2021 – 14/12/2021.

Funds <50m in size and ETFs excluded.

All Investment Association sectors considered, aside from (UT) EUR Government Bond, (UT) USD Government Bond, (UT) Standard Money Market, (UT) Unclassified and (UT) Not Yet Assigned.

FURTHER READING

Best and Worst Sectors in 2021

Bonkers 6-Month – Dynamic Portfolio Review  

Stop-losses. A key part of your plan

 

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