The definitive top and bottom funds of 2017

Fri 05 Jan 2018

By Brian Dennehy

Membership Access | free

Fund analysis


In December we ran a preview of the best and worst funds of 2017. Here is the definitive table for the whole 2017.


There is some interesting read across to the latest What's Hot? What's Not? for December.  First, the tables:


Top 10

Name Sector Fund Size(m) Performance %
Baillie Gifford Greater China China/Greater China 122.20 49.19
Baillie Gifford Pacific  Asia Pacific Excluding Japan 353.40 42.37
JPM Asia Growth  Asia Pacific Excluding Japan 257.90 42.27
Baring Eastern Trust Asia Pacific Excluding Japan 105.00 42.22
Jupiter UK Smaller Companies UK Smaller Companies 207.50 41.45
Janus Henderson China Opportunities  China/Greater China 1162.40 41.21
Investec Asia Ex Japan  Asia Pacific Excluding Japan 208.90 40.37
Baillie Gifford Emerging Markets Growth  Global Emerging Markets 767.80 39.76
Baillie Gifford Emerging Markets Leading Companies  Global Emerging Markets 494.30 38.88
Threadneedle China Opportunities  China/Greater China 111.10 38.56

Bottom 10

Name Sector Fund Size(m) Performance %
Investec Global Energy  Specialist 68.60 -13.05
Majedie Tortoise  Targeted Absolute Return 1400.00 -10.85
Thesis TM Sanditon European Select Targeted Absolute Return 115.10 -6.52
Threadneedle Dollar Bond  Global Bonds 124.80 -5.29
Janus Henderson Inst Overseas Bond  Global Bonds 235.30 -4.07
Kames UK Equity Absolute Return  Targeted Absolute Return 134.00 -3.97
M&G Global Macro Bond  Global Bonds 1731.20 -3.83
Aviva Inv European Property  Property 200.40 -3.48
Threadneedle Global Bond  Global Bonds 417.70 -3.11
Janus Henderson Credit Alpha  Targeted Absolute Return 312.10 -2.98

Best and worst funds of 2017

China and Asia dominate the top 10 list while one UK Smaller Companies fund also makes the top 10.  Emerging markets make up the rest of the top 10 places.  There may be value in certain areas of emerging markets in 2018.  More in the upcoming TopFunds Guide.

There are some risky funds in the bottom list.  Gold and Energy both feature.  What’s more telling is the number of “lower risk” funds featuring.  There are 4 Targeted Absolute Return funds in the table, down between 2.98% and 10.85%.  We often say that this sector contains funds taking more risk than investors might expect. Beware.

Global bonds and European property make up the rest of the bottom table.

It’s interesting to read across to the latest What’s Hot? What’s Not? list.  A number of absolute return funds have had a poor December, although only two show up here and in the What's Not? table.  Commodities have done well, with gold and global resources making up 6 of the top 10 funds for the month of December.

The numbers

There is £3,790m of investor money held in the top 10.  In contrast, the bottom table holds £4,739m of investor money, nearly £948m more than the top 10 table.

The average performance of the top 10 funds is 41.63%.  The average of the bottom table is -5.72%.  That’s a huge differential of 47% over 12 months.

There are always opportunities, as we can see from the top table, but also persistent risks.  As we go through the year we’ll continue to highlight the former, while trying to keep a safe distance from the latter.


  • These tables show the importance of maintaining a disciplined process for investing.
  • 2016 was a roller-coaster.  2017 has been much less bumpy.
  • Plan for much greater volatility in 2018.


Data: 01/01/2017-31/12/2017; universe: UT & OEICs; fund size >£50m; funds that sit on Old Mutual’s platform excluded.


Fund analysis


Share this post: