When the AFI balanced index was rebalanced in May, the top five funds showed a good mix of equity, fixed income and property. They included First State Asia Pacific leaders, L&G dynamic bond, M&G property portfolio, M&G optimal income and M&G global basics. Equities and bonds were also represented in new entrants to the index, with Threadneedle American, Old Mutual UK select equity and JOHCM UK opportunities joining Schroder corporate bond and Cazenove strategic bond.
Of the top five funds in the balanced index, First State Asia Pacific leaders, which was up by 6.83 per cent over six months to the end of October, stands out in performance terms. All five delivered positive returns – M&G optimal income returned 4.32 per cent, L&G dynamic bond 3.69 per cent and M&G global basics 3.19 per cent while M&G property portfolio delivered a more modest 1.68 per cent.
Overall, the AFI balanced index rose by 3.09 per cent over the six-month period. AFH Wealth Management head of investment research Graham Toone says he has been pleased with the high-yield portion of his balanced portfolio.
He says: “We switched out of commercial property and moved into high yield via the Aegon high-yield bond fund. We have confidence in Philip Milburn based on risk/ reward, volatility and returns.”
Ashcourt Rowan head of research Tim Cockerill highlights Invesco Perpetual corporate bond as a key performer within his balanced portfolio in the past six months.
He says: “We are using the FTSE All-Share as a benchmark and it has been surpris- ingly strong. The Artemis strategic bond fund has also done well.”
Cockerill has also been pleased with the performance of Artemis income. He says: “We see it as the backbone to the portfolio, as with a vast number of our model port-folios. We do not expect anything too exciting, just long-term steady performance. I think we will see quite a lot of value from this fund. Schroder European alpha plus has also done well. The name suggests it is probably a bit more racy but the way it is managed is quite conservative.”
Cockerill says one fund which has performed less well is L&G growth.
He says: “It is quite concentrated, with 25 stocks. We know Robert Churchlow and what he is doing and it is also about the team. In the short term, it has been a bit disappointing but often we stick with funds for a long time if they are delivering what we want in the long term. It is just going thr-ough a poorer patch which all funds have.”
Data supplied by Financial Express