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The best and worst performing funds of 2018

Stockmarket-Performance-Business-700x450.jpgThis year has been a difficult one for investors- the FTSE 100 is currently down around 8 per cent on the start of the year. With fears surrounding Brexit and a possible recession, investors have been cautious to say the least. Here is a look at some of the best and worst performing funds of the year.

Despite the company’s current woes, the €13.7m (£12.3m) GAM Star Alpha Technology just takes the top spot. The Dublin-domiciled fund saw returns of 22.6 per cent in the year, making it the best performing unit trust out of the near-4,000 funds available to UK investors.

Managed by Mark Hawtin, the fund invests heavily in North America (40.5 per cent) and its top holdings includes household names Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Microsoft, Visa and Facebook. The fund sits in the Investment Association Specialist sector so is difficult to compare to its counterparts due to the wide variety of funds in the sector. The fund is Isa-eligible and the Z share class carries a 5 per cent initial charge followed by an annual management charge of 0.65 per cent.

Investments in 2018: “A year of protests”

Next up is the £1.8bn Baillie Gifford American which was just beaten to the top post, returning 22.3 per cent over the year. The fund has gone from strength to strength in recent years, and invests highly in technology and consumer products. Amazon tops its holdings while car manufacturer Tesla, Grubhub (America’s version of Deliveroo) and Netflix all make an appearance. The management team is made up of Gary Robinson, Helen Xiong, Tom Slater and Kirsty Gibson.

The fund’s B share class has no initial charge, although a minimum investment of £1,000 and an AMC of 0.5 per cent.

At the other end of the scale, many funds had a difficult time during 2018, with the average fund losing money as performance of the average fund dipped to -4.3 per cent.

The bottom place is taken by the £131.3m Quilter Investors UK Equity Income II which is managed by investor-favourite Woodford Investment Management. It saw performance drop to -29.1 per cent. The fund, which sits in the UK All Companies sector, invests predominantly in healthcare, consumer discretionary and financials. Top holdings include Imperial Tobacco, Theravance Biopharma and litigation financer firm Burford Capital. The U2 share class has no initial charge but has a 0.75 per cent ongoing charge.

Second up is South River’s £2.2m Gold and Precious Metals fund, managed by Amanda Van Dyke. The boutique manager’s fund sits in the IA Specialist sector and has 53 per cent allocated to gold mining, while the rest of the fund includes platinum, diamonds and other precious stones. Hit by the year’s fluctuating price of gold, the fund performance sits at -28 per cent as the year draws to an end. The fund comes with a 3 per cent initial charge and the B share class has a 1 per cent AMC.

All data is as at 18 December via FE.

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