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Geography lessons

The Adviser Fund Index panellists would have fared better investing their equity exposure in British shares over the past six months rather than spreading allocation overseas.

Just one-third of the 108 Aggressive AFI constituents have posted positive returns in the six-month period to August 9, according to Financial Express. The majority of equity funds in positive territory over the period invest in the UK stockmarkets.

The two top-performing British equity funds in the Aggressive index were Neil Woodford’s Invesco Perpetual income and Invesco Perpetual high-income funds, posting returns of 7 per cent and 6.8 per cent respectively.

Of the 36 funds that increased in value over the last six months, 28 invest principally in shares, including 20 UK equity funds. The remaining eight portfolios are either specialist sector-based mandates or European equity funds.

Outside of Britain and Europe, the best-performing fund over the period was Gartmore China opportunities, down by 1 per cent.

The worst-performing regions were Japan and North America. Of the 16 funds that are down by more than 10 per cent over the period, eight are in the IMA Japan sector and five are in the IMA North America sector.

Bottom of the pile of Aggressive AFI constituents was Legg Mason Japan equity, losing 41.7 per cent of its value. Falling 16.8 per cent, Gartmore US opportunities fared worst of the Aggressive index funds in the IMA North America sector.

The top Aggressive AFI performers in the IMA’s North America and Japan sectors were Franklin Mutual shares (down 3.8 per cent) and Schroder Tokyo (down 9.4 per cent) respectively.

Geographical diversification in equities has not paid off so far this year, exposure to commercial property has contributed strongly.

All three property funds in the Aggressive index are among the top five performers, with Swip property trust posting the highest return.

The portfolio rose by 9.4 per cent over the half-year period to August 9.

The Investment Property Databank UK Monthly index returned 9.7 per cent in the six months to June 30, 2006. This compares with a 6.1 per cent increase from the FTSE All-Share index.

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