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Performing zeal

In the latest Adviser Fund Index mid-season questionnaire, the responses given by the panellists varied widely to the two questions posed – which fund across your entire AFI recommendations since November 1, 2004, has performed the best compared with your expectations and which has performed worst?

Artemis European growth and Invesco Perpetual income were the only two funds named by more than one panellist as having performed the best compared with their expectations. In contrast, the performance of JPM Japan was identified as being worse than expected by three panellists while two said Legg Mason Japan equity had disappointed.

Funds investing in British and European equities, together with property and fixed interest portfolios, were picked as having performed better than expected. Funds named by single panellists included CF Ruffer European, Credit Suisse target return, Dimensional UK value, Invesco Perpetual high income, Jupiter emerging European opportunities, New Star property, Norwich property, Standard Life UK opportunities and Swip property.

A wider range of funds was identified as underperforming, including American, British, European and Japanese equity portfolios, and two bond funds.

Other than the JPM and Legg Mason funds, Artemis UK growth, Fidelity European, Legg Mason US equity, Liontrust first growth, Merrill Lynch gold & general, Newton international bond, Schroder Tokyo and Standard Life global index linked were identified by the panellists.

Artemis European growth, managed by Philip Wolstencroft, was up 75.2 per cent on a total return basis from November 1, 2004 to March 15, 2007, according to data from Financial Express. This compares with a return of just 59.6 per cent from the average fund in the IMA’s Europe ex UK sector.

The Artemis fund is the best-backed constituent fund across the three AFIs, being chosen a total of 16 times by panellists at th last rebalancing point, on November 1.

Neil Woodford’s Invesco Perpetual income fund returned 72.4 per cent from November 1, 2004 to March 15, 2007, easily outpacing the average UK Equity Income fund, which was up 49.6 per cent.

According to data from Lipper, at February 28, 2007, the 4.9bn Income fund is the second-biggest British retail fund and is second only to Woodford’s 7.5bn Invesco Perpetual high-income fund.

Performance of both the JPM Japan and Legg Mason Japan Equity portfolios was significantly worse than the average fund in the IMA Japan sector. Over the same period since the inception of the AFIs, the JPM fund was up 13 per cent, while the Legg Mason portfolio was down 15.1 per cent. Both funds fell well short of the sector’s average fund, which returned 30 per cent.

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