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Top-selling funds lag on performance

The best-selling funds in 200 are among this year&#39s worst performers, with just two of last year&#39s 50 best sellers ranked in the top quartile.

Of the 50 most popular active retail funds in 2000, 16 are now bottom quartile for the year to the end of July, with 20 in the third quartile and 12 in the second in their respective sectors. Only Fidelity&#39s American and M&G&#39s corporate bond funds are ranked top quartile in their respective sectors. The 50 best selling funds account for more than a third of all gross sales last year, totalling £20.3bn.

The figures, published in the UK Fund Industry Review 2001, reveal Invesco&#39s European growth fund to be last year&#39s best seller, taking £1,015m in gross sales. The fund, managed by Rory Powe, is now bottom in its sector over the past 12 months, down by around 50 per cent.

While most investors, even in top-quartile funds, are now sitting on losses for the past year, the figures reveal that the majority are invested in the funds which have suffered the greatest falls.

The top 10 selling funds, which are spread across seven different Autif sectors, are down by an average of 32.61 per cent for the past year, compared with the average unit trust fall of around 19 per cent.

Henderson director John Husselbee, who manages the firm&#39s multi-manager range, points out that all the funds which sold well last year are growth funds.

He says: “When you have seen a swing from growth to value, it does not surprise us that the funds that did well in 1999 have not done well in 2000 and 2001. Value managers at the moment have never had it so good while growth has fallen away.”

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