December's 10 most-bought trusts

Money Observer Rated Fund Scottish Mortgage has made it 20 successive months as the most popular investment trust with clients of our sister website Interactive Investor.

Investors made three times as many purchases of the £4.2 billion global trust, managed by Baillie Gifford's James Anderson, as of Woodford Patient Capital, which moves up from fourth place in November to take second spot in December.

Meanwhile, there are two new entries at the foot of the most-bought table, as F&C Global Smaller Companies and Fundsmith Emerging Equities Trust return to the top 10.

Scottish Mortgage also dominates the table in terms of the value of investments made over the month. The trust, which narrowly failed to gain a listing on the FTSE 100 late last year, has almost 50 per cent of its assets in the US, with online retailer Amazon accounting for over 10 per cent of the portfolio.


Its stellar long-term performance, though, which has seen it return nearly 200 per cent over the five years to 5 January, has been helped by its ownership of unlisted equities, which account for 13 per cent of the portfolio. These include stakes in Airbnb, Skyscanner and Spotify.

Woodford Patient Capital moves back into second place in terms of the number of buy trades, after slipping behind both City of London and Finsbury Growth & Income in November.

Star fund manager Neil Woodford's eponymous trust has been in positive territory over the past month, as its US biotech holdings continued to see strong performance after Donald Trump's election victory over Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. However, over the past year to 5 January, the trust has lost almost 10 per cent in share price terms.

The City of London investment trust remains in third place, while Finsbury Growth & Income slips from second in November to fourth in December.

Global trust Witan sits in an unchanged fifth place; it has seen good short-term performance in recent months, with a gain of 5.6 per cent over December. Its high weighting to financials stocks, which saw a recovery after Trump's election win, has contributed to performance.

Specialists Biotech Growth and BlackRock World Mining have once again switched positions, sixth and seventh respectively - but they sit at the opposite ends of the performance spectrum.

While Biotech Growth saw sentiment to its sector wane through the year due to remarks from Hillary Clinton, the BlackRock offering has returned 107.3 per cent in the year to 5 January as oil prices and commodities firms recouped losses suffered over recent years.

Foreign & Colonial and F&C Global Smaller Companies sit in eighth and ninth place respectively with similar performance figures, while Fundsmith Emerging Equities re-enters the top 10, having been pushed out in November.

December's 10 most-bought trusts
RankFundAIC sectorChange since October1m SP total return to 1 Dec (%)3yr SP total return to 1 Dec (%)
1Scottish Mortgage*Global--5.761.9
2Woodford Patient CapitalUK all companies+2-0.2n/a
3City of London*UK equity income--6.121.6
4Finsbury Growth & Income*UK equity income-25.934.6
6Biotech GrowthBiotechnology & healthcare+10.151.1
7BlackRock World Mining*Commodities & natural resources-12.1-10.4
8Foreign & Colonial*Global--5.952.7
9F&C Global Smaller Companies*
10Fundsmith Emerging Equities
Global emerging markets equities
Source: FE Trustnet. *denotes a Money Observer Rated Fund

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