Top 10 most popular funds: May 2019

There’s a new entry to our top 10 league table of the most popular funds.

There’s little change in our top 10 most popular fund league tables, with investors continuing to either focus their sights on fund managers with solid reputations or instead go down the passive fund route.

Terry Smith’s Fundsmith Equity fund, which now holds an enormous £17.6 billion in assets under management, retains its place in top spot, a position it has held for around four years. At the time it took pole position from Woodford Equity Income, which was nowhere near the top 10 most popular funds for the month of May with users of our parent company interactive investor.

In fact, Woodford Equity Income did not even make the top 100. It exited the top 10 in December 2017.

Woodford’s continued sluggish performance has led to increasing numbers of investors deciding to throw in the towel, which came to a head a week ago when sales and purchases of the fund were suspended.

Woodford’s woes serve as a reminder that fund managers’ star statuses can fade. Moreover, another takeaway is that when it comes to funds – size matters.

The other star fund manager name in the top 10, alongside Smith, is Nick Train, who co-manages the Lindsell Train Global Equity and Lindsell Train UK Equity, which are ranked in second and fourth place, respectively.

Three other actively managed funds are in the top 10: AXA Framlington Global Technology and Baillie Gifford Global Discovery, which also featured in the top 10 in April.

A new entrant, and the only one this month, is TM Cavendish Aim. The fund is managed by Paul Mumford, who has worked in investment since the 1960s. As its name suggests, the fund invests in junior companies listed on the Aim market, a large portion of which can be used to reduce an inheritance tax liability.

The final four funds are passively managed, meaning they aim to closely replicate the performance of a particular stockmarket index, rather than attempt to beat it. In our top 10 table, the most popular passive fund is Vanguard LifeStrategy 80% Equity, followed by Vanguard LifeStrategy 60% Equity and Vanguard LifeStrategy 100% Equity. These funds are favoured in particular by cost-conscious investors, as the ongoing charge figure is just 0.22% (although this does not include the fund’s trading costs).

In 10th place is Vanguard US Equity Index, which has an ongoing charge figure of 0.1%, which makes it one of the cheapest ways to track the US stockmarket.

Rank  Fund IA sector Change since April *1 year (%) *3 years (%)
1 Fundsmith Equity Global -- 16.3 77
2 Lindsell Train Global Equity Global -- 19.2 95.4
3 Vanguard LifeStrategy 80% Equity Mixed Investment 40%-85% Shares -- 4 38.4
4 Lindsell Train UK Equity UK all companies -- 10.8 52.7
5 Vanguard LifeStrategy 60% Equity Mixed Investment 40%-85% Shares --- 4.7 30.5
6 AXA Framlington Global Technology Technology and telecommunications --- 8.5 113.8
7 Vanguard LifeStrategy 100% Equity Global --- 3.3 46.9
8 TM Cavendish Aim Global New entry 10.1 105
9 Baillie Gifford Global Discovery Global -1 4.1 84.3
10 Vanguard US Equity Index Global -1 9.3 61.7


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