Top 10 most popular investment trusts - March 2018

Funds and Investment Trusts April 9, 2018 by Tom Bailey

This past month has been a roller coaster for stock markets. However, despite a few changes, the most commonly bought investments hardly changed between February and March, according to data provided by Interactive Investor, our sister company. 

The market downturn appears to have weighed slightly on Scottish Mortgage, with its discount falling to 1.32 per cent, compared to its 12-month average premium of 1.73 per cent. At the same time, its one month return share price return was -7.1 per cent. Despite this, Scottish Mortgage remained the most popular fund to buy – a position it has held for around a year now.

Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon also kept its position in second place, despite a weakening of investment sentiment towards Japan in recent weeks. Principally, a more protectionist US has spooked some investors. However, while Shin Nippon’s share price took a slight dip in March, it has now since recovered, providing a one month share price return of 2.3 per cent. 

Catching the eye of investors is its storming long-term returns: as of 9 April its three-year return sat at 162 per cent. At the same time, it’s sister fund, Baillie Gifford Japan IT, fell out of the rankings in March

Neil Woodford’s Patient Capital Trust kept its position in third place and has seen a general uptick in performance after a tough couple of years. The trust has been able to provide a one month return of 6.4 per cent. The trust, however, remains on a steep 8.43 per cent discount, still below its 12-month average 6.1 per cent. Its one-year performance remains deeply in the red at -10 per cent. 

City of London IT, known for its cautious approach, also managed to weather recent market upsets. The trust managed a positive, albeit small, one month return of 0.7 per cent. 

This month Allianz Technology Trust was a new addition to the rankings. Based in Silicon Valley and run by Walter Price, the trust is, as the name suggests, tech-focused. Its largest holdings include many of the big names, including Amazon (7.3 per cent), Microsoft (4.6 per cent) and Netflix (3.4 per cent). 

Unsurprisingly, the recent falls in tech share prices have hit the trust’s performance, with it providing negative 1-month returns of -3.3 per cent. However, although many investors have soured on big tech shares, Allianz Technology Trust appears to increasingly popular among investors. The trust is on a discount of 0.28 per cent, narrower than its 12-month average of 3.51 per cent. With a three-year return of 101.5 per cent, that’s not surprising. 

Meanwhile, the appeal of Fidelity China Special Situations was seemingly unhurt the prospect of China-US trade war. Despite a general slip in Chinese equities, and a one month performance of -3.9 per cent, the trust rose up the rankings by one place. 

Vietnam-focused VinaCapital Vietnam Opportunities has fallen out of the rankings. The fund appears to have had a surge of popularity around the end 2017 and start of 2018. Since then, its performance has spluttered, with its share price still, as of 9 April, down by nearly 6 per cent and its discount at a huge 21.83 per cent (its 12-month average discount stands at 18.41 per cent).

Another new edition to the rankings was Foreign & Colonial. The oldest investment trust in the world, it recently celebrated its 150-year anniversary. This resulted in an increase in positive coverage, perhaps part the reason for its surge in popularity among investors. 

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Rank Investment Trust AIC Sector Change since Feb 1 month share price return to 9 April 3 -year share price return to 9 April
1 Scottish Mortgage IT Global -- -7.1% 65.4%
2 Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon Japan Equities -- 2.3% 161.8%
3 Woodford Patient Capital UK All Companies -- 6.4% --
4 City of London IT UK Equity Income
0.7% 15.8%
5 Allianz Technology Tech, Media & Telecomm new entry -3.3% 101.5%
6 Fidelity China Special Situations Country Specialists Asia Pacific +1 -3.9% 63.9%
7 Foreign and Colonial Global new entry -2.8% 49%
8 Witan IT Global +2 -3.1% 31.5%
9 Edinburgh IT UK Equity Income -1 4% 10%
10 Monks IT Global -5 -4.7% 75.9%

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