Top 10 most popular investment trusts – November 2019

Scottish Mortgage has once again topped the list of the most-bought investment trusts.

Funds and Investment Trusts December 3, 2019 by Tom Bailey

Scottish Mortgage’s popularity among investors continues unabated, coming in as the most bought investment trust (according to data from our parent company, interactive investor).

The continued popularity comes despite a recent dip in performance. The trust boasts one of the best three year returns among the top 10 most popular trusts, at 74.,9%, but on a one-year basis it has returned just 6%.

The trust’s one-year performance is slightly below the global sector average, of around 7%. Investors, however, appear undeterred, and continue to have faith in the trust and its manager, James Anderson.

Indeed, investment trust investors appear to be ignoring the seeming recent shift away from growth and technology companies by markets (two types of stocks that Scottish Mortgage focuses on). Both Monks and Polar Capital Technology re-entered the rankings.

As with last month, Nick Train’s Finsbury Growth & Income came in at second place the position it held the previous month. Finsbury Growth & Income shares have gained 15.6% over the year to 3 December.

City of London, meanwhile, has gained ground, moving up one spot to third place. Run by Job Curtis, the trust is seen as relatively defensive, with a portfolio that can hold up in rockier market conditions. Over the past year it has produced a return of 11.1%.

Also climbing up the rankings by one place was the Renewables Infrastructure Group. The trust was added to Money Observer’s Rated Fund list for the first time in 2019, replacing Bluefield Solar Income. And 2019 has proven to be a good year for the trust. Between 3 December 2018 and 3 December 2019, the trust has achieved the second-best one year share price performance on the list, returning 20.8%.

Woodford Patient Capital saw a fall in the rankings. In October, on the back of news that Schroders will be taking over management towards the end of 2019, the trust saw a surge of buys, seeing it shoot up to second place.

While that buying has slowed down somewhat, with the trust falling to ninth place, many investors still see it as a potential buying opportunity. That bet, however, has not paid off yet. Performance has weakened over the course of November and currently, the trust’s one year return stands at -65.8%

Climbing up the rankings by two places was BlackRock Throgmorton, a UK smaller companies-focused trust. The trust entered the rankings last month.

The reason for the trust’s popularity is easy to see Over the past year the trust has provided strong performance, returning 43.7%. In comparison, the UK smaller companies sector’s one year average return stands at around 10%.

By being focused on smaller companies many investors may also view it as a good way to benefit from an expected post-election pick up in UK domestic facing equities, assuming the outcome makes both a no-deal Brexit and a Labour government unlikely.

A new addition to the rankings in November was Alliance Trust. The £2.7 billion trust invests in global stocks, with its largest holding in big names such as Alphabet, Mastercard and Amazon. Over the past year the trust has returned 12.2%.

Rank Investment trust AIC sector Rank change from October 1-year return (as at 3 December) 3-year return
1 Scottish Mortgage Global no change 6.00% 74.90%
2 Finsbury Growth & Income UK equity income no change 15.60% 51.40%
3 City of London investment trust UK Equity Income 1 11.10% 25.00%
4 The Renewables Infrastructure Group Infrastructure 1 20.80% 42.70%
5 Monks investment trust Global new entry 18.10% 73.60%
6 Polar Capital Technology Technology & Media new entry 24.60% 86.00%
7 BlackRock Throgmorton UK Smaller Companies 2 43.70% 109%
8 Alliance trust Global new entry 12.20% 49.60%
9 Woodford Patient Capital Growth Capital -6 -65.80% -66.10%
10 F&C investment trust Global -1 8.50% 50.50%


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