Top 10 most popular investment trusts – October 2019

Woodford Patient Capital has returned to the rankings after its new manager was announced. 

Funds and Investment Trusts November 4, 2019 by Tom Bailey

Scottish Mortgage has once again come through as the most-bought investment trust among UK investors, according to the latest data from interactive investor (Money Observer’s parent company).

The global, technology-focused investment trust has seen something of a slip in performance lately, with the share price down 10% since the start of August.

Investors, however, are not deterred, and continue to have faith in the trust and its manager, James Anderson. The trust’s three-year total return stands at a reputable 54.5%, more than 10% above the AIC’s global sector average. Over five years it has returned more than 116%.

Coming in at second place is Nick Train’s Finsbury Growth & Income, the position it held the previous month. Finsbury Growth & Income shares have gained 17.4% over the year to 4 November, the third-best yearly performance on the list. The trust has produced a five-year return roughly triple that of the UK equity income sector average.

City of London, meanwhile, falls one place from the previous month, coming in at number four. Run by Job Curtis, the trust is seen as relatively defensive, with a portfolio that can hold up in rockier market conditions.

Terry Smith’s Smithson sees a slight decline in the rankings, slipping to sixth place. The trust, which launched in October last year, holds the title for the largest UK-domiciled IPO for an investment trust, raising over £800 million at launch. Over the past year it has returned a healthy 14%.

Renewables Infrastructure Group moves slightly up the rankings. The trust was added to Money Observer’s Rated Fund list for the first time in 2019, replacing Bluefield Solar Income. The trust has achieved the second-best one-year share price performance on the list, returning 21.8%.

More surprisingly, Woodford Patient Capital has returned to the rankings.  With the trust due to be taken over by Schroders, investors clearly hope that new management will put it back on track and see the recent price falls as a buying opportunity. Currently, the trust’s one-year return stands at -58.4%.

Entering the rankings this month is BlackRock Throgmorton, a UK smaller companies-focused trust. Over the past year the trust has provided strong performance, returning 23.9%. In comparison, the UK smaller companies sector’s one year average return stands at just 1.7%.

Alongside continued strong performance, investors were likely attracted to BlackRock Throgmorton on the back of hopes of a recovery in UK domestic-facing stocks if Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal means a no-deal Brexit is avoided.

Rank Investment trust AIC sector Rank change from September 1-year return (as at 4 November) 3-year return
1 Scottish Mortgage Global no change 5.70% 54.50%
2 Finsbury Growth & Income UK equity income no change 18.10% 44.20%
3 Woodford Patient Capital Growth Capital new entry -58.40% -57.10%
4 City of London investment trust UK Equity Income -1 8.50% 19.80%
5 The Renewables Infrastructure Group Infrastructure 1 21.80% 46.70%
6 Smithson Global smaller companies -2 14.00%  
7 Allianz Technology trust Technology & Media new entry 15.30% 89.80%
8 Henderson Far East Income Asia Pacific Income no change 14.60% 23.80%
9 F&C investment trust Global new entry 7.40% 43.30%
10 BlackRock Throgmorton UK Smaller Companies new entry 23.90% 94.10%


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