Investors opt for defensive funds

Andy Parsons, head of investments at The Share Centre, examines The Share Centre’s ten top traded funds in April 2017.

Investors opt for defensive funds

The 2017/18 tax year started eventfully compared to previous years as on 18 April the Prime Minister surprised the majority and called a snap general election. It is therefore unsurprising that investors have put their faith in established and trusted managers who have proven track records through a variety of economic and market conditions.

Neil Woodford has proved himself as the master of his trade, at least where investors at The Share Centre are concerned, as his two funds proved the most popular within the month of April. The newer of the two, the CF Woodford Income focus fund, topped the list whilst the CF Woodford Equity Income fund followed closely behind.

The data, which is based on the number of trades made by customers at The Share Centre, indicates that investors are keen to benefit from Neil and his tried and trusted investment approach, on which he forged his reputation.

The Jupiter India fund sits in third position and is the first of two funds from Jupiter to feature this month. We have noted previously that India continues to be the preferred emerging market region as investors appreciate the opportunities being created due to reforms in the province.

Followed closely behind in fourth place, and reinforcing the theme of investors selecting tried and tested fund managers, is the Fundsmith Equity fund. Manager Terry Smith is one of the industry’s most respected managers and when you combine this with the fact this fund has a preference for defensive companies that are resilient to change, technological innovation and who have existing advantages that are difficult to replicate, it’s unsurprising to see it feature on a regular basis within this context.

The next four places are consumed by new entrants to the list this month.

In fifth and sixth positions respectively, are two funds with an alternative global approach for investors in the shape of the Lindsell Train Global Equity fund and the Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders fund. Indeed, the latter is popular with those looking for exposure to Asia as it invests in shares of large and mid-sized companies in the region which generally have a total stock market value of at least US $1bn.

A regular stalwart over the past several years, the Old Mutual UK Mid-Cap fund once again appears, clearly showing  investors’ faith and belief that the UK economy is in a healthier state than many have questioned , with concerns over Brexit being over-emphasised.

Infrastructure is perceived by many as being defensive, with mature businesses offering a steady and reliable level of income which can often have inflationary pricing linked in proving attractive for investors. It is therefore unsurprising to see a surge of interest in the First State Global Listed Infrastructure fund, particularly so as it seeks investment opportunities from around the world.

Continuing the theme of investors seeking sector specific opportunities, the AXA Framlington Global Technology fund sits comfortably in eighth place. In a world constantly evolving, technology is continually extending into and impacting all aspects of our daily lives.  From cars to healthcare, communication to banking and manufacturing, this fund provides investors with an opportunity to benefit from this ever changing landscape.

Propping up the table in April is the Jupiter Global Managed fund. The aim of this fund is to invest in international companies, where the management search for durable global leaders who have the ability to continually deliver compounding growth.


Top traded funds in April 2017 from The Share Centre:

1     CF Woodford Income Focus

2     CF Woodford Equity Income

3     Jupiter India

4     Fundsmith Equity

5     Lindsell Train Global Equity

6     Stewart Investors Asia Leaders

7     Old Mutual UK Mid-Cap

8     First State Global Listed Infrastructure

9     AXA Framlington Global Technology

10   Jupiter Global Managed

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