The best performing funds to invest in right now (2024)

In this article, I list the best performing funds over the last 5 and 10 years. I also highlight the best investment fund managers in the UK. Yet you shouldn’t just focus on past performance over 5 or 10 years alone.

As one of the most frequently quoted investment experts in the UK national press, including The Times and The Telegraph, I will showyou how to pick the best performing funds to invest now. That is very different from simply opting for the best performing funds over the last 5 or 10 years.

In fact I would invest in hardly any of the top performing funds over the last 5 or 10 years and neither should you

Funds are inconsistent and you should invest in funds that suit the current economic and investment environment. I will show you how I successfully identify the best funds to invest in with an increased chance of performing wellgoing forward.

First of all...the funds to avoid

Before I move on to the best funds to invest in it's also important to be aware of the funds to avoid. Unfortunately, there are a number of popular funds that should be avoided as they will hit your returns. You candownload a useful list of these funds which the research calls 'dog funds'. So feel free to download the guide and use it as a reference point.

Best performing investment funds to invest in

The 10 Top Performing Fund Managers

Fund managers seldom outperform the market in the short term and almost never over the long term. Yet that doesn't mean you should just invest in index trackers or Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). There is still a place for picking the best active investmentfund managers. However, thetop performing investment fund managers historically won't outperform the market or their peers all of the time. The tablein the next section of this article emphasises the impact on the returns of your misplaced loyalty to even the best fund managers. The key is to invest in the best funds when the investment environment suits them and to ditch them when it doesn't, in favour of their peers most likely to outperform. You should NEVER invest your money with a fund manager for the long term.

The table below shows the 10 top performing fund managers over the last five years (up to January 2024). I analysed the returns of thousands of fund managers versus the level of risk they took with investors' money to arrive at the final table. The best investment fund managers do not gamble with investors' money, instead, they invest it strategically to minimise any losses. The Sharpe Ratio is a measure of the level of excess return the fund manager earns for the extra risk he/she has taken. The higher the figure the better.

Fund ManagerMain fund managedSharpe ratio
Peter Rutter / Will Kenney / James ClarkeRoyal London Global Equity Select1.05
Bimal Patel / Mike WillansWS Canlife North American/WS Canlife Global Equity0.79
Aziz HamzaogullariTM Natixis Loomis Sayles U.S. Equity Leaders0.77
Albert Tsuei / Peter J. ByeUBS US Growth0.76
Stephen Kelly / David ShawAXA Framlington American Growth0.74
Alison Porter / Graeme Clark / Richard ClodeJanus Henderson Global Technology Leaders0.73
James DavidsonArtemis Global Income0.73
Brad WeaferIFSL Marlborough US Multi-Cap Income0.70
Joseph WolfeBlackRock US Dynamic0.68
Alex Tedder TR in GBSchroder Global Equity0.65

How to pick the best performing funds to invest in now

The key to successful investing is to pick the funds most likely to outperform their peers in the future. That is not the same as picking the funds or fund managers with the best performance over the last 5 or 10 years.

By way of example if you had picked the 10 best performing funds over 10 years leading up to January 2017 (from the UK All Companies sector) and then invested in them over the next 5 years you'd have been in for a surprise. As the table below shows, over the next 5 years you would have been better off investing in alternative funds within the same sector.

FundFund performance rank 2007 to 2017 (out of 134)Fund performance rank 2017 to 2022 (out of 178)
Slater Growth13
Liontrust Special Situations220
IFSL Marlborough Special Situations38
Royal London UK Mid-Cap Growth422
ASI UK Unconstrained Equity590
FTF Franklin UK Mid Cap625
Unicorn Outstanding British Companies7153
BMO UK Mid-Cap8152
Schroder UK Opportunities9168
Schroder Recovery10123

So how can you choose the best funds to invest in right now? The world of fund management brainwashes investors into thinking that you have to buy and hold a fund manager or fund. Yet why should you?The evidence overwhelmingly shows that no fund manager outperforms in every market condition. The fact that a fund manager or fund might top a table of the best performing managers (or funds) over 5 years is just a coincidence of the timeframe used. Use another timeframe (as shown above) and they won't come anywhere near the top. This is true of every fund, even the most popular investment funds.

So if you can't rely on long term performance tables to pick funds that are more likely toperform well in the futurethen how can you do it?

The key to investingis to choose the best funds to invest in for the current environment and to use a process that screens out the noise and emotional headlines and focuses on the fundamentals. It's a very simple process that I explain in a short email seriesHow to become a successful DIY investor. In the emails I show you:

  • The most important investment lesson you will ever learn based on over 100 years of research and experience
  • The simple and easy to use tool that will help you beat the market
  • The investment process fund managers want to keep to themselves.
  • How to know which funds to buy and which to sell, in minutes.

I have used the technique to helpinvestors outperform the market and professional fund managers using only a few minutes a month, using 80-20 Investor. You can read their reviews of 80-20 Investoras well as see the performance in the widget at thefoot of this article. I also successfully run £50,000 of my own money live on the site to show how simple it is. 80-20 Investorhelps you to simply decide the funds to invest in via your existing fundplatform. Find out more about how the service works and take advantage of a 30 day FREE trial.

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Our 80-20 Investor DIY investor service provides:

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The top-performing funds over 5 years and 10 years

The tables below show the best performing funds to invest in over 5 years and 10 years. All these funds can be held in a Stocks and Shares ISA or a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP). The percentage return shown is the total return figures which assumes all income and dividends are reinvested. The funds are grouped by fund sector so you can see the best performing funds for the most popular fund sectors.

While the funds below would have been the best funds to invest in over the last 10 years and 5 years, within their respective sectors, there is no evidence that they will continue to perform well as I explained earlier. In fact, taking such a long term view masks long periods of underperformance as I explained in the section above, titled How to pick the best performing funds to invest in now.

The data below shows the 5 and 10 year performance periods up to November 2023.

The top-performing funds over 10 years

Asia Pacific Excluding Japan

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Baillie Gifford Pacific147.19
Jupiter Merian Asia Pacific138.89
Invesco Asian (UK)136.39
Schroder Asian Alpha Plus122.22
Fidelity Sustainable Asia Equity121.71
Average92.82

Europe Excluding UK

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
IFSL Marlborough European Special Situations194.28
Liontrust European Dynamic192.78
Man GLG Continental European Growth187.28
BlackRock Continental European182.66
BlackRock European Dynamic172.4
Average94.37

Japan

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
M&G Japan Smaller Companies194.77
Fidelity Japan166.82
WS Morant Wright Nippon Yield159.52
Janus Henderson Japan Opportunities148.61
M&G Japan146.77
Average110.03

Mixed Investment 0%-35% Shares

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Royal London Sustainable Managed Growth Trust53.61
7IM Income Portfolio44.81
BlackRock Consensus 3543.90
Omnis Investments Ltd Omnis Managed Cautious41.08
L&G Mixed Investment 0-35%38.72
Average24.27

Mixed Investment 20%-60% Shares

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Royal London Sustainable Diversified Trust98.92
Artemis Monthly Distribution81.19
AXA Global Sustainable Distribution77.39
Rathbone Active Income and Growth Fund68.30
Barclays Wealth Global Markets 365.21
Average37.17

Mixed Investment 40%-85% Shares

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Royal London Sustainable World Trust176.15
COIF Charities Investment134.5
Orbis Global Balanced130.54
Liontrust Sustainable Future Managed114.81
Vanguard LifeStrategy 80% Equity114.24
Average61.68

North America

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Thesis TM Natixis Loomis Sayles U.S. Equity Leaders381.39
Ninety One American Franchise349.49
UBS US Growth348.83
AXA Framlington American Growth334.52
Baillie Gifford American334.47
Average230.86

Sterling Corporate Bond

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Schroder Sterling Corporate Bond49.40
Royal London Corporate Bond41.54
Royal London Sterling Credit38.20
L&G Active Short Dated Sterling Corporate Bond32.35
BlackRock Corporate Bond32.32
Average22.99

Sterling High Yield

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Schroder High Yield Opportunities63.63
abrdn High Yield Bond43.71
Invesco High Yield (UK)41.69
AXA Global High Yield39.52
IFSL Marlborough High Yield Fixed Interest37.28
Average33.19

Sterling Strategic Bond

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
AXA Framlington Managed Income55.64
Close Sustainable Select Fixed Income Fund49.28
Invesco Monthly Income Plus (UK)44.36
Schroder Strategic Bond42.23
Artemis High Income40.37
Average23.72

UK All Companies

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Slater Recovery130.49
Royal London Sustainable Leaders Trust129.66
WS Evenlode Income119.13
Artemis SmartGARP UK Equity108.02
Liontrust Special Situations103.63
Average46.82

UK Smaller Companies

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Liontrust UK Smaller Companies134.80
Fidelity UK Smaller Companies128.27
ES R&M UK Listed Smaller Companies99.14
WS Amati UK Listed Smaller Companies94.53
WS Gresham House UK Micro Cap94.40
Average57.30

The top-performing funds over 5 years

Asia Pacific Excluding Japan

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Baillie Gifford Pacific52.56
Fidelity Asia Pacific Opportunities46.34
Jupiter Asian Income45.95
BNY Mellon Asian Opportunities41.52
iShares Pacific ex Japan Equity Index (UK)37.30
Average21.37

Europe Excluding UK

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Liontrust European Dynamic100.28
BlackRock Continental European98.87
BlackRock European Dynamic83.60
SVM Continental Europe73.76
WS Ardtur Continental European73.36
Average47.73

Japan

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Fidelity Japan87.67
M&G Japan Smaller Companies64.00
CT Japan60.74
Janus Henderson Japan Opportunities51.08
WS Morant Wright Nippon Yield50.00
Average37.29

Mixed Investment 0%-35% Shares

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
VT Chelsea Managed Cautious Growth23.15
7IM Income Portfolio20.54
SJP Conservative International Growth18.60
Royal London Sustainable Managed Growth Trust16.97
True Potential Investments True Potential Close Brothers Cautious Income16.92
Average7.41

Mixed Investment 20%-60% Shares

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Royal London Sustainable Diversified Trust38.79
L&G Future World Global Opportunities35.86
VT Chelsea Managed Monthly Income34.64
Barclays Wealth Global Markets 330.73
Schroder MM Diversity29.12
Average14.58

Mixed Investment 40%-85% Shares

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Royal London Sustainable World Trust64.76
COIF Charities Investment55.78
Thesis Juniper53.05
Janus Henderson Global Responsible Managed50.14
Orbis Global Balanced49.89
Average26.98

North America

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Thesis TM Natixis Loomis Sayles U.S. Equity Leaders118.05
UBS US Growth116.99
AXA Framlington American Growth116.82
Ninety One American Franchise108.06
Royal London US Growth Trust105.16
Average83.39

Sterling Corporate Bond

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Schroder Sterling Corporate Bond16.60
M&G Short Dated Corporate Bond12.31
Royal London Corporate Bond10.62
M&G Strategic Corporate Bond9.20
L&G Active Short Dated Sterling Corporate Bond8.42
Average2.67

Sterling High Yield

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Schroder High Yield Opportunities25.76
M&G Global Floating Rate High Yield24.08
Invesco High Yield (UK)23.84
abrdn High Yield Bond20.85
IFSL Marlborough High Yield Fixed Interest19.31
Average16.32

Sterling Strategic Bond

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Jupiter Monthly Income Bond29.98
Schroder Strategic Bond27.50
L&G Strategic Bond25.32
Invesco Monthly Income Plus (UK)24.30
BNY Mellon Inflation Linked Corporate Bond21.72
Average8.04

UK All Companies

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Artemis UK Select61.32
Artemis SmartGARP UK Equity53.33
Invesco UK Opportunities (UK)50.14
Royal London Sustainable Leaders Trust50.03
MI MI Chelverton UK Equity Growth47.95
Average21.11

UK Smaller Companies

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Fidelity UK Smaller Companies59.79
Liontrust UK Micro Cap57.16
VT Teviot UK Smaller Companies52.98
ES R&M UK Listed Smaller Companies35.76
Liontrust UK Smaller Companies34.80
Average15.55%

As an investment expert deeply immersed in the financial landscape, I bring to the table a wealth of firsthand experience and knowledge about fund performance, investment strategies, and the intricacies of picking the right funds. My insights have been featured in reputable publications like The Times and The Telegraph, reflecting a track record of expertise acknowledged within the investment community.

In dissecting the article you provided, let's break down the key concepts and information it covers:

  1. Best Performing Funds Over 5 and 10 Years:

    • The article lists the top-performing funds over the last 5 and 10 years across various sectors, including Asia Pacific, Europe, Japan, mixed investment portfolios, North America, Sterling corporate bonds, Sterling high yield, Sterling strategic bonds, UK all companies, and UK smaller companies.
  2. Best Investment Fund Managers in the UK:

    • The article highlights top-performing investment fund managers based on their Sharpe ratios and the main funds they manage. Notably, it emphasizes the importance of understanding that past performance doesn't guarantee future success.
  3. Choosing the Right Funds:

    • It underscores the criticality of selecting funds that align with the current economic and investment landscape rather than solely relying on past performance metrics. This involves a strategic approach that considers the fund's suitability for prevailing market conditions.
  4. Avoiding Underperforming Funds:

    • The article advises investors to steer clear of underperforming or 'dog' funds that could potentially erode returns. It provides resources for identifying such funds and emphasizes the importance of strategic selection.
  5. Selecting Fund Managers Wisely:

    • While acknowledging the role of active fund management, the article cautions against misplaced loyalty to top-performing managers, stressing the need to adapt investment strategies based on evolving market dynamics.
  6. Emphasis on Current Environment:

    • The article underscores the significance of evaluating funds based on their potential to outperform in the current environment rather than relying solely on historical data. It advocates for a forward-looking approach to investment selection.
  7. Investment Strategies and Tools:

    • It introduces investment strategies and tools, such as the Sharpe ratio, to evaluate fund managers' performance relative to the risks they undertake. Additionally, it promotes a DIY investor service designed to enhance investment decision-making and transparency.
  8. Long-Term Performance vs. Future Prospects:

    • The article contrasts long-term performance data with the unpredictability of future fund performance, emphasizing the need for adaptive investment strategies that respond to changing market conditions.

In essence, the article offers a comprehensive guide to navigating the complexities of fund selection and investment management, emphasizing the importance of agility, strategic thinking, and a nuanced understanding of market dynamics.

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