Fund stars to pick for your portfolio in 2017: Experts name the managers they predict will come out tops


Fund stars to pick for your portfolio in 2017: Experts name the managers they predict will come out tops

The end of the year is a perfect time for savers to review their investments, revel in their successes, lament over their losses – and make some important changes.

Trying to pick the funds that will top the performance charts is a tricky task for anybody, which is why some savers prefer to use multi-manager funds whose experts are solely dedicated to doing just this.

Multi-manager funds do not pick the stocks and shares they think will do best. Instead, they try to scout out the fund managers they believe will be the top performers.

The idea is that multi-manager funds can pick out the experts on, say, the UK, smaller companies and emerging markets and invest in their funds to create a one-stop shop investment fund for savers.

They are also known as funds of funds, because they are funds whose portfolios are made up of other funds rather than individual stocks. 

We've asked some of them to name the managers they are backing for 2017:

Bambos Hambi, head of funds at Standard Life

Hambi likes the JOHCM UK Dynamic fund, run by Alex Savvides, which invests in a range of British firms including Morrisons, BP and HSBC.

It has returned 23.2 per cent over the past year, compared with an average of 10.9 per cent among rivals.

Savvides tries to find companies in difficulty that are changing for the better.

Hambi, who first invested in the fund in 2014, says: 'I've been an admirer of Savvides for years. He is a passionate stock-picker with in-depth knowledge of the companies in which he invests.

'I also admire how he has reacted to setbacks by reducing the number of companies he invests in to focus on his best ideas – it's an impressive way to respond.'

David Lewis, fund manager at Jupiter Asset Management

He backs Stuart Rhodes, manager of M&G Global Dividend.

Rhodes has run the fund since 2008 and returned 42.9 per cent over the past year, compared with an average of 24.5 per cent among rivals.

It invests in companies across the globe, with 56 per cent in US firms such as casino operator Las Vegas Sands, Wells Fargo and Microsoft.

Lewis, who first invested in the fund in 2010, says: 'In Stuart I saw a talented investor with a structured investment process and the dedication to back his convictions.

'That strategy had a tough time in 2014 and 2015 but has rebounded dramatically with the help of his long-held and favoured stocks.'

Simon Evan-Cook, fund manager at Premier Asset Management

Evan-Cook is looking at some of M&G's riskier options, and particularly likes its Global Emerging Markets fund, which invests in businesses in developing economies including Brazil, South America and Russia.

Some 22 per cent of the £1.6billion fund is in Asian companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor, Samsung and the Chinese search engine firm Baidu.

Evan-Cook says: 'I like emerging markets because the share prices look far more attractive than their developed economy equivalents.

'Investors have shifted their sentiment from safer, bond proxy companies to recovery firms, and this fund could really benefit if that trend gains momentum.'

The fund has returned 48.7 per cent over the past year compared with an average of 28 per cent among rivals.

Gary Potter, co-head of multi-manager at BMO Global Asset Management

Another fan of emerging markets for 2017, he says: 'It seems a long time since the acronym BRIC – Brazil, Russia, India and China – was coined in 2001.

'Emerging markets have had a tough time, but with the advent of some of the changes in global politics, their prospects are starting to look better.'

Potter likes the TT Emerging Markets Unconstrained fund. It's a risky option with investments mainly in smaller firms in nations such as Argentina, Mexico and India, but it has returned 17.1 per cent in the past year.

The fund has been managed by Robert James since it was launched in June 2015, and Potter started investing in it this summer. He says: 'This fund only invests in around 40 firms.'

James de Bunsen, fund manager at Henderson

De Bunsen likes the Kennox Strategic Value fund, co-managed by Charles Heenan and Geoff Legg.

It invests across the globe in unloved businesses the managers believe are quality companies.

That strategy means some of its largest holdings are oil firms such as ExxonMobil, BP and Shell.

Some 15 per cent of the £200million fund is in Japanese firms, along with UK, US and Hong Kong companies.

De Bunsen says: 'This fund management pair are very disciplined investors who focus on quality companies with attractive share prices. 

I first invested in this fund in 2012 and it has lagged since then, but I think its style is suited to what is likely to be a choppy year for stock markets in 2017.'

The fund returned 35.6 per cent over the past year, compared with an average of 24.5 per cent among rivals.




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