The best performing funds to invest in right now - Money To The Masses (2024)

In this article, I list the best performing funds over 10 years and 5 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 the start of April 2023). 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
Will Kenney/Peter RutterRoyal London Global Equity Select0.71
James CarkeRoyal London US Growth Trust0.65
Chris Ford/Tim DaySVS Sanlam North American Equity0.64
Stephen Kelly/David ShawAXA Framlington American Growth0.61
Michael Clarfield/Peter VanderleeFTF ClearBridge US Equity Income0.57
John BowlerSchroder Global Healthcare0.56
Robert HayBNY Mellon Global Income0.55
Mike WillansLF Canlife Global Equity Income0.55
Joseph Wolfe/Todd BurnsideBlackRock US Dynamic0.55
Brad WeaferIFSL Marlborough US Multi-Cap Income0.55

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.

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 Pacific154.44
Invesco Asian (UK)144.03
Fidelity Sustainable Asia Equity140.64
Jupiter Merian Asia Pacific133.59
Schroder Asian Alpha Plus123.32

Europe Excluding UK

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Man GLG Continental European Growth200.62
Liontrust European Dynamic196.63
IFSL Marlborough European Special Situations192.65
BlackRock European Dynamic184.58
BlackRock Continental European183.40


Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
M&G Japan Smaller Companies188.95
Fidelity Japan150.98
WS Morant Wright Nippon Yield150.81
Janus Henderson Japan Opportunities135.91
M&G Japan133.62

Mixed Investment 0%-35% Shares

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Royal London Sustainable Managed Growth Trust51.44
BlackRock Consensus 3539.88
Omnis Investments Ltd Omnis Managed Cautious39.43
L&G Mixed Investment 0-35%38.43
7IM Income Portfolio34.45

Mixed Investment 20%-60% Shares

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Royal London Sustainable Diversified Trust96.01
Artemis Monthly Distribution78.08
AXA Global Sustainable Distribution71.35
Rathbone Active Income and Growth Fund68.06
Barclays Wealth Global Markets 361.83

Mixed Investment 40%-85% Shares

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Royal London Sustainable World Trust173.48
COIF Charities Investment133.66
Orbis Global Balanced125.08
Liontrust Sustainable Future Managed109.69
Vanguard LifeStrategy 80% Equity109.66

North America

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Natixis Loomis Sayles U.S. Equity Leaders368.68
UBS US Growth340.63
Ninety One American Franchise328.46
AXA Framlington American Growth322.37
Baillie Gifford American304.31

Sterling Corporate Bond

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Schroder Sterling Corporate Bond44.09
Royal London Corporate Bond37.94
Royal London Sterling Credit34.52
L&G Active Short Dated Sterling Corporate Bond30.74
BlackRock Corporate Bond29.54

Sterling High Yield

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Schroder High Yield Opportunities60.31
abrdn High Yield Bond40.14
Invesco High Yield (UK)37.63
AXA Global High Yield36.61
IFSL Marlborough High Yield Fixed Interest33.39

Sterling Strategic Bond

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
AXA Framlington Managed Income53.47
Close Sustainable Select Fixed Income Fund44.59
Invesco Monthly Income Plus (UK)41.23
Schroder Strategic Bond38.66
Artemis High Income37.67

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

UK Smaller Companies

Fund10 Year Fund Performance %
Liontrust UK Smaller Companies148.93
Fidelity UK Smaller Companies133.16
ES R&M UK Listed Smaller Companies119.88
WS Amati UK Listed Smaller Companies107.56
WS Gresham House UK Micro Cap103.88

The top-performing funds over 5 years

Asia Pacific Excluding Japan

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Baillie Gifford Pacific59.68
Fidelity Asia Pacific Opportunities58.19
BNY Mellon Asian Opportunities54.59
Jupiter Asian Income49.59
iShares Pacific ex Japan Equity Index (UK)40.94

Europe Excluding UK

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Liontrust European Dynamic97.87
BlackRock Continental European92.83
BlackRock European Dynamic82.14
Premier Miton European Opportunities71.55
WS Ardtur Continental European67.36


Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Fidelity Japan75.96
M&G Japan Smaller Companies51.57
CT Japan42.66
Janus Henderson Japan Opportunities39.93
M&G Japan39.53

Mixed Investment 0%-35% Shares

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
VT Chelsea Managed Cautious Growth21.55
SJP Conservative International Growth16.70
Royal London Sustainable Managed Growth Trust14.44
True Potential Investments True Potential Close Brothers Cautious Income14.13
L&G Mixed Investment 0-35%13.07

Mixed Investment 20%-60% Shares

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Royal London Sustainable Diversified Trust36.45
VT Chelsea Managed Monthly Income33.15
L&G Future World Sustainable Opportunities31.76
Barclays Wealth Global Markets 328.44
Schroder MM Diversity27.98

Mixed Investment 40%-85% Shares

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Royal London Sustainable World Trust63.19
COIF Charities Investment49.88
Orbis Global Balanced48.60
Thesis Juniper47.12
BNY Mellon Multi-Asset Balanced46.95

North America

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
UBS US Growth111.49
AXA Framlington American Growth108.77
Natixis Loomis Sayles U.S. Equity Leaders107.08
Ninety One American Franchise100.48
T. Rowe Price US Large Cap Growth Equity97.21

Sterling Corporate Bond

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Schroder Sterling Corporate Bond13.39
M&G Short Dated Corporate Bond10.14
Royal London Corporate Bond7.81
L&G Active Short Dated Sterling Corporate Bond6.87
Fidelity Short Dated Corporate Bond6.58

Sterling High Yield

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Schroder High Yield Opportunities19.48
M&G Global Floating Rate High Yield19.02
Invesco High Yield (UK)17.10
abrdn High Yield Bond15.67
AXA Global High Yield14.24

Sterling Strategic Bond

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Jupiter Monthly Income Bond25.89
L&G Strategic Bond22.99
Schroder Strategic Bond21.62
Invesco Monthly Income Plus (UK)19.65
BNY Mellon Inflation Linked Corporate Bond19.26

UK All Companies

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Artemis UK Select58.69
Artemis SmartGARP UK Equity53.46
Invesco UK Opportunities (UK)49.90
Royal London Sustainable Leaders Trust49.87
Premier Miton UK Growth41.25

UK Smaller Companies

Fund5 Year Fund Performance %
Fidelity UK Smaller Companies55.05
VT Teviot UK Smaller Companies47.47
Liontrust UK Micro Cap44.46
ES R&M UK Listed Smaller Companies30.79
Liontrust UK Smaller Companies27.09

As a seasoned investment expert with extensive experience in analyzing and selecting top-performing funds, I find the information in the provided article aligning with many principles I advocate. The article emphasizes the importance of not solely relying on past performance when choosing investment funds. Let me delve into some key concepts discussed in the article:

  1. Avoiding Dog Funds: The article mentions the importance of being aware of funds to avoid, referred to as 'dog funds.' These funds can negatively impact returns, and the article encourages readers to download a guide listing these underperforming funds.

  2. Top Performing Fund Managers: The article provides a list of the 10 top-performing fund managers over the last five years, along with their respective Sharpe ratios. It highlights that while fund managers may not consistently outperform in the short or long term, there is still value in picking the best active fund managers based on the current investment environment.

    • Example Fund Managers:
      • Will Kenney/Peter Rutter - Royal London Global Equity Select
      • James Carke - Royal London US Growth Trust
      • Chris Ford/Tim Day - SVS Sanlam North American Equity
      • Stephen Kelly/David Shaw - AXA Framlington American Growth
      • Michael Clarfield/Peter Vanderlee - FTF ClearBridge US Equity Income
      • John Bowler - Schroder Global Healthcare
      • Robert Hay - BNY Mellon Global Income
      • Mike Willans - LF Canlife Global Equity Income
      • Joseph Wolfe/Todd Burnside - BlackRock US Dynamic
      • Brad Weafer - IFSL Marlborough US Multi-Cap Income
  3. Picking Funds Based on Current Environment: The article emphasizes the inconsistency of fund performance and suggests that investors should choose funds that suit the current economic and investment environment. It argues against long-term commitments to fund managers and recommends adapting investment strategies based on prevailing conditions.

  4. How to Pick the Best Performing Funds: The key to successful investing, according to the article, lies in selecting funds most likely to outperform their peers in the future. It discourages relying solely on long-term performance tables and advocates for a simple process that screens out noise and emotional headlines, focusing on fundamentals.

  5. Top-Performing Funds Over 5 and 10 Years: The article provides tables showcasing the best-performing funds over 5 and 10 years in various fund sectors. However, it cautions that past performance doesn't guarantee future success and recommends considering the current investment landscape.

  6. DIY Investing and 80-20 Investor: The author introduces a short email series on "How to become a successful DIY investor," offering insights into important investment lessons, tools for beating the market, and a process for choosing funds. The article mentions the successful application of the technique in helping investors outperform the market using 80-20 Investor.

In summary, the article underscores the need for a nuanced approach to fund selection, combining past performance analysis with a focus on current market conditions and fundamentals.

The best performing funds to invest in right now - Money To The Masses (2024)
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