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Best performing Junior ISA Funds

Posted by Adrian Lowcock in Press releases category on 21 Oct 19


Junior ISAs turn 8 this November and have become one of the most popular ways to invest for Children. They are fairly easy to understand and flexible enough that once set up anyone can contribute to it. 

Since their launch the best performing fund has been Legg Mason IF Japan Equity. A Small cap fund which has been historically volatile.   It’s not too surprising that Technology features heavily in the top 10 ten given the performance of some of the largest tech companies.  However biotech and healthcare also feature as this area also benefited from a bull run during the past 8 years. The Technology and Biotech funds have a significant US exposure and the US has been the main driver of returns in this bull market.  Two global funds in Fundsmith Equity and Lindsell Train Global Equity, both of which adopt a similar buy and hold approach round off the top 10.

Top 10 best performing JISA funds

 Fund % return
Legg Mason IF Japan Equity 411.36
Fidelity Global Technology 357.59
Polar Capital Global Technology 332.70
GAM Multistock Health Innovation Equity 330.56
Polar Capital Healthcare Opportunities 326.33
Vanguard US Opportunities 311.41
AB American Growth Portfolio 310.41
Fundsmith Equity 309.149
Lindsell Train Global Equity 308.98
T. Rowe Price US Large Cap Growth Equity 308.46
Source: FE Analytics, 1st November 2011 to 20th October 2019. Performance in pounds sterling on a total return basis

Bottom 10 worst performing JISA funds

 Fund % return
TC South River Gold and Precious Metals -78.38
MFM Junior Gold -78.15
MFM Junior Oils Trust -63.59
HC Charteris Gold & Precious Metals -57.30
Schroder ISF Global Energy -55.69
Smith & Williamson Global Gold & Resources -36.55
Marlborough ETF Commodity -35.35
LF Ruffer Gold -32.54
BlackRock GF World Mining -31.41
BlackRock Gold & General -28.36
Source: FE Analytics, 1st November 2011 to 20th October 2019. Performance in pounds sterling on a total return basis

In spite of the recent bounce in the gold price, mining and gold stocks have been the worst place to have invested Junior ISA money over the past 8 years. The mining sector has struggled to adjust to from earning supernormal profits during the commodity super-cycle, which occurred in the first 10 years of this century, to a more normal levels of profitability. Gold, which is a traditional defensive asset also got caught up in the cycle as ETFs made it easier for investors to access the precious metal. However since 2011 gold has lagged the equity markets as investors have slowly become more confident about the economic recovery. Only this year have we seen gold picking up. 

Adrian Lowcock, Head of Personal Investing, Willis Owen: 

“The list shows that it can be very hard to predict which sector or asset class will be the best performing over the next few years.

“This is why it is important when investing on behalf of your children or grandchildren to diversify. Whilst you might not get the top performing funds, it is more important that you avoid putting all your money in what could be the worst performing funds or sectors.

“When investing it is important to consider what might perform well over the next 10 years, it is rarely the same sectors or asset classes which have done well over the past 10 years. Don’t try to chase performance instead spread your risks and get a broad exposure to your children’s investments.”