Fundsmith Equity was knocked off the top spot of Interactive Investor’s monthly fund bestseller list in December for the first time since 2018.
The broker described the handover to Baillie Gifford’s £6.6bn American fund as a ‘momentous’ moment, capping an extraordinary 12 months for the Edinburgh fund house, whose funds dominated the performance tables.
Baillie Gifford accounted for seven of Interactive Investors’ top 10 fund purchases in the month. Its American fund was the best performing fund last year, returning 121.8%. Investors were quick to take note, with the portfolio seeing positive inflows in every month of 2020, swelling its size by around £4bn since March.
Interactive Investors analyst Teodor Dilov said appetite for actively managed funds was strong last year, amid the severe stock market volatility. Not all areas were in demand though.
He said: ‘The biggest losers are UK funds, which fell out of favour amid the Brexit uncertainty. But with Brexit now out of the way, a reasonable allocation to the UK could provide diversification and a potential recovery opportunities in 2021.’
Baillie Gifford had a stunning run last year after a series of long-term bets in stocks such as Tesla, Shopify and Moderna proved big winners.
Intearctive Investor Bestsellers, Dec 2020
|BAILLIE GIFFORD AMERICAN||SCOTTISH MORTGAGE||LLOYDS BANKING GP|
|FUNDSMITH EQUITY||EDINBURGH WORLDWIDE||ROLLS ROYCE HLDGS|
|BAILLIE GIFFORD POSITIVE CHANGE||MONKS||INTL CONS AIRLINE|
|VANGUARD LIFESTRATEGY 80% EQUITY||PACIFIC HORIZON||ASTRAZENECA|
|BAILLIE GIFFORD GLOBAL DISCOVERY||PERSHING SQUARE HOLDINGS||BP|
|BAILLIE GIFFORD PACIFIC||FIDELITY CHINA SPECIAL SITUATIONS||GLAXOSMITHKLINE|
|BAILLIE GIFFORD CHINA||ALLIANZ TECHNOLOGY||EASYJET|
|VANGUARD LIFESTRATEGY 60% EQUITY||BLACKROCK WORLD MINING TRUST||VODAFONE GROUP|
|BAILLIE GIFFORD LONG TERM GLOBAL GROWTH||BAILLIE GIFFORD US GROWTH TRUST||BOOHOO GROUP PLC|
|BAILLIE GIFFORD MANAGED||JPMORGAN CHINA GROWTH||TESLA INC|
Fundsmith Equity suffered record withdrawals of £460m in March, in what was only the eighth month of net outflows for the fund since its launch in 2010.
In 2020, it returned 18.4% ranking it 114th out of 347 funds in the Investment Association’s (IA) global sector..
These outflows also kept the £23.1bn mandate off the list of the UK’s top 10 sellers of 2020 according to Citywire research, despite the fund still pulling in £882m last year.
China-focused funds and investment trusts also picked up more interest towards the end of 2020, the platform said, ‘arguably because the country and a host of Asian countries appear to have fared better at controlling the virus’.