December's 10 most-bought trusts

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December's 10 most-bought trusts Scottish Mortgage Neil Woodford
Scottish Mortgage (SMT), one of our sister magazine Money Observer's prestigious Rated Funds, has made it 20 successive months as the most popular investment trust with clients of Interactive Investor.

Investors made three times as many purchases of the £4.2 billion global trust, managed by Baillie Gifford's James Anderson, as of Woodford Patient Capital (WPCT), which moves up from fourth place in November to take second spot in December.

Meanwhile, there are two new entries at the foot of the most-bought table, as F&C Global Smaller Companies (FCS) and Fundsmith Emerging Equities Trust (FEET) return to the top 10.

Scottish Mortgage also dominates the table in terms of the value of investments made over the month. The trust, which narrowly failed to gain a listing on the FTSE 100 (UKX) late last year, has almost 50% of its assets in the US, with online retailer Amazon (AMZN) accounting for over 10% of the portfolio.

Strong performers

Its stellar long-term performance, though, which has seen it return nearly 200% over the five years to 5 January, has been helped by its ownership of unlisted equities, which account for 13% of the portfolio. These include stakes in Airbnb, Skyscanner and Spotify.

Woodford Patient Capital moves back into second place in terms of the number of buy trades, after slipping behind both City of London (CTY) and Finsbury Growth & Income (FGT) in November.

Star fund manager Neil Woodford's eponymous trust has been in positive territory over the past month, as its US biotech holdings continued to see strong performance after Donald Trump's election victory over Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. However, over the past year to 5 January, the trust has lost almost 10% in share price terms.

BRWM returned 107.3% in the year to 5 January as commodities firms recouped lossesThe City of London investment trust remains in third place, while Finsbury Growth & Income slips from second in November to fourth in December.

Global trust Witan (WTAN) sits in an unchanged fifth place; it has seen good short-term performance in recent months, with a gain of 5.6% over December. Its high weighting to financials stocks, which saw a recovery after Trump's election win, has contributed to performance.

Specialists Biotech Growth (BIOG) and BlackRock World Mining (BRWM) have once again switched positions, sixth and seventh respectively - but they sit at the opposite ends of the performance spectrum.

While Biotech Growth saw sentiment to its sector wane through the year due to remarks from Hillary Clinton, the BlackRock offering has returned 107.3% in the year to 5 January as oil prices and commodities firms recouped losses suffered over recent years.

Foreign & Colonial (FRCL) and F&C Global Smaller Companies (FCS) sit in eighth and ninth place respectively with similar performance figures, while Fundsmith Emerging Equities re-enters the top 10, having been pushed out in November.

December's 10 most-bought trusts
Rank Fund AIC sector Change since October 1m SP total return to 1 Dec (%) 3yr SP total return to 1 Dec (%)
1 Scottish Mortgage* Global -- 5.7 61.9
2 Woodford Patient Capital UK all companies 2 -0.2 n/a
3 City of London* UK equity income -- 6.1 21.6
4 Finsbury Growth & Income* UK equity income -2 5.9 34.6
5 Witan* Global -- 5.6 43.9
6 Biotech Growth Commodities & natural resources 1 0.1 51.1
7 BlackRock World Mining* Biotechnology & healthcare -1 2.1 -10.4
8 Foreign & Colonial* Global -- 5.9 52.7
9 F&C Global Smaller Companies* Global 6 5.6 50.6
10 Fundsmith Emerging Equities Global emerging markets equities 4 1.1 n/a
Source: FE Trustnet. *denotes a Money Observer Rated Fund

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This article is for information and discussion purposes only and does not form a recommendation to invest or otherwise. The value of an investment may fall. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.