Premier League of Funds delivers super returns

If you wanted to take advantage of bullish signs in the markets and buy, for example, a smaller companies fund, where would you turn to find one that might serve you well? For most private investors, past performance is the first place to start. And most will turn to longer-term periods such as three, five or seven years, to find out which funds have proven staying power.

But there is an element of luck to this selection process. Even a strong long-term record can mask shorter-term problems - or simply reflect past glories.

It is also true that even funds run by "star" managers with great long-term performance records suffer periodic blips in shorter term performance. When this happens, investors need to keep an eye on short-term returns for signs that poor performance is becoming entrenched.

Some high-performance funds can also be more volatile in relation to their peers so here you must have faith in the fund manager's strategy. It may, for example, be a strategy that is quite different to that adopted by most other funds in the sector which may lead to prolonged periods of underperformance in the peer group.

Investors who prefer less volatility want reassurance that a fund not only has a decent performance record, but one that is reasonably consistent.

That is what Money Observer's Premier League aims to help you identify. Every year we run the rule over 11 popular fund sectors from which we pick our Premier League team. Then every three months we check whether team members are fit enough to retain their place. 

Nine funds from last year's team continue to deliver superior 12-month performance - a strong indication that our selection system is one that by and large delivers excellent results.

For the methodology behind our selections, read: How we pick the Premier League funds.

By: Andrew Pitts I Sat, 16th November 2013 - 09:35
Funds Premier League: November review

Want funds that are durable performers in a rugged investing environment? Then start with Money Observer's new 15-strong Premier League team.

By: Money Observer I Sat, 16th November 2013 - 09:20
Funds Premier League: Top four UK funds

Cazenove has two of its UK-based offerings in Money Observer's top-rated funds for that region, with Neptune and Henderson's also popular.

By: Money Observer I Sat, 16th November 2013 - 09:31
Funds Premier League: Top two bond funds

Money Observer looks at the top two bond funds as featured in their Premier League; Jupiter Strategic and Royal London Ethical.

By: Money Observer I Sat, 16th November 2013 - 09:34
Funds Premier League: Top three mixed asset funds

Kames and CF Ruffer contribute two of Money Observer's three favoured mixed asset funds, with the other an intriguing offering.

By: Money Observer I Sat, 16th November 2013 - 09:27
Funds Premier League: Top two global funds

Artemis and Somerset-managed funds make Money Observer's Premier League team from the global sector and global emerging markets sectors.

By: Money Observer I Sat, 16th November 2013 - 09:23
Funds Premier League: Top four regional funds

The four regional categories in Money Observer's Premier League of funds include Europe and Japan, whetre Baillie Gifford offerings triumph.

By: Holly Black I Mon, 29th July 2013 - 09:29
Funds Premier League: August review

Feverish activity in Money Observer's league of consistent top fund performers underscores the challenges managers face in the markets globally.

By: Ruth Emery I Tue, 7th May 2013 - 09:30

Ruth Emery reveals Money Observer's new line-up of star fund managers across 11 popular sectors in the latest quarterly update.

By: Ruth Emery I Fri, 1st February 2013 - 19:03

For consistent solid performers our Premier League of funds should be your first port of call. Ruth Emery has the latest results.

By: Harriet Meyer I Fri, 9th November 2012 - 11:00

In good times and bad, the Investec UK Smaller Companies fund is consistently in the top quartile. Manager Philip Rodrigs explains his strategy.

By: Ruth Emery I Thu, 8th November 2012 - 12:00

Launched just before the financial crisis, the M&G Global Dividend fund has had healthy annual returns. What are the secrets of its success?

By: Harriet Meyer I Wed, 7th November 2012 - 11:52

Diversification across sectors and holdings alongside finding high-quality dividend payers is key to the JP Morgan US Equity Income fund's success.

By: Lindsay Vincent I Tue, 6th November 2012 - 12:15

Concentrating on the Antipodes and their export markets in China and Japan has enabled Newton Asian Income to top the league in the Asia Pacific Ex-Japan sector.

By: Harriet Meyer I Mon, 5th November 2012 - 11:45

Focusing on international product and service companies has proved a successful strategy for the Liontrust Special Situations fund.

By: Harriet Meyer I Fri, 2nd November 2012 - 18:13

Unicorn UK Income's alternative approach has seen it beat off rivals in the UK equity income sector to take its place in the Funds Premier League.

By: Ruth Emery I Fri, 2nd November 2012 - 11:55

The Fidelity Moneybuilder Balanced fund has created a blend of consistently good performance using conservative asset allocation.

By: Lindsay Vincent I Thu, 1st November 2012 - 13:00

The Newton Global Higher Income has outperformed the Global Equity Income sector by changing its strategy to high-quality companies in the US and Europe.

By: Lindsay Vincent I Wed, 31st October 2012 - 12:00

The Baillie Gifford Coporate Bond has outperformed its sector in recent years by taking a global perspective and concentrating on stock selection.

By: Lindsay Vincent I Tue, 30th October 2012 - 09:30

Concentrating on good-quality, long-term growth stocks and avoiding financials, telecoms and utilities has brought success for Threadneedle European Select.

By: Ruth Emery I Mon, 29th October 2012 - 11:31

The Aberdeen Emerging Markets fund has outperformed the MSCI Emerging Markets index partly by identifying good-quality companies - wherever they may be located.