Top funds for investors: The strongest portfolios of the fund elite: 300 percent are in it! | message
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by Christoph Platt, Euro am Sonntag
NNot everyone is gifted with the same level of stamina and fitness. Some are out of breath after a few minutes’ walk, others run kilometer after kilometer and effortlessly maintain a consistently high pace. These extremes also exist in the fund world. Some portfolio managers regularly exhaust themselves and fail to perform consistently. Others, on the other hand, manage to go at high speeds year after year and generate extraordinary growth.
€ uro am Sonntag took a closer look at the top long-haul products: funds that have seen outstanding performance over a period of ten years. Anyone who entered one of these portfolios in August 2010 can look forward to a multiplication of their capital today. In the best case, the share value climbed 299 percent.
The editorial team presents the most profitable funds of the past decade below. Four categories were examined, which are among the most popular among private investors: funds for German, European and global stocks and offensive mixed funds. Detailed tables provide information on the development of the top ten from each group, and selected funds are described in more detail. The products listed have not only outclassed the competition over the past ten years, but of course also outperformed their benchmark indices.
Actively managed funds that rely on standard values or pursue an all-cap approach were included in the evaluation. Portfolios of small caps were not taken into account. Products that have a very narrow focus, for example investing exclusively in stocks from the security sector, were also left out. This brought together just over 550 portfolios that were at least ten years old.
Quality feature resistance
€ uro subjected the top ten from each category to a special check on Sunday. It was analyzed how often the top portfolios managed to do better than the average competition. The reason: The editors not only wanted to determine the portfolios with the highest returns, but also their consistency. For the current year as well as for the previous nine years, a check was carried out to determine whether a fund belonged to the better or the worse half of its category.
This comparison could not be carried out for all funds. Some products have a ten-year history, but have only recently been recorded in the € uro am Sonntag database. This could be because a fund has existed for at least a decade, but has not been available in Germany for that long.
The analysis revealed which funds have consistently outperformed the average. The majority of investors like such reliability. This is because, in the long term, it gives shareholders quiet nights instead of making them wonder about the strength of their fund.
The editors have selected a particularly recommendable product from the top ten in each of the four categories. That was not always the portfolio with the highest ten-year return. Instead, a number of reasons played a role in choosing the favorite. On the one hand, the decisive factor was the number of years in which the fund outperformed the average of its peer group. Only those who succeeded in doing this in at least eight out of ten years were shortlisted.
On the other hand, the behavior in the recent past was considered in order to include the current performance in the assessment. The decisive factor here was the € uro fund rating, which shows the risk-return profile of the past four years and the quality of management. All four recommended products have the top grade 1. In addition, the investment concept, the costs and the absolute growth were taken into account.
The four selected funds are among the most profitable of their kind. They also impress with their extraordinary consistency and a strong risk / return ratio. There is no guarantee that they will continue as brilliantly as before. But investors can at least understand the almost uninterrupted performance over many years as an indication that the fund is capable of continuing to achieve great things.
EQUITY FUND GERMANY:
D.he group of actively managed funds for German stocks with a history of at least ten years is manageable. Of the approximately 40 portfolios, the ten most profitable portfolios brought their investors growth of 124 to 215 percent within a decade.
The dominance of DWS and Allianz Global Investors is striking. In the top ten, four funds each come from the two providers. Germany’s largest fund company was even able to claim first place with DWS Aktien Strategy Germany.
The editors consider the runner-up in the ten-year ranking, Fidelity Germany, to be particularly recommendable. It is the only fund in the top group that currently has a € uro fund rating of 1. This certifies that it has excellent values in terms of return and volatility over the past four years. In addition, it has outperformed the competition in a respectable eight out of ten years – no other fund in the top ten was better.
Fund manager Christian von Engelbrechten can be proud of this achievement. He has been managing the portfolio since the beginning of 2011 and is thus responsible for almost the entire period examined by € uro am Sonntag. When asked about his recipe for success, he refers to the large team of analysts and investment experts who support him in stock selection.
For his fund, von Engelbrechten is looking for companies that are very solidly positioned and at the same time show structural growth. “It is important to me that the portfolio primarily contains many companies that achieve high returns on total capital in the long term and can sustainably grow above average,” he says. Both the return on investment and profits should increase by an average of more than ten percent per year, he describes his dream brand.
As a result of the focus on quality and growth, the sectors are usually not evenly distributed. Typically, the fund has a higher weighting in the healthcare, software and technology sectors, while sectors such as banking, basic materials, telecommunications and chemicals are rather underrepresented. “That is more of a tendency, however, because quality and growth can be found in almost every sector,” emphasizes von Engelbrechten.
Another typical feature of Fidelity Germany is a significant proportion of small caps. “For example, around 30 percent of the fund is currently invested outside of DAX companies,” he says. By adding more dynamic mid and small caps, the fund was able to repeatedly outperform the German benchmark index.
EQUITY FUND EUROPE:
W.If you want to be ahead as a fund manager in Europe, you have to work hard: 170 products have been on the market for at least ten years. The first-placed managed a special feat here. Comgest Growth Europe Opportunities (GEO) does almost 100 percentage points better than the runner-up.
The fund impresses not only with its outstanding ten-year performance, but also with a high level of stability. Only in one of the past ten years (2014: +4.5 percent) did it develop weaker than the average competition. Since the product is also looking great in the medium term, the editors recommend it as a top investment for European stocks.
This was helped by the fact that the fund invests in a range of dynamic small and mid caps. But standard values are not neglected either. “The Comgest GEO is a real all-cap product,” says Franz Weis, who is responsible for the portfolio with Eva Fornadi and Denis Lepadatu.
The French asset management company Comgest only offers equity funds and manages them all according to the same principle. Shares of high-quality companies, whose profits are increasing reliably, are bought. The minimum is an increase of ten percent per annum, which must be recognizable for at least five years. “Growing ten percent every year is not easy for a company,” says Weis. “Nevertheless, we adhere to strict guidelines in terms of predictability and do not move away from it.”
The success proves Comgest right. The quality growth approach has resulted in high growth in many of the company’s funds – easily recognizable as 4th place in the European ten-year ranking, which is occupied by the Comgest standard values fund.
A highly concentrated portfolio is typical of French products. Only 38 titles can be found in the Comgest GEO. At the moment the semiconductor group ASML, the payment service provider Adyen (both Netherlands) and the Danish acoustic technology provider GN Store Nord are the largest positions.
In terms of industry weighting, the dominance of the IT, healthcare and cyclical consumer goods sectors is striking. Their share in the fund is significantly higher than in the leading index MSCI Europe.
On the other hand, the areas of finance, utilities and energy are not represented – typical for Comgest funds. “We avoid financial stocks because it is difficult to forecast growth in them and the quality of the balance sheet is difficult to assess,” explains Weis. Energy companies are left out because their development depends on raw material prices and thus on macroeconomic factors that the company cannot influence.
GLOBAL EQUITY FUND:
Increasing competitive advantages
D.Avid Dudding has a good laugh. His funds have not only survived the past few months well, they are also in excellent shape over the long term. In addition to a portfolio for stocks from continental Europe, the manager is responsible for Threadneedle Global Focus, the second largest global equity fund over a ten-year period. The good placement in this category is a particularly mature achievement: around 230 products that have been on the market for ten years or more compete with one another.
The editors have long been convinced of Dudding’s ability. At the beginning of 2020, she named him Fund Manager of the Year. The title is given to people who have achieved outstanding results over a long period of time and stand out as a personality in the industry.
Dudding insists he deserves only part of the laurels for the strong ten-year return. “I’ve only been running Threadneedle Global Focus for seven years,” he says. But restraint is not appropriate. The fund only experienced a weaker year under Dudding’s aegis: 2016 was just a small plus. Otherwise, the increases were always above average. Because such a consistency could not be determined for the most profitable fund in this category, the editors prefer the Threadneedle product in their recommendation.
Like many competitors, Dudding also pursues a quality growth approach. “We’re looking for high-quality companies that can consistently generate high revenues and expand that growth,” he says. However, the manager sees a difference to the majority of comparable investors. “The majority of our portfolio stocks are quality companies, but we also like to invest in companies that are not yet quality companies but have the potential to become one and have increasing returns,” he says. It is important that growing profits and competitive advantages can be recognized. It is always a must that the companies have very solid balance sheets.
Even before Corona, Dudding had given the IT and healthcare sectors extremely high weighting. That has paid off again in the past few months. Microsoft, Amazon and Mastercard were and are the largest positions in the fund and are among the winners of the crisis.
Dudding is not afraid that the high proportion of two sectors could be a cluster risk. “We invest in the most promising, high-quality growth companies – no matter what industry they come from.” Should value stocks come back in vogue, the fund could weaken. “As a long-term investor, we don’t chase after such changes, we stay true to our style,” he says. Over the past decade, investors in the Threadneedle product have been more than satisfied with this attitude.
MIXED FUND SHARE-ORIENTED:
Flexible investment mix
Gut 110 mixed funds that have already celebrated their tenth birthday are available on the market. It was particularly difficult for the editors to choose a favorite from the most profitable products in this category. Four of the ten funds have been outstanding in the recent past, as the assessment with fund rating 1 shows. They were shortlisted.
In terms of consistency, the Plutos Multi Chance couldn’t convince. Despite a high total return, it only outperformed the average in five years and weaker in the other five years. The three remaining funds, however, met the target of having outperformed their peer group in at least eight out of ten years.
In terms of long-term performance, the Seilern Global Trust stands out from the group of top funds. It tripled its value in ten years. The UniKlassikMix, formerly known as GenoAS: 1, on the other hand, showed a top performance in terms of durability. It is the only one of the 40 funds listed in the cover story that has outperformed the competition in all ten years.
Nevertheless, the editorial team decided to recommend the FvS Multiple Opportunities. Because it best embodies what many investors expect from a modern mixed fund: a mix of different asset classes that are flexibly managed.
A look at the assets under management shows that fund manager Bert Flossbach has been delivering a remarkable performance for years: the mark of 20 billion euros is within reach. Flossbach does not see the fact that such a huge volume makes it difficult to noticeably enter small companies. “We have always focused primarily on large, very liquid investments and less on small caps,” he explains. The manager even sees advantages in size. “We can do many things better today than we used to,” he says. “For example, we have very good access to the top management of the companies in which we are involved.” The role as a responsible shareholder can also be exercised more emphatically.
Flossbach currently mainly holds shares in his fund. They make up 73 percent of the wealth. If necessary – for example in spring – he uses hedging. Bonds currently only play a subordinate role. Nevertheless, they remain an integral part of the portfolio. “However, the perspective has changed: we have to be much more opportunistic today. Wait for opportunities, recognize them and then take advantage of them,” he says. Buying and holding paper – as it did in the past, when there was still interest – no longer works in the bond market, the manager said.
A typical feature of the FvS Multiple Opportunities is its gold content, which is always around ten percent. “gold has the character of an insurance against the risks of the financial system for us, “says Flossbach, who prefers the precious metal in physical form.” As with a fire policy, we are reassured to have it; we would be happy if we never had to use them. ”
Current certificates from
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