The first half of 2019 has generally been a positive one for investors, with every fund sector reporting positive returns on average. Chelsea Financial Services looks at which funds and sectors have fared the best and which are lagging.
While all asset classes have risen in value - most rallying quite strongly after a difficult end to 2018 - North American (21.27%) and Technology (20.55%) funds have led the way.
Even the 'worst-performing' fixed income sector - IA UK Gilts - was up 5.88%, which is an exceptional return for UK government bond funds.
The most disappointing area was perhaps Japanese equities. The IA Japan and IA Japanese Smaller Companies sectors returned 8.49% and 7.49% respectively - still a decent return, but lagging other equity sectors by some margin. Targeted Absolute Return funds were also underwhelming, with an average return of 2.77%.
The best-performing individual fund was Brown Advisory US Mid-Cap Growth, which rose 30.78% in value. It was followed closely by Pictet Russia Index (30.36%) and sister fund, Brown Advisory US Smaller Companies (30.30%).
In contrast, the worst-performing fund was VT Garraway Absolute Equity, which fell 36.14%. Royal Bank of Scotland Managed Defensive was almost as disappointing, losing 29.80%, while VT Oxeye Hedged Income Option was down 24.59%.
Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea Financial Services, commented: "With the exception of Japan, those asset classes that fell furthest at the end of 2018 have risen the most so far in 2019: namely the US and technology.
"In Europe, Russian equities have done best - possibly due to the world focusing its attention on China and Iran, coupled with a steadily improving oil price.
"As we head into the second half of the year, 'new resolutions' will be key to what continues to perform well: resolution of trade wars would help Asia and Japan rebound, while resolution of Brexit would help the UK. Whether we get those resolutions, especially in that time scale, remains to be seen."