05 Nov 2019
We’re now moving into the final quarter of the Fundscape Fantasy Fund League so here’s a quick update on the standings as at September 2019. To recap, this experiment aims to give the Fundscape team an insight into fund selection and an understanding about investments and the impact of market conditions.
The Fundscape Fantasy Fund League (FFFL) started on 15th January and over the last nine months we have tracked how each team has performed. At the end of each quarter, managers have been allowed to change their portfolio.
So what’s happened in the last three months? As we know, markets were volatile, rising in July and falling in August, before closing the quarter roughly in the same place as where they started in June.
No change at the top
Ocean’s 5 remained in pole position. Run by the Doc, the team’s mix of global and UK equity funds from managers including Evenlode, Lindsell Train and Fundsmith continues to deliver, moving further ahead of Line and W.Underdogs in second place.
Line’s investment in the BlackRock Gold & General fund has been one of the main strengths of her line-up over the last three months returning close to 10%. Economic uncertainty from Brexit and the US-China trade dispute sent gold prices and other commodities to new heights and Line benefited.
Carrie’s diamonds lose their sparkle
Carrie’s Diamonds have suffered heavily falling by close to £300 and finishing under the £2,500 initial investment made in January. The primary driver was the controversial ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF which invests in companies in the cannabis sector. Despite initially returning stellar performance and pushing the team to the top of the league, the fund has now lost 33% of its value. Will it eventually pay off or was it all hype?
Propping up the table
Holly’s Hotties remains close to the bottom of the league with only Carrie’s woes keeping the team out of relegation territory. Four of Holly’s investments are doing reasonably well with returns of between 9% and 24%, but the Woodford Equity Income was the team’s downfall. Gated in early June, the fund is being wound up after Neil Woodford was removed as manager. As a result of the fund’s losses, overall team performance is just 6.6% to date.
The Alphajax team has continued to fall further down the table (from pole position at the end of March) and now sits in 12th place with a slightly better return than the FTSE 100. Manager Guy Molcho’s strategy is heavily focused on cyber security and digital health, and initial strong performance in the early months of the league has now fallen away.
Only two teams have so far underperformed the FTSE, which is reassuring. What is more interesting is the spread of investments among the outperformers. Ocean’s 5’s 22% growth is almost three times as much as the Alphajax’s 8.6% — we invested £2,500 each, the differences for larger sums are significant.