Best performing funds and trusts in 2020

Sam Slator 14/12/2020 in Best performing funds

2020 has been an extraordinary year. Bushfires, floods, swarms of locust, pandemics, racism and oil spills have all made the headlines. It’s been almost biblical at times and many lives and working practices have been turned upside down.

It’s been a roller-coaster ride for investors too. We started the year still in the longest bull market in history, only to have global markets plummet between February and March in the fastest bear market ever. Oil prices even turned negative at one point.

Listen to this podcast to find out how Allianz Strategic Bond managers Mike Riddell and Kacper Brezniak managed to make money during the market falls earlier this year.

Thankfully, many asset classes have since recovered, but which investments have done best? We take a look at the best performing Elite Rated funds and trusts in 2020.

Best performing Elite Rated funds and trusts in 2020

Interestingly, the top ten performing Elite Rated funds and trusts invest in a variety of equity markets. Some you would expect to have done well this year (the US and technology) but others – like Japan and emerging markets, may be more of a surprise for investors.

Top three performers

The best performing Elite Rated fund in 2020 is Baillie Gifford American. Run by a team of four co-managers who focus on the small number of companies that create exceptional returns, this fund has returned 118.25% for investors year to date*.

In second place is Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust – also run by managers from Baillie Gifford. James Anderson and Tom Slater look for higher growth prospects from around the world, focusing on finding tomorrow’s winners. The largest holding is currently Tesla**, whose share price has risen around 600% this year alone***.

In third place is Fidelity China Special Situations. Run by Dale Nicholls, this trust has a bias towards small and medium-sized companies and offers investors direct exposure to the China growth story. It has returned 68.59% year to date*.

Top ten performers

RankFund/TrustPercentage returns year to date*
1Baillie Gifford American118.25%
2Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust94.54%
3Fidelity China Special Situations68.59%
4Baillie Gifford Global Discovery67.98%
5Premier Miton US Smaller Companies62.72%
6Smith & Williamson Artificial Intelligence51.97%
7T. Rowe Price Global Focused Growth Equity46.91%
8AXA Framlington Global Technology46.35%
9Aubrey Global Emerging Markets Opportunities45.35%
10Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon44.61%


Read our investment outlook for 2021 to see which asset classes the FundCalibre research team think could do well next year or watch our latest video interviews to hear what fund managers have to say about the prospects for 2021.

*Source: FE Analytics, total returns in sterling, 1 January 2020 to 9 December 2020.
**Source: fund factsheet, 31 October 2020
***Source: Yahoo Finance, 11, December 2020

This article is provided for information only. The views of the author and any people quoted are their own and do not constitute financial advice. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any fund or trust, or to adopt a particular investment strategy. However, the knowledge that professional analysts have analysed a fund or trust in depth before assigning them a rating can be a valuable additional filter for anyone looking to make their own decisions.Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. Market and exchange-rate movements may cause the value of investments to go down as well as up. Yields will fluctuate and so income from investments is variable and not guaranteed. You may not get back the amount originally invested. Tax treatment depends of your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. If you are unsure about the suitability of any investment you should seek professional advice.Whilst FundCalibre provides product information, guidance and fund research we cannot know which of these products or funds, if any, are suitable for your particular circumstances and must leave that judgement to you. Before you make any investment decision, make sure you’re comfortable and fully understand the risks. Further information can be found on Elite Rated funds by simply clicking on the name highlighted in the article.