Know your zebras from your donkeys: four ‘thoroughbred’ funds

A zoo in Cairo, Egypt, has been accused of painting a donkey with black and white stripes to
pass it off as a zebra. Whether or not it really was just, well, a funny looking zebra, as the
zoo owner claimed, it’s another reminder not to take everything at face value. And this is
especially true when it comes to investments.

We’ve all heard about those investment scams that promise untold returns with no risk but
end up trotting off into the sunset with your hard-earned cash. These donkeys are nothing
but an, er, pain in ass!

Anyone investing in equity or bond funds should first do their research, expect to put their
money away for a period of years, not months, and understand the risks involved. And, while
past performance should be not be used as a guide to future returns, here we’ll highlight
some of the ‘thoroughbred’ investors that have delivered over the long term.

No wolves in sheep’s clothing, here are four Elite Rated funds, across the investment world,
that do exactly what they promise, each with managers who have been in charge for over a
decade and have long-term track records to prove their worth.

Investec UK Special Situations: 5 year return = 28.93%*, 10 year return = 153.60%**

Okay, so Investec is well-known for using zebras in its branding, but the reason we are
highlighting this fund is because of the way manager Alastair Mundy sticks to his guns.
Alastair has a well-earned reputation as one of the most disciplined and successful
contrarian investors in the UK. While he can’t promise to always outperform, this fund is a
great choice for those looking to access less popular parts of the domestic market, which
may well end up as tomorrow’s winners.

Rathbone Global Opportunities: 5 year return = 113.26%*, 10 year return = 246.07%**

Another fund boasting a manager who’s been at its helm for most of his career, the
investment philosophy is clear – identify global themes and invest in them early. We see
James Thomson as a manager with a refreshingly honest approach, who sticks to his core
strengths as a high-conviction contrarian manager who will invest in between 40 to 60 stocks
at any one time.

Lazard Emerging Markets: 5 year return = 35.22%*, 10 year return = 89.44%**

Anyone investing in emerging markets must bare in mind the volatility that comes with,
potentially, higher returns. That is why it is vital to choose a fund manager with knowledge
and experience across Asia and beyond, and James Donald and his team have that in
spades. With a huge analyst team at work, the approach is value investing, looking for global
brands of the future.

Fidelity Strategic Bond: 5 year return = 17.90%*, 10 year return = 87.51%**

Investing across the fixed income universe requires somebody with vast knowledge of the
different types of bonds on offer, and with a great understanding of the inner workings of the
global economy. Ian Spreadbury, Claudio Ferrarese and Tim Foster have proven talent in
these fields. They have consistently delivered investors regular income, low volatility and
diversified performance, which means it this fund sits well alongside equity funds.

*Source: FE Analytics, total returns in sterling, 6 August 2013 to 6 August 2018
**Source: FE Analytics, total returns in sterling, 6 August 2008 to 6 August 2018

The views of the author and any people interviewed are their own and do not constitute financial advice. 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. Before you make any investment decision make sure you’re comfortable and fully understand the risks. If you invest in fund or trust make sure you know what specific risks they’re exposed to. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. Remember all investments can fall in value as well as rise, so you could make a loss.