Which funds have performed best so far in 2024?

Darius McDermott 28/03/2024 in Best performing funds
  • 80%* of Elite Rated funds and trusts have produced a positive return for investors
  • IA Technology and Technology Innovation sector is the best performer in Q1
  • US and Global dominate the best Elite Rated performers – with one fund returning 25%* in Q1
  • Outlook: Bonds still look attractive despite interest cuts looming large

Our take on 2024, so far…

We have seen some positive stories in the first three months of 2024 – with strong performance from technology (artificial intelligence) and Japan’s ongoing recovery, both coming to mind. But, as with the end of 2023, the first quarter of this year has been dominated by changing interest rate expectations, with the big question being when will the first rate cut take place?

Rate cut expectations in developed markets have now moved from April/May to June/July 2024. Markets have been in a type of holding pattern for a number of months, eagerly awaiting more clarity on this – something we believe has started to happen in March.

Fixed income continues to look like a really attractive investment, as investors are currently getting higher yields in the knowledge that if we do see rate cuts, there will likely be capital appreciation in the bonds they hold. In short, they appear to be in a sweet spot.

The likes of infrastructure and REITs, which will both benefit from rates falling, are also an obvious safe play. That said, on the other side, the US remains extremely strong with GDP growth and the  continued rise of two of the Magnificent Seven, which are the most heavily exposed to the AI theme. You can’t rule out these stocks going higher, but investors must be aware that these shares are expensive to buy at this stage.

Those looking at bargains from a geographical perspective may want to cast an eye on both the UK and China, with valuations looking very attractive on long-term measures, although the journey – particularly in China – is unlikely to be a smooth one.

Best-performing sectors so far in 2024

So far, trends from 2023 continue to dominate, with the IA Technology and Technology Innovation sector continuing to be the best performer, with the average fund returning 11.3%* for investors. It’s followed by IA North America (9.7%*) and IA Japan, which is up 9.3%*. IA Financials and Financial Innovation and IA Global make up the rest of the top five, with average returns of 8.3% and 7.2% respectively*.

In contrast, the worst-performing sector was IA Latin America, with its fund constituents posting an average loss of 3.8%*, followed by IA Property Other (down 3.1%*) and IA Infrastructure (down 2.7%*). Despite recent underperformance, property may be turning a corner, according to our Elite Rated managers. Find out more here.

IA UK Index Linked Gilts and IA EUR Government Bond made up the remaining two places in the bottom five sectors, posting losses of 2.4% and 2%* respectively.

Best-performing Elite Rated funds so far in 2024

When it comes to individual funds, the best-performing Elite Rated fund so far in 2024 has been GQG Partners US Equity, returning 25.7%* for investors. An unconstrained, concentrated portfolio of only 27 holdings**, its success has been largely driven by investing in the technology theme which is the fund’s largest overweight at 51.1% of the portfolio**. Top holdings include Meta, Nvidia, Eli Lilly and Microsoft**. 

It is followed in second and third place by WS Blue Whale Growth and Artemis US Extended Alpha, with returns of 18.9% and 17.2%* respectively. Both funds hold over a quarter of their portfolio in technology, including both Meta and Nvidia**. 

RankFund/Trust namePercentage returns year to date*
1GQG Partners US Equity25.7%
2WS Blue Whale Growth18.9%
3Artemis US Extended Alpha17.2%
4Invesco Global Focus17.0%
5Artemis US Smaller Companies14.8%
6Martin Currie Global Portfolio Trust13.8%
7Polar Capital Global Insurance13.8%
8M&G Japan13.5%
9Guinness Global Innovators13.4%
10T. Rowe Price US Large Cap Growth Equity13.4%
11CT Global Focus13.3%
12T. Rowe Price Global Focused Growth Equity12.9%
13Polar Capital Global Healthcare Trust12.8%
14BlackRock Global Unconstrained Equity12.4%
15FTF Martin Currie US Unconstrained12.3%

*Source: FE Analytics, total returns in sterling, calendar year 2024

**Source: fund factsheet, 29 February 2024

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.