How your unit trust investments fared to the end of September

By Martin Hesse Time of article published Oct 25, 2021

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After its extraordinary climb last year out of the trough in March caused by the pandemic, for the past six months the FTSE/JSE All Share Index (Alsi) has levelled out at highs of around 67 000 points. However, the market is a far from tranquil one – it hit a record of about 68 000 in March this year and then another one, of over 69 000 in August, but in-between has been volatile, with some dips, most notably just a few weeks ago, in September, when it dropped to about 61 000.

In the quarter to the end of September, the Alsi was slightly in the red (–0.84%), according to data supplied by ProfileData. However, over one year to the end of September it had delivered 23.19%.

All sectors performed well over the 12-month period to the end of the 3rd quarter, but the one that stood out was financials (the financial index was up 51.14%). According to their indices, industrial shares were up 16.97% and resources were up 16.83%. Large cap shares on the Top 40 index were up 20.25%, while small and mid-cap shares, which are a fundamental part of our economy, were up a healthy 41.12%.

After going through a horrible time before and during the pandemic, listed property delivered 54.43% for the 12 months. However, over five years, the index is still negative, at –5.64% per year, on average.

The rand has generally performed well after its low of around R19 to the dollar in April last year. Over the 12-month period to the end of September it strengthened all the way through to the beginning of June, reaching a high of R13.35 to the dollar, but subsequently weakened, and at the end of the quarter was hovering around R14.50.

Unit trust performance

Unit trust funds in the general equity category (166 funds) delivered returns of between 3.88% and 54.35% for the 12-month period, with an arithmetic average of 27.75% (over four percentage points above the Alsi).

In the popular multi-asset high-equity category (193 funds), returns over one year ranged from –5.09% to 43.90%, with an average of 18.85%.

Multi-asset low-equity funds, which are lower risk and thus more suitable for capital protection (148 funds), ranged from –3.52% to 32.96%, with an average of 12.16%.

In the interest-bearing categories, the variation among funds is never very wide: variable-term bond funds delivered 12.79% on average for the 12 months, short-term bond funds 5.07%, and money market funds 3.80%.

Looking at unit trusts investing offshore, global general equity funds denominated in rands (87 funds) delivered between –18.34% and 46.38% with an average of 13.53%, according to ProfileData.

PlexCrown Ratings

After having dropped back slightly in the rankings, Cape-Town boutique manager Mi-Plan is back in the lead in the risk-adjusted performance of its qualifying unit trust funds according to their individual PlexCrown ratings. It scored an average PlexCrown rating of 3.601 across its eight funds, with two of them, the Mi-Plan IP Global Macro Fund and the Mi-Plan IP Enhanced Income Fund achieving the top rating of five PlexCrowns.

Coronation Fund Managers are sitting just behind Mi-Plan, with an average PlexCrown score of 3.592 across its 19 qualifying funds. One of these, the Coronation Smaller Companies Fund, achieved a five-PlexCrown rating.

Third in the rankings is Ninety One, last year's Manager of the Year in the Raging Bull Awards, with a score of 3.558 PlexCrowns across its 18 qualifying funds.

The top qualifying offshore company is US-based asset manager T Rowe Price, which averaged 3.978 PlexCrowns across its 16 qualifying funds, six of which scored five PlexCrowns.

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