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The most popular ISA funds in 2019

Dominic Rowles takes a look at the most popular funds held by HL clients in their ISAs.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

2019 started with bakery chain Greggs introducing meat-free sausage rolls. It turned out to be quite a controversial decision, but it wouldn’t remain the year's most contentious issue for long.

Days later, Theresa May introduced her Brexit withdrawal agreement to the House of Commons, only for it to be met with the biggest defeat for a government motion in a century. The deal was defeated two more times before the Prime Minister stood down in July. She was replaced by Boris Johnson who quickly set about negotiating a new deal with the European Union.

After much pressure from both sides of the House Johnson sought to increase his power in Parliament by upping the number of Conservative MPs, calling the first December election since 1923. His gamble paid off and the Conservatives gained a significant majority in Parliament.

Further afield, the US and China continued their tit-for-tat trade war and US President Donald Trump faced impeachment proceedings after he allegedly asked his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate a political rival.

Also notable in 2019 was the number of large-scale political protests. The yellow vests in France, Catalan separatists in Spain and pro-democracy marches in Hong Kong to name a few. The UK wasn’t immune either as Extinction Rebellion shut down a number of our major cities to force government action on climate change.

Given the above, you might have expected markets to be in turmoil. But most global markets look set to finish the year well ahead of where they started.

Where did HL’s ISA clients invest?

The list below shows the most popular funds (the most bought funds after any sales) with HL’s Stocks and Shares ISA investors in 2019 (to 11/12/2019). It isn’t personal advice or a guide on how to invest. You should choose investments based on your own objectives and attitude to risk.

Investment values can fall as well as rise, so there’s no guarantee you’ll make a profit – you could get back less than you put in. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you, please ask us for advice.

Fund Key Investor Information
Fundsmith Equity KII
HL Select Global Growth Shares KII
JPMorgan Emerging Markets KII
Legal & General International Index Trust KII
Legal & General UK Index KII
Legal & General US Index KII
LF Lindsell Train UK Equity KII
Lindsell Train Global Equity KII
Rathbone Global Opportunities KII
Royal London Sterling Extra Yield Bond KII

Funds are listed in alphabetical order. Lindsell Train Global Equity and LF Lindsell Train UK Equity hold shares in Hargreaves Lansdown plc. The HL Select Global Growth Shares fund is managed by our sister company HL Fund Managers Ltd.

Below we look at three of the year's most popular ISA funds in more detail.

Going global

Global funds remained a popular way to invest throughout the year, with six featuring in the top 10. One of our favourites is Rathbone Global Opportunities.

Manager James Thomson invests in easy-to-understand companies with the potential to dominate their industry and defend themselves from competition. He’s willing to search off the beaten track to find companies with superb potential that might be overlooked by other investors.

He has the flexibility to invest in higher-risk emerging markets, but tends to stick to his strengths in developed markets – the fund’s biggest area of investment is the US. He can also invest in smaller companies, which increases risk further.

The fund’s long-term track record is excellent. It’s grown 643.5%* since the manager took control in November 2003, compared with 373.2% for the broader global stock market. We think Thomson is a talented stock picker with an impressive track record. Remember past performance shouldn’t be seen as a guide to the future though.

Annual percentage growth
Nov 14 -
Nov 15
Nov 15 -
Nov 16
Nov 16 -
Nov 17
Nov 17 -
Nov 18
Nov 18 -
Nov 19
Rathbone Global Opportunities 14.8% 16.3% 21.0% 7.2% 16.7%
FTSE World 2.6% 25.6% 15.4% 6.0% 13.1%

Past performance is not a guide to the future. Source: *Lipper IM to 30/11/2019

More about Rathbone Global Opportunities including charges

Rathbone Global Opportunities Key Investor Information

There's no place like home

Concerns over Brexit and other political uncertainty meant UK companies went unloved throughout most of 2019. But unloved markets rarely stay out of favour forever. Investing in an area that’s overlooked by others has historically led to strong performance. Many investors recognised this and added to their UK-focused investments.

The Legal & General UK Index was a popular way to gain UK exposure. It tracks the FTSE All Share, a broad index of 640 large, medium-sized and higher-risk smaller companies.

It's done this well over the long term, losing very little value to charges. Hargreaves Lansdown clients benefit from the ultra-low annual management charge of 0.04%. Our platform charge of up to 0.45% a year also applies.

Annual percentage growth
Nov 14 -
Nov 15
Nov 15 -
Nov 16
Nov 16 -
Nov 17
Nov 17 -
Nov 18
Nov 18 -
Nov 19
Legal & General UK Index 1.3% 10.1% 13.8% -2.3% 11.6%
FTSE All-Share 0.6% 9.8% 13.4% -1.5% 11.0%

Past performance is not a guide to the future. Source: Lipper IM to 30/11/2019

More about Legal & General UK Index including charges

Legal & General UK Index Key Investor Information

A more adventurous choice

Leon Eidelman and Austin Forey, managers of the JPMorgan Emerging Markets Fund, scour the emerging markets to find high-quality companies with excellent long-term growth potential. They like companies with healthy finances and sustainable earnings with the potential to grow year after year.

Investments include shares in Chinese online giants Tencent and Alibaba, Indian financial conglomerate HDFC, and South Korean electronic goods business Samsung. Other companies are based in a wide range of countries including Hong Kong, Brazil and South Africa.

The fund's long-term performance speaks for itself. Since Forey took over in July 1997 it’s grown 449.4%* compared with 304.5% for the IA Global Emerging Markets sector. Past performance isn’t a guide to the future though.

Emerging markets are higher risk than developed markets.

Annual percentage growth
Nov 14 -
Nov 15
Nov 15 -
Nov 16
Nov 16 -
Nov 17
Nov 17 -
Nov 18
Nov 18 -
Nov 19
JPMorgan Emerging Markets 14.4% 30.0% 27.6% -5.8% 18.9%
IA Global Emerging Markets -12.5% 29.2% 22.7% -5.8% 9.1%

Past performance is not a guide to the future. Source: *Lipper IM to 30/11/2019

More about JPMorgan Emerging Markets including charges

JPMorgan Emerging MarketsKey Investor Information

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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