The 10 best performing funds of 2020

US stocks, particularly the technology giants, were the big winners last year and many of the best performing funds were heavily invested in the sector.

The top performing funds in 2020

Positioning was everything last year, with the coronavirus pandemic resulting in huge winners and losers.

Technology was the key trade, with the FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google) powering US equities to record highs, and that is reflected in the leaderboard of funds.

It will be no surprise to many that Baillie Gifford had an amazing year as big long-term backers of technology. But beyond US equities, there was also money to be made in China, small-caps and environmental stocks.

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The top performing funds in 2020

Positioning was everything last year, with the coronavirus pandemic resulting in huge winners and losers.

Technology was the key trade, with the FAANGs (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google) powering US equities to record highs, and that is reflected in the leaderboard of funds.

It will be no surprise to many that Baillie Gifford had an amazing year as big long-term backers of technology. But beyond US equities, there was also money to be made in China, small-caps and environmental stocks.

Click here to view the article on a single page.

10. Lord Abbett Innovation Growth USD: 71.5%

Sector: North America

Sector average performance: 16.1%

Managers & Citywire rating: Matthew DeCicco (AAA), Thomas O’Halloran (AAA), Vernon Bice (AA)

The fund was a major beneficiary of the tech rally, with Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google owner Alphabet in its top five holdings. It also owns Zoom and Tesla.

9. Matthews Asia China Small Companies: 72.2%

Sector: China/Greater China

Sector average performance: 33.4%

Managers & Citywire rating: Winnie Chwang (pictured, A), Andrew Mattock (AA)

The fund topped the sector with a diverse portfolio that includes shipping, glass and pet food companies.

8. MFM Junior Gold: 72.5%

Sector: Specialist

Sector average performance: 6.7%

Manager & Citywire rating: Angelos Damaskos (+)

The fund had a stellar first half of the year, with small cap gold miners rising sharply as demand for the precious surged amid the turmoil of the pandemic.

7. Baillie Gifford Global Discovery: 76.8%

Sector: Global

Sector average performance: 15.3%

Manager & Citywire rating: Douglas Brodie (AAA)

The first of four Baillie Gifford funds in the top 10, close to two thirds of the portfolio was in US equities, with Tesla and Teladoc big winners. UK supermarket delivery firm Ocada was another sock that surged in 2020.

6. Premier Miton UK Smaller Companies: 77.3%

Sector: UK Smaller companies

Sector average performance: 6.5%

Managers & Citywire rating: Gervais Williams (pictured left, A), Martin Turner (pictured right, A)

After a difficult period of performance in 2019, the fund rebounded sharply in 2020. Big winners included Jubilee Metals, Trackwise Designs and oil small cap Touchstone Exploration.

5. Guinness Sustainable Energy: 79.3%

Sector: Global

Sector average performance: 15.3%

Managers & Citywire rating: Jonathan Waghorn and Will Riley

Along with tech, environmental stocks were another significant winner in 2020. The fund’s top 10 positions in Vestas Wind Systems, First Solar and Xinyi Solar were big contributors to performance.

4. Baillie Gifford Positive Change: 80.1%

Sector: Global

Sector average performance: 15.3%

Managers & Citywire rating: Kate Fox (pictured, AAA), Lee Qian (AAA)

The fund profited from a number of stocks that saw their share prices deliver triple digit gains in 2020. Tesla, Moderna and Teladoc are all top 10 holdings.

3. Baillie Gifford Long Term Global Growth Investment: 95.6%

Sector: Global

Sector average performance: 15.3%

Managers & Citywire rating: Tom Slater (pictured, AAA), Mark Urquhart (AAA)

Like its sister funds, the portfolio’s top 10 read like a who’s who of the best performing stocks in 2020. Tesla, Shopify, Tencent and Amazon all contributed to the fund’s numbers.

2. Morgan Stanley US Growth: 110.4%

Sector: North America

Sector average performance: 16.1%

Managers & Citywire rating: Team managed

The fund’s largest holding, Zoom, rose more than fourfold over the year and became a household name due to its ubiquity during lockdown. Chunky positions in Shopify and Amazon also bolstered returns.

1. Baillie Gifford American: 121.8%

Sector: North America

Sector average performance: 16.1%

Managers & Citywire rating: Kirsty Gibson (pictured, AAA), Gary Robinson (AAA), Tom Slater (AAA)

It’s no surprise that Baillie Gifford claimed top spot, with the commonality of holdings across the group’s portfolios, resulting in them dominating the top 10. Tesla, Shopify, Zoom, Wayfair and Amazon were among the names propelling the fund to the head of the leaderboard.

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Related Fund Managers

Kirsty Gibson
Kirsty Gibson
2/80 in Equity - US Growth (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 209.58%
Vernon Bice
Vernon Bice
8/80 in Equity - US Growth (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 129.48%
Lee Qian
Lee Qian
4/191 in Equity - Global Growth (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 138.85%
Kate Fox
Kate Fox
3/191 in Equity - Global Growth (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 138.85%
Mark Urquhart
Mark Urquhart
1/191 in Equity - Global Growth (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 162.91%
Tom Slater
Tom Slater
2/191 in Equity - Global Growth (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 162.91%
Gary Robinson
Gary Robinson
10/191 in Equity - Global Growth (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 104.28%
Will Riley
Will Riley
13/14 in Equity - Energy (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: -42.94%
Jonathan Waghorn
Jonathan Waghorn
12/14 in Equity - Energy (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: -42.94%
Douglas Brodie
Douglas Brodie
1/36 in Equity - Global Small & Medium Companies (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 124.37%
Andrew Mattock
Andrew Mattock
14/48 in Equity - China (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 52.22%
Angelos Damaskos
Angelos Damaskos
12/19 in Equity - Gold & Precious Metals (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 57.27%
Martin Turner
Martin Turner
7/87 in Equity - UK Equity Income (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 10.27%
Gervais Williams
Gervais Williams
6/87 in Equity - UK Equity Income (Performance over 3 years) Average Total Return: 10.27%
Winnie Chwang
Winnie Chwang
23/43 in Equity - Greater China (Performance over 3 months) Average Total Return: 8.74%
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