March’s top performing sustainable funds

Written by Rebecca Jones on 4th Apr 2019

In our series produced in collaboration with 3d Investing, we take a regular monthly look at the top performing funds in the sustainable investment universe, tracking trends and trendsetters in one of the fastest growing areas of global finance today.

Our universe consists of funds rated three stars and above by 3d Investing, which has rigorously screened thousands of funds available to UK investors to come up with just 210 that meet this standard. We sort this list by the top performers of the month and then again by three years, giving a comprehensive overview.

 

It’s all about Asia as the first quarter of 2019 draws to a close and funds invested in the region all take podium places for one month returns, with Alquity’s Indian Subcontinent fund also topping the three year table thanks to unstoppable growth in the emerging nation.

Over one month to 31 March 2019, Alquity Indian Subcontinent returned an impressive 15 per cent, propelling its three year return to more than 77 per cent.

Commenting on the fund’s performance, Suresh Mistry, co-founder and sales director for Asia at Alquity said: “The fund has delivered great returns for three reasons. Firstly, it is focused exclusively on domestic growth in India and holdings that benefit from the reforms driven by the Modi government. We don’t follow the index or focus on the software or exporters which are ‘yesterday’s story.’

“We also integrate ESG into our investment process ensuring we pick well-run responsible businesses. Finally, portfolio manager Mike Sell also runs our Asia Fund, so is able to put Indian growth into a wider Asian perspective, unlike locally based managers.”

Other Asian stars joining Alquity include Impax Asian Environmental Markets and Parvest Green Tigers, which each returned 4.7 per cent over March, with Impax’s fund also taking third place over three years thanks to its 71.2 per cent return.

Top performing 3d 3 star rated funds one month to 31 March 2019

Fund

Total % return 1m

Rank in sector Total % return 1yr Rank in sector Total % return 3yr Rank in sector
1 Alquity Indian Subcontinent

14.9

2 / 46 -0.7 41 / 46 77.3 1 / 40
2 Alquity Asia

11.2

1 / 191 -0.7 126 / 187 41.7 102 / 172
3 Alquity Future World

7.3

8 / 296 -1.1 112 / 279 n/a n/a
4 Sarasin IE Sustainable Global Real Estate Equity

6.0

17 / 54 13.9 44 / 56 19.9 40 / 48
5 Primary Health Trust

5.5

n/a 23.3 n/a 54.0 n/a
6 Kames Global Sustainable Equity

5.2

7 / 235 12.2 33 / 185 n/a n/a
7 RobecoSAM Sustainable Healthy Living

4.7

10 / 109 15.9 8 / 91 38.8 48 / 69
8 Impax Asian Environmental Markets

4.7

4 / 22 7.2 1 / 19 47.1 5 / 17
9 Parvest Green Tigers

4.7

89 / 353 5.8 50 / 340 36.9 200 / 314
10 Schroder ISF Global Sustainable Growth

4.5

16 / 109 18.2 2 / 91 60.4 2 / 69

Performance data sourced from FE Analytics and is to 31 March 2019.

The fund data reflects the performance of Asian markets more generally, where growth is far outstripping the US, UK and Europe. Since 2016, stock markets in Vietnam, Thailand and China have all performed strongly, growing an average of 80 per cent, 73 and 65 per cent respectively. This compares to 61 per cent from the US and 31 per cent from the UK.

Mike Sell, Alquity’s Asia manager, comments: “In our Asia Fund, China has performed strongly, as confidence has improved, validating our view that the market had significantly overestimated the economic slowdown. We had been adding to this market over the last six months, due to the attractive risk-reward. We also are positive on both Indonesia and Vietnam, two underappreciated markets within Asia.”

John Fleetwood, founder of 3d Investing, adds: “The last month has seen Asian stocks perform strongly, which is reflected in the top performing funds in March.  It’s interesting that this has also provided a boost to the 3 year figures, with Alquity’s Indian Subcontinent Fund and the Pacific Assets Trust featuring in the top 10.

“The Pacific region has been an engine of global growth for some time and it’s unsurprising that this is reflected in the returns of these funds. Sustainable infrastructure and global equity funds also continue to feature strongly –  a trend that has been in place for some time.”

Over three years global leaders include two funds from Liontrust Sustainable Investment, which has one of the most experienced teams and strongest track records in the sector. The team’s Global fund ranked fourth with a three year return of 61 per cent while it’s absolute growth fund came in eighth with 53.5 per cent.

Infrastructure also won two spots in the three year table, with multi-billion pound trust 3i Infrastructure ranking second thanks to a strong 73 per cent while Primary Health – which channels funding into the development of NHS properties – coming in ninth place.

Top performing 3d 3 star rated funds three years to March 2019

Fund Total % return 1m Rank in sector Total % return 1yr Rank in sector

Total % return 3yr

Rank in sector
1 Alquity Indian Subcontinent 14.9 2 / 46 -0.7 41 / 46

77.3

1 / 40
2 3i Infrastructure Trust 2.0 1 / 6 33.4 1 / 6

73.0

1 / 6
3 Impax Environmental Markets Trust 3.2 1 / 3 15.0 1 / 3

71.1

1 / 3
4 Liontrust Sustainable Future Global Growth 3.0 67 / 280 19.0 17 / 262

61.1

9 / 223
5 Schroder ISF Global Sustainable Growth 4.5 16 / 109 18.2 2 / 91

60.4

2 / 69
6 Pacific Assets Trust 3.5 4 / 15 19.8 1 / 15

56.5

9 / 15
7 Bluefield Solar Income Trust 2.3 2 / 10 20.6 1 / 7

56.2

1 / 6
8 BMO Responsible Global Equity 3.0 70 / 280 12.8 46 / 262

54.6

17 / 223
9 Primary Health Trust 5.5 n/a 23.3 n/a

54.0

n/a
10 Liontrust Sustainable Future Absolute Growth 2.6 22 / 274 16.9 1 / 243

53.5

2 / 215

Performance data sourced from FE Analytics and is to 31 March 2019.

 

For the full list of 3d 3star rated funds see the latest Good With Money and 3d Investing Good Investment Review – your guide to the brightest and best sustainable funds on the market

To invest in any of these funds you can speak to your financial adviser or invest through a dealing account, or stocks and shares ISA on a low cost online fund platform.

Risk warning: Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments and the income derived from them may go down as well as up, so you could get back less than you originally invested.

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