We had a look which are the ten best performing funds in the first seven months of 2016. Gold funds are storming the top ranks this year on the back of rising gold prices.

No.10: BlackRock GF World Mining

The world’s biggest mining fund, aiming at investing at least 70% of its assets in shares of companies involved in mining and/or production of base and precious metals as well as minerals, has to date recorded 78.6% growth in total returns this year, in its ‘D2 USD’ share class. This comes after the fund saw 5 consecutive years of losses. Last year saw the fund fell by 37.5%.

As of the end of May this year the fund manages US$4,063.2 Million (£3,125.3 million) in Assets.

It’s top three holdings by weight currently are in BHP Billiton PLC, Randgold Resources Limited, Rio Tinto PLC (from top to bottom).

Although the CIO of the Natural Resources Team at BlackRock and fund manager of BlackRock GF World Mining, Evy Hambro, warned that “2016 could be shaping to be another tough year for producers of natural resources”, the fund has managed to reach this year’s top ten ranking for best performing funds.

No.9: HSBC Global Investment Funds Brazil Equity

The sub-fund of Luxembourg based HSBC Global Investment Funds has so far managed to increase total returns by 84.1% in its ‘AC NAV USD’ share class since the start of 2016, after this fund class declined 43.2% the previous year.

The fund as of 30th June manages US$379.85 Million. It aims to invest in equity shares in Brazilian companies of all sizes. The largest share of its assets – around 30% – is currently invested in the financial industry. Consumer staples (13.72%) and industrials (12.52%) are the next favoured sectors.

Its three top holdings by weight, top to bottom, are currently Ambev SA, Itausa-Investmentimentos ITAU-PR and 3 Petrobras – Petroleo BRAS-PR.

No.8: SF Peterhouse Smaller Companies Gold

The small UK based fund manages £2.9 million as of the 9th of August 2016. This year it has so far been able to report on 113.2% growth in total returns.

The fund, which started two years ago saw a change in management in January this year and under new managing director Amanda Van Dyke turned around 5 years of losses to reach a top-ten performance spot in its year to date performance.

At least 80% of its core investment assets are invested in companies involved in the gold industry while a further 20% can be invested in shares of metal mining companies more broadly.

Currently it is highly invested in Canadian equities (around 37% of total holdings) as well as UK equities (around 33% of total holdings). It also invests in American equities and the money market.

Its top three holdings, top to bottom, are Rye Patch Gold CORP, Kinross Gold and Osisko Mining INC.

No.7: CF Ruffer Gold

The fund, which managed to reach its first green figures in five years last year, has in the first 7 months of 2016 extended it’s growth, recording year to date total returns up 121.7%, compared to 12.1 at the end of 2015.

After a performance high in mid-June, the fund, like many other investors in Gold, saw a four-year performance drop but has since then started to recover.

By the end of June this month the fund managed £730.6 Million, which are principally invested in mining companies focusing on gold and other precious metals.

The fund has invested heavily in the mining industry on Africa (33% of holdings). The two next biggest investment regions are Australia (20% of holdings) and North America (18% of total holding).

Of a total of 105 holdings in 83 companies its biggest stock holdings, top to bottom, are Endeavour Mining, AngloGold Ashanti and Kinross Gold.

No.6: Black Rock Gold and General

Another fund managed by Evy Hambro made it into the top ten listing.

Black Rock Gold and General so far expanded total returns as much as 131.6 in their ‘D Accumulating’ shares class after recording an 18.1% reduction the previous year.

Latest figures recorded yesterday, the fund manages £1,567.0 Million (US$2,037.3 Million).

The fund primarily invests in companies which derive a significant proportion of income from either the gold mining industry or from other precious metals but is flexible to invest in outside opportunities when it sees fit.

It is currently most highly invested in Randgold Resources Limited, Newcrest Mining LTD and Newmont Mining Corp.

No.5: Old Mutual Blackrock Gold & General

Outperforming the considerably larger Black Rock Gold and General by 1.3% this year to date, the fund under same management reached the top 5 best performing funds since the start of 2016 with growth to date of 132.9%.

Like many others in the top ten lists its current success comes from its predominant investment in the gold industry as well as other precious metals which are performing increasingly well this year after years of lower than hoped results on earnings per share.

Moneyobserver rated the fund as the third best performing fund since Brexit at the end of June pointing towards gold as a save heaven in time of new economic uncertainty.

The fund manages a total of £40.31 million, over half of which (56.16%) is invested in assets in Canada.

Its top three holdings, top to bottom, are currently Newcrest Mining Ltd, Randgold Resources Limited ADR and Newmont Mining Corp.

No.4: Smith & Williamson Global Gold & Resources

Another fund which recorded losses across the last five years, Smith & Williamson Global Gold & Resources jumped to a growth rate of 140.2% in the first 7 months of 2016.

Like other top five success stories the fund invests in gold. The largest share of its assets invested in gold mining companies as well as precious metal related companies and resource based companies. However, the fund also invests in gold bullion shares and other transferrable securities, money market instruments, deposits, collective investment schemes and warrants.

As of the 9th August the fund manages £67.0 Million (US$87.1 Million).

Agnico-Eagle Mines, Newmont Mining and Asanko Gold are its top holdings, top to bottom.

No.3: Investec Global Gold

Starting into the top three, the bronze spot for best performing funds is taken by another fund investing in gold mining primarily.

The UK based fund recorded growth in total returns as high as 145.8% after five years of losses. In its worst year, 2013, the fund lost as much as 44.2%.

It is now managing a total of £144.1 million (US$187.3 million).

Like other well-performing funds, it is most highly invested in Newmont Mining Corp, Newcrest Mining Ltd and Barrick Gold Corp.

No.2: WAY Charteris Gold & Precious Metals

Taking the second place, WAY Charteris Gold & Precious Metals managed to increase total returns by 205% since the start of the year.

It is also the fund which currently is rated highest in the FE Risk Rating with a score of 291. This rating is relative to the FTSE100 rating, which is always kept at 100.

The ranking further exposes the idea that precious metals is the path to success this year. The fund invests in a range of instruments which feature gold or other precious metals exposure as direct underlying assets and has holdings of transferable securities in companies whose core business lies in the gold and wider precious metal industry.

About 90% of all assets are invested in Canada and it’s top holdings at the moment lie in the Silver industry with Endeavour Silver, First Majestic Silver and Fortuna Silver Mines Inc representing the largest weight in holdings.

No1.: MFM Junior Gold

At the top of all best performing funds stands currently MFM Junior Gold, a fund which manages as of the end of June only £18.3 million (US$23.8 million).

The fund recorded some of the greatest losses in the past years, reaching -65.8% at their lowest in 2013. It has now managed one of the biggest recoveries on the table over the course of the last 7 months, to take the top spot in performance just over half way through 2016, recording 226.3% in return growth.

The fund, which invests mainly in small and medium sized companies in the industry of identifying, developing and extracting gold, targets investments in the mining industry of other precious metals as well and has in light of adverse market conditions also turned to cash holdings, bonds and government securities.

Its top holdings are currently in Aureus Mining Inc., Taranga Gold Corp and Endeavour Mining Corp.

10/08/2016