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These are the top funds owned by SIPP investors in their 50s and Neil Woodford doesn’t make the list

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Today, I’m taking a closer look at the top five funds owned by Hargreaves Lansdown self-invested personal pension (SIPP) investors in their 50s. Here are the most popular funds in alphabetical order, along with one, three and five-year performance figures.

Baillie Gifford American

As its name suggests, this fund invests in a range of companies that are listed in, or conduct a significant proportion of their business in, the US. Its main objective is to provide capital growth. Top holdings currently include Amazon, Netflix and Tesla while Facebook and Google are also top-10 holdings.

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1-year: 46%
3-year: 132%
5-year: 187%
Fees: 0.52% per year

Fundsmith Equity

Run by well-known portfolio manager Terry Smith, this is a popular fund that invests globally. It currently has a 60% country weighting to the US and an 18% weighting to UK stocks and top holdings include Paypal, Amadeus and Microsoft.

1-year: 19%
3-year: 92%
5-year: 157%
Fees: 0.97% per year

Lindsell Train UK Equity

With a focus on UK stocks, this fund is run by highly-regarded portfolio manager Nick Train and his co-portfolio manager Michael Lindsell. The portfolio managers keep the portfolio concentrated and look for high-quality companies that are leaders in their industries. Top holdings currently include Diageo, Unilever and RELX.

1-year: 15%
3-year: 52%
5-year: 84%
Fees: 0.7% per year

Lindsell Train Global Equity

Train and Lindsell’s popular global equity fund also makes the top five list. This fund is also highly concentrated, only holding around 30 stocks, yet invests all around the world. It currently has a 35% weighting to the US, with 28% and 21% of the fund allocated to the UK and Japan respectively. Top holdings are quite similar to the UK fund and include Unilever, Diageo and Heineken.

1-year: 25%
3-year: 84%
5-year: 153%
Fees: 0.54% per year

Standard Life Global Smaller Companies

Lastly, we have Standard Life’s Global Smaller Companies fund, which aims to provide long-term growth by investing in a portfolio of smaller companies from around the world and is designed for investors who are comfortable with a higher level of risk. Top holdings here include GrubHub, Fevertree Drinks and Aspen Technology with nearly 50% of the fund currently allocated to US stocks.

1-year: 24%
3-year: 96%
5-year: 127%
Fees: 0.79% per year


There are several interesting takeaways from this list of funds. First, UK investors appear to have a preference for international stocks at present, with only one UK-focused fund among the top five. Finance textbooks will tell you that the majority of investors have a ‘home bias’ yet this clearly isn’t the case right now for British investors, which is not surprising when you consider Brexit uncertainty. Could UK stocks be a good contrarian play though? 

Second, given that all five of the funds above are growth funds, it appears that investors in their 50s still have quite a high tolerance for risk. Again, this goes against conventional wisdom as we’re often told that investors should reduce their risk as they near retirement. 

Third, no Neil Woodford funds make the list. It looks like investors have lost patience with the portfolio manager after several years of poor performance.

Fourth, looking at the performance figures above, it appears that many investors in their 50s have done very well over the last few years. These funds are a good example of the rewards that are on offer from the stock market if you’re willing to accept a bit of risk. 

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Edward Sheldon owns shares in Unilever and Diageo. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended Unilever. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Diageo. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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