Which Funds Launched in August?

Five new funds launched last month. We look at these new offerings as well as more established alternatives 

Annalisa Esposito 17 September, 2020 | 9:48AM
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Fund Launches

While a plethora of funds don’t manage to make it to their 10th birthday party because they struggle to beat their benchmark, every month a raft of new ones are set up and ready to go.

According to Morningstar Direct, five new open-ended UK-domiciled funds were launched in August, showing that even during the summer months fund houses are beavering away with new products. 

The table below shows the five funds launched in August, with two passive and three active funds. 

Fund Inception  Morningstar Category
Fidelity Index Sterling Corp Bond 26/08/2020 GBP Corporate Bond
Fidelity Index UK Gilt  26/08/2020 GBP Government Bond
MGTS AFH DA UK Equity 24/08/2020 UK Large-Cap Equity
Astral Fund 21/08/2020 GBP Mod Adventurous Allocation
VT Esprit Sustainable Growth 10/08/2020 GBP Mod Adventurous Allocation

Fidelity, which already has a wide range of low-cost equity tracker funds, launched its first two fixed income index trackers on August 26, one focused on corporate bonds and the other on UK gilts. The funds have an ongoing charge of 0.12% and 0.1% respectively.

In particular, while the Fidelity Index Sterling UK Gilt Fund is benchmarked against the FTSE Actuaries UK Gilts Index, the Fidelity Index Sterling Corporate Bond Fund is benchmarked against the iBoxx GBP Liquid Corporates Large Cap index.

“While active management remains at the heart of our business, we know that investors want choice and value when it comes to investing, whether that’s through an active fund, a tracker or both,” says John Clougherty, head of wholesale at Fidelity International.

The new additions increase the firm's range of UK-domiciled index funds from seven to nine. Morningstar analysts already rate highly some of its equity offerings, which have “proved a formidable opponent for active funds to beat” and are “very competitively priced relative to the average active and passive funds in their Morningstar Category”. For example, the Fidelity Index UK fund and the Fidelity Index US Fund, which both charge as little as 0.06%, have earned a Silver rating.

Other funds launched in August include MGTS AFH DA UK Equity, the  Astral fund and VT Esprit Sustainable Growth. These are three active options  - the first one belongs to the Morningstar UK Large-Cap Equity Category and the other two to the Moderately Adventurous Allocation. The latter, in particular, will aim to invest at least 80% of its portfolio in investments which promote ethical, sustainable or responsible investment.

Morningstar Rated Alternatives

For investors looking for more established alternatives, we have picked some funds which are already rated by Morningstar analysts - meaning they already have a track record of at least three years.

Among the passive options in the Morningstar Corporate Bond Category, the iShares Corporate Bond Index retains a Morningstar Analyst Rating of Bronze for its clean D retail share class. “The fund can work as a core building block in a UK-centric investment portfolio,” says Morningstar analyst Jose Garcia-Zarate. However, the more expensive pre-RDR A share class has a Negative rating. "Remaining investors in the A share class are encouraged to switch to the cheaper clean D,” adds Garcia-Zarate.

The Vanguard UK Government Bond Index, meanwhile, is a Gold-rated option among the UK government bonds trackers. Garcia-Zarate points out the fund may lag at times of rising interest rates, however: “This is classic buy-and-hold element in a UK-based portfolio, and so performance is best assessed over very extended periods.”

Finally, the Dimensional UK Core Equity and Royal London Sustainable World Trust funds are rated Gold and Bronze respectively. Sitting in the UK Large-Cap Equity cateogry, the Royal London fund has produced 15.3% this year, 17.4 percentage points ahead of its Category Average. “It is a solid choice for investors looking for a potentially higher capital growth mainly from global equities, but also some exposure to bonds, using a sustainability approach that has been employed in a disciplined manner over time,” says Morningstar analyst Rajesh Yadav. 

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The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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About Author

Annalisa Esposito  is a data journalist for Morningstar.co.uk

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