Morningstar Fantasy Fund League: August

Morningstar's editors are competing against each other with an imaginary portfolio of stocks and shares. How did they fare in August? 

Holly Black 1 September, 2021 | 9:02AM
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We’re two months into our Fantasy Fund Manager League and Christopher Greiner has climbed to the top of the leaderboard, growing his initial imaginary £10,000 portfolio to £10,732. A daring decision to put 90% of his assets into Tesla didn’t seem such a great idea at the end of July, but the shares have grown 7.5% over the past month, catapulting Chris into top place. Interestingly, Chris also holds Alibaba, which is one of the worst performing stocks across all the portfolios since inception, down 28% since our league began on July 1, but the small allocation to these shares has mitigated the effect on the overall portfolio. Meanwhile, shares in Norway's Salmon Evolution have soared 18.8% over the past month after it made an acquisition.

At the other end of the table is Andrew Willis, whose portfolio has dipped to £9,243. As well as holding Alibaba, he also has a stake in Chinese electric carmaker NIO, which is down 28.6% since the portfolio's inception. There have been concerns over the effect of China’s regulatory crackdown on the start-up, while underwhelming Q3 revenue guidance also dampened investor sentiment. Elsewhere in Andrew’s portfolio, however, Bitcoin miner Rio Blockchain had a strong month, returning 15.6%, while shares in BlackRock and each gained more than 10%.

fantasy fund league performance august

Fernando has just three holdings in his portfolio and all are in the red this month. Airline group IAG has been the weakest performer, down 9.5% in the month. Still strong performance in the previous month means that Fernando’s portfolio stays in the black overall and he sits midway in the table.

Darktrace had a sharp change in fortunes and after stellar performance last month, it was down 14.1% in August, causing James to slip from first to third place in the group. Commentators say that a small group of investors offloaded £150 million of the firm’s shares this month, which may have dented investor confidence. Shares are, however, still up 18.8% since the portfolios were launched. Deliveroo climbed 15.8% in the month and Workspace group was up 11.5% as more workers continue to head back to the office. But Uber has been a disappointment, down 20.7% since inception and 8% over the past month. 

Semiconductor Stocks Soar

Computer chip maker Nvidia has been a strong performer in my own portfolio, enjoying the benefits of short supply and high demand for its products. Shares have climbed 17.6% over the past month. Airbnb has also jumped 9.5% - the company has promised to offer free accommodation to 20,000 Afghan refugees. My investments in drinks companies, however, have lost their fizz - with JD Wetherspoon and LVMH both in the red this month.

A holding in Nvidia has also served Jocelyn well, and Paypal was another strong performer in his portfolio, climbing 5.8% in the month. Haemonetics shares have gained 2.8% after the blood and plasma firm’s Q1 earnings and revenues came in ahead of expectations.

Robert’s portfolio has also enjoyed high demand for semiconductors – his ASML shares climbed 11.6% in the month and are now up almost 22% since inception. Mining company SQM is up 10.7%, enjoying a boom in lithium prices, while an increase in first quarter operating profits helped shares in offshore wind farm operator Orsted to leap 8.1%.

Sara Silano’s is the only portfolio where all of the holdings are in positive territory over the past month. London Stock Exchange is one of the strongest performers, up 9.7% in the month and another financial stock, Royal Bank of Canada, climbed 3.9%. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is up 3.7% in the month. You might think that pharma stocks would be soaring at the moment, as vaccine rollouts continue across the globe, but the performance of Novartis has been fairly muted – shares edged up just 0.56% in the month.

Dating app firm Bumble has been one of the strongest holdings in Sunniva’s portfolio this month. It gained 10.2% despite concerns around the security of its app, which was accused of potentially exposing the precise location of some users. Wizz Air shares have climbed 7% as more people enjoy a summer holiday with fewer restrictions, but a recent slide in the gold price has hurt Newmont Mining, and shares were down 7.1% in the month.

The end of next month will be the first time editors will be allowed to make changes to their portfolios, as we are restricting the opportunity to buy and sell shares to once per quarter.

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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Holly Black  is Senior Editor,


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