Morningstar and PlexCrown Fund Ratings recognises exceptional performance by Discovery Invest

AA – Fresh from celebrating its 10-year anniversary, Discovery Invest is on the accolade trail with one of its flagship funds recently nominated for a Morningstar South Africa fund award, while the asset manager was ranked in the PlexusCrown Survey as the fourth best CIS management company in South Africa as at end December 2017.

The Discovery Moderate Balanced Fund has been named as one of two finalists in the Best Moderate Allocation Fund category. This follows shortly after the Discovery Flexible Property Fund was recently listed as the third top performing unit trust fund in the entire collective investment scheme industry with an annualised return of 15.50% over the last 10 years. The Discovery Global Value Equity Feeder Fund was the second highest performing fund in the ASISA Global Equity General sector and the fifth highest performing fund in the entire collective investment scheme industry with an annualised return of 13.59% over a three-year period.

Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Invest, Kenny Rabson, proudly notes that assets under management increased to more than *R75 billion and as at end November 2017: “We have consistently ranked within the top six retail asset takers by Morningstar despite a difficult and volatile investment environment, and the Discovery Balanced Fund has remained a favourite among investors as evidenced by its ranking in the top 10 takers of retail net flows in the unit trust market as per the Association for Savings and Investment South Africa (ASISA),” he notes.

For the 10 years to end December, the Discovery Balanced Fund returned a net 10.14% per annum and was ranked in the first quartile in its category across three, five, seven and 10-year periods. The Moderate Balanced Fund, which has a shorter track record, also delivered solid returns to investors adding a net 10.41% per annum over five years. This fund was ranked top quartile over both one, three and five years. In terms of strategy, the funds have a unique alpha signature, which means that it generates outperformance differently to other balanced funds. These funds will typically do well in the growth and expansion phase of the stock market and economic cycle.

Quantitative and qualitative methodology

Morningstar selects the finalists using a quantitative methodology with a qualitative overlay that considers the one-, three-, and five-year performance history of all eligible funds, and adjusts returns for risk using Morningstar Risk, a measure that imposes a higher penalty for downside variation in a fund’s return than it does for upside volatility.

Offshore boost and positive outlook for global growth

The fund manager, Chris Freund of Investec Asset Management, says during 2017, offshore investments helped the portfolio, with a regional bias leaning toward more cyclical markets such as Europe and Japan.

Looking ahead, Freund says the balanced fund range currently remains constructive on the outlook for global growth. “We are pleased with the improvement in sentiment towards the outlook for the domestic political and economic environment. We, therefore, maintain a reasonable allocation to both domestic and offshore equities and prefer domestic bonds relative to cash,” he says.


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