Looking for an investment edge? Canstar reveals its 2020 Managed Fund Star Ratings and Award winners

Canstar has announced the results of its Managed Fund Star Ratings and Awards for 2020, revealing the funds and providers on its database offering outstanding value to Aussie investors.

Investing with a managed fund can enable you to access a wide range of assets, but choosing a provider and individual fund can seem tricky when you consider just how many options are available to Australian investors. 

To help you narrow down the field, Canstar’s Managed Fund Star Ratings and Awards analysed 258 different managed funds from 41 providers on our database. As a result, we’ve identified 31 individual funds that offered 5-Star value to investors, and three managed fund providers that outperformed the rest when it came to overall performance across various asset classes and customer categories.

For the product Star Ratings, funds were scored based on both their performance and feature offerings. The features assessed fell into four categories: opening your account (e.g. ease of application process and payment), closing your account (e.g. what fees apply), investment flexibility (e.g. what can you do online, how often can you invest, what’s the minimum you can invest, etc.), and support (e.g. access to a call centre). However, the strength and consistency of a fund’s performance over the last five years were the main factors considered when it came to determining the overall Star Rating. 

For the three provider Awards, institutions were assessed based on the cumulative score of their top-performing funds. All three winners also won their respective Awards in 2019. 

To be eligible for Canstar’s Managed Funds Star Ratings and Awards, each fund and provider had to meet criteria that included:

  • Having an initial minimum investment amount of $20,000 or less
  • Being open to new investors and available directly to the consumer (not via an advisor or platform only)
  • Not having an entry fee (or deferred entry fee), an initial contribution fee or an establishment fee
  • Having a minimum of five years of performance history available at the time the Star Ratings and Awards were calculated
  • Having minimum funds under management (FUM) of $50m

2020 5-Star Rated Managed Funds

Here are the managed funds that received a 5-Star Rating this year. The 5-Star products in each profile are sorted by provider name. 

Single asset class funds

Australian Cash

These are funds that are largely invested in highly liquid, short-term securities such as bank deposits, cash, and bank bills.

Provider 5-Star Rated fund
Advance Asset Management Advance Cash Multi-Blend Fund
Mutual Limited Mutual Cash Term Deposits and Bank Bills Fund

Australian Fixed Interest

Funds which invest in the same sorts of assets as Australian Cash, but may also invest in government bonds or corporate debt and asset-backed securities. 

Macquarie Investment Management Macquarie Australian Fixed Interest Fund
Nikko Asset Management Aust Ltd Nikko AM Australian Bond Fund

Australian Property

Funds that invest mostly (at least 75%) in domestic listed property trusts, either directly or through property syndicates. The remainder may be invested in direct property and/or cash. 

Cromwell Funds Management Ltd Cromwell Phoenix Property Securities Fund
One Managed Investment Funds Ltd Charter Hall Maxim Property Securities Fund

Australian Shares – Large Cap

Funds that invest in domestic stocks which are in the top 70% of the stock market by total value, with varying balances of growth (higher-risk, higher-value) and value (lower-risk, lower-value) stocks. 

Australian Unity Funds Platypus Australian Equities Fund – Wholesale
Bennelong Funds Management Ltd Bennelong Australian Equities Fund
Fidante Partners Limited Greencape Broadcap Fund
Fidante Partners Limited Wavestone Australian Share Fund
Macquarie Investment Management Macquarie Australian Shares Fund

Australian Shares – Mid/Small Cap 

These funds invest in domestic stocks in the bottom 30% of the equities market by total value, with varying levels of investment in high-growth and low-growth stocks. 

Ausbil Dexia Limited Ausbil Microcap Fund
Equity Trustees Limited SGH Emerging Companies Fund
Macquarie Investment Management Macquarie Australian Small Companies

Global Fixed Income & Bonds

These are funds invested in foreign government and corporate debt, generally with slightly longer investment time frames than funds investing in domestic debt. 

Colonial First State Investments FirstChoice Wholesale Investments – PIMCO Wholesale Global Bond
PIMCO Australia Management Ltd PIMCO Diversified Fixed Interest Fund Wholesale Class
PIMCO Australia Management Ltd PIMCO Global Bond Fund Wholesale Class

Global Shares – Large Cap

Funds investing in global stocks in the top 70% of the equities market by total value. Funds may have varying levels of investment in low-growth and high-growth stocks. 

Colonial First State Investments FirstChoice Wholesale Investments – Magellan Wholesale Global Share
Equity Trustees Limited Evans & Partners International Fund
Macquarie Investment Management Walter Scott Global Equity Fund
Magellan Asset Management Ltd Magellan High Conviction Fund
Pinnacle Fund Services Ltd Hyperion Global Growth Companies Fund – Class B

Multi-sector funds

Multi-Sector Aggressive

Funds that invest in multiple sectors and have more than 80% of their investments exposed to relatively volatile ‘growth sectors’ such as shares and property. 

Advance Asset Management Advance High Growth Multi-Blend Fund
Colonial First State Investments FirstChoice Wholesale Investments – Colonial First State Wholesale High Growth

Multi-Sector Balanced

Funds that invest in multiple sectors and have 41%-60% of their investments exposed to growth sectors. 

Australian Ethical Investment Australian Ethical Balanced Fund
Australian Unity Funds Pro-D Balanced Fund
OnePath OneAnswer Frontier Investment Portfolio – Vanguard Balanced Index

Multi-Sector Growth

Funds that invest in multiple sectors and have 61%-80% of their investments exposed to growth sectors. 

Ausbil Dexia Limited Ausbil Balanced Fund
OnePath OneAnswer Frontier Investment Portfolio – Vanguard Growth Index

Multi-Sector Moderate

Funds that invest in multiple sectors and have 21%-40% of their investments exposed to growth sectors. 

Colonial First State Investments FirstChoice Wholesale Investments – Colonial First State Wholesale Conservative
OnePath OneAnswer Frontier Investment Portfolio – Vanguard Conservative Index

2020 Managed Fund Awards

Canstar’s three Managed Fund Award categories are: 

  • Provider of the Year – Managed Funds: awarded for overall outstanding value across a variety of different asset classes and profiles.
  • Provider of the Year – Australian Equities: awarded for outstanding value within the domestic equities market.
  • Provider of the Year – Multi-Sector Funds: awarded for outstanding value across multiple multi-sector funds.

This year’s winners are:

Provider of the Year – Managed Funds: Colonial First State Investments

colonial first state managed fund award winner

Colonial First State Investments has retained the Provider of the Year – Managed Funds Award this year, having won it for the first time in 2019. Colonial First State Investments scored points for its wide range of domestic and global funds, as well as improved performances relative to its peers in the domestic and multi-sector profiles. 

Colonial First State’s investment arm offers over 130 investment options, and investments in cash, fixed interest, shares, property, and infrastructure securities. It requires a minimum initial investment of either $5,000, or $1,000 with a regular investment plan.

Provider of the Year – Australian Equities: Macquarie Investment Management

macquarie managed funds award winner

Macquarie also retained its Award from 2019, winning Provider of the Year – Australian Equities for a second time. Canstar Research found that its managed funds performed exceptionally well in domestic markets, and its performance across Australian equities has seen it emerge as the strongest provider on our database for those looking to invest domestically, based on the factors considered as part of the Award. 

Macquarie offers a large variety of funds to invest in, across Australian and global equities, as well as fixed-income and infrastructure securities. 

Provider of the Year – Multi-Sector Funds: OnePath

onepath managed funds award winner

OnePath’s exceptional performance across multiple multi-sector funds has earned it the Provider of the Year – Multi-Sector Award, which it also won last year. This year’s Award calculations saw OnePath outdo itself, however, with an even stronger performance than last year’s relative to its competitors. 

OnePath offers a wide range of investment options, but a choice of funds managed by a single manager and funds managed by several managers.

If you want to know more about how the results were calculated, you can read the Managed Fund Star Ratings and Awards methodology document

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