Make sure to monitor your fund performance

Scott Woods.
Scott Woods.

Complacency is one of the biggest threats to investors.

When economic data improves and the world markets feel more buoyant, it is very easy to simply file the annual pension or investment statements away and forget about them.

However, more than 80 per cent of funds in the Investment Management Association (IMA) Global sector have failed to beat the Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) World Index over the past three years, according to research by Financial Express (FE) Trustnet.

These funds have a wide appeal among investors as they offer diversification away from the UK.

But data suggests that the vast majority of them are unable to add value to their benchmarks.

Of the 228 IMA Global funds with a long enough track record, 197 have fallen short of the 63 per cent return of the MSCI World Index over three years.

The index is the natural benchmark for the sector, rather like the FTSE All Share is for IMA UK Equity Income.

The inability for funds to beat the benchmark is illustrated by the performance of the IMA Global sector average versus the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) World and MSCI World.

So far in 2014, only 11 per cent are ahead of the two indices even though global economic growth has boomed over the past decade.

The stock market gains from the MSCI World index have beaten the FTSE All Share over both three and five-year measures. Investors keen to get exposure to higher growth areas and also diversify away from typically popular funds has led to an increase in popularity in global funds.

Investors know that markets rise and fall and you could get back less than you invested so the need for regular reviews is paramount to maximise the good times and minimise losses in tougher periods.