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Avoiding the Funds 'Dogs'

Schroders, Scottish Widow and Fidelity are among the funds that haven't been keeping up with the pack in terms of returns, while Invesco Perpetual Income and High Income were among the best, a report from independent financial advisors bestinvest showed on Tuesday.


Severe losses and extreme volatility in global stock markets during the second half of last year have highlighted the need for investors to avoid investment funds that can't weather a global economic storm.

Around 70 funds made it into the bestinvest 'dog list,' but the funds' relatively bad performance can't be totally blamed on the credit market problems of the last six months, according to bestinvest, as performance is calculated over a three year period.

The 'dogs' had to under-perform their benchmark in each of the last three years by at least 10 percent to make it on the list.

Many funds claim to be able to provide absolute return, even in falling stock markets, but the findings are a stark reminder of the risks inherent in market trading, bestinvest officials said.

"Don't just take it for granted that the fund will protect you during difficult markets, you still need to do due diligence," Stephen Marriott, research analyst at bestinvest, told CNBC.com.

Investors with a stake in one of the 'dog' funds should review their holding, Marriott said.

"The ones that haven't had a change of management over the last three years, those are the ones you have to be more concerned about," added Marriott.

In contrast to the fund dogs, the best performing funds of the last three years have also been singled out for praise. Among the leaders are Invesco Perpetual Income and High Income, which have a defensive positioning and distinct lack of banking stocks.

M&G Recovery, Standard Life UK Smaller Companies, Artemis Global Growth and First State Greater China have also made it into bestinvest's 'Best of Show' list.