UK pooled mixed with property funds returned a median of -3.8% for 2000, according to figures from UK performance measurer CAPS – only the fourth time the funds have recorded negative figures in 25 years.

The result followed overall negative median returns in all four quarters of the year – a record in itself, and indeed only six of the 67 funds in the survey managed to break into positive numbers for the year.

CAPS notes that the best performing sector of the year was property, while equities produced negative returns and bond returns were positive.
Within equity markets there were violent swings in fortunes between some of the industry sectors. Telecoms and technology stocks – the star performers in 1999, dipped badly to return -37.7% and -44.1% respectively for 2000.
The best performing sectors were tobacco (56.9%) and personal care and household products (55.3%).

Growth and value strategies also produced large differences in returns between funds, with high yielding equities returning 10.5% for the year and low yielding equities producing -19.5% - more than reversing the pattern of the previous two years.

In terms of fund asset allocation the average proportion of UK equities has fallen from 55.6% to 54.1% over the year.
Allocation to overseas equities also fell back slightly from 26.7% to 26%, although the US equity portion actually increased from 4.1% to 5.9% while European holdings mirrored the overall trend declining from 13.7% to 12.6%.
Cash was the main beneficiary with weightings upped from 4.8% to 6.7%.

Nevertheless, after disappointing UK equity results in the last three years the median for the UK equity – standard section was -5.1%, well ahead of the FTSE All Share return of -5.9%. Around two-thirds of funds managed to beat the index return.
Similar success came in the European equity section, where the median was 3% compared to the index return of 1.5%.