This article will review Guinness funds, that are widely sold within the expat market.
Who are Guinness funds and what investment areas do they focus on?
Guinness are an asset management company, domiciled in Ireland. They also offer US investments, approved by the SEC, through Guinness Atkinson Asset Management Inc.
Most of the funds they offer, are focused on global, US, Chinese and European stock markets, whilst offering specialist funds in energy. Since 2010, Guinness has also started the EIS Service that is focused on value investments in EIS qualifying companies.
The full list of funds is
- Guinness Global Equity Income Fund
- Guinness European Equity Income Fund
- Guinness Asian Equity Income Fund
- Guinness Emerging Markets Equity Income Fund
- Guinness Global Innovators Fund
- Guinness Global Energy Fund
- Guinness Sustainable Energy Fund
- Guinness Global Money Managers Fund
- Guinness Best of China Fund
- Guinness Guinness EIS
- Guinness Guinness AIM EIS
Most of the funds have an accumulation share, where the dividends is reinvested, and am income fund, where the dividends are paid out.
Each fund will have an investment class as well, such as Guinness Global Equity Income Fund C Class.
Where are they commonly sold?
They are sold all around the world, but are particularly widely sold in cities with big expat populations, such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Shanghai, Qatar and Bangkok. They are usually sold in conjunction with the expat investments sold within the platforms and life companies reviewed at the bottom of the article/
How have they performed?
Some of the funds have performed very badly, with others performing reasonably well. The energy funds, as an example, have been minus for over 10 years.
The Global Equities Fund has performed at +11% for the last 5 years, although the wider index has yielded 12% per year on average, as global markets have performed impressively well in recent years. Almost all of the funds seem to lag the benchmark. Even the US fund, which has increased by just over 20% so far in 2019, is lagging its benchmark by about 5% for the year.
Moreover, these are the net performances of the funds. In reality, many expat investors are getting less, due to the fee structure within the investments they are holding. So 8% gross return can often become 4% net return, adjusted for this reality.
What are the positives and negatives associated with the funds?
The main positives about the funds is that they are liquid, meaning you can sell them daily. They are not an opaque, complicated, investment, that could go down to 0. They are also well-regulated within Ireland.
The biggest negatives with the funds is that they usually lag their benchmarks and are sold in conjunction with many high-cost expat investments, which brings down the net returns substantially. They are also not the cheapest funds available on the market and these fees compound over time.
What can you do if you have an underperforming expat portfolio with these funds inside?
If you have an underperforming expat portfolio with Guinness funds, you have 3 options. You can completely exit the investment, although penalties might be applied for doing so,
You can often partially exit the investment, meaning if you have $100,000 in your portfolio, you can take out a certain percentage, without penalty. Finally, you can simply change the funds within your existing portfolio, to lower the cost.
I have helped clients with all three in the past.
What are your contact details?
firstname.lastname@example.org is my main email if you have Guinness Funds and want a review or find an alternative solution.
To read more about the investment options typically sold in conjunction with these funds, please click the link below: