The list of the year's top performing funds suggests the mid-cap space has been the sweetest spot for UK equity investors in 2012.
In a broadly positive year for equities, the FTSE 250 outperformed when investors were in ‘risk-on’ mode and typically saw shallower losses at times of market stress.
Of the top ten stocks of the year, four are members of the FTSE 250, helping push the index within touching distance of its all-time high.
The FTSE 100’s year-to-date gain of 6.5%, while respectable, has been boosted by strong returns among financials but hindered by the large number of underperforming mining constituents.
Best performing UK stocks
Mid-sized companies have delivered a far stronger performance, with the FTSE 250 up 20.8% year-to-date, while the FTSE 350 has also marginally outperformed, rising about 8%.
Despite tough conditions for retailers in the UK, as customers curbed their spending amid inflation and job security concerns, some of the UK’s biggest high street stores have delivered great returns for investors in 2012.
FTSE 250 company Dixons Retail, the owner of Currys and PC World, has gained almost 180% this year, making it the second best performing stock in the All Share.
Dixons said consolidation in the industry has benefited the business, after rival Comet went into administration in early November.
Another top UK high street performer is Debenhams, which has returned 103% year-to-date. The retailer is a favourite of Schroders’ Richard Buxton and he recently named it the top performing stock in his £3bn UK Alpha Plus fund this year.
The best performer in the All Share was pub operator Enterprise Inns, returning 207%, and recently soaring to a 22-month high on hopes it will shortly enter the FTSE 250.
Online betting website 888 has also had a great year, returning 162% as its move into Spain, and efforts to take a larger market share, paid off.
The stock is a top pick of MAM’s Gervais Williams, who said he expects strong dividend growth from the firm following its first payout in August.
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