There is a wide difference between the returns of the best and worst performing South African equity unit trust funds over the past decade that translates into millions of rands when investment outcomes are compared, a committee of investment actuaries says. Picking one of five lemons of the past decade would have earned you returns that failed to even keep up with inflation, essentially losing you money in real terms, the investment committee of the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA) found when researching the performance of South Africa's 70 general equity unit trust funds with a 10-year track record.

Diversifying across managers using a multi-manager or fund of funds is a way to avoid ending up with the losers, but it is unlikely to earn you the returns you could earn from the top managers in the pack. A multi=manager selects more than one manager to manage part of a fund or portfolio, typically blending those with complementary investment styles. A fund of funds sele...

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