Many funds have underperformed their benchmarks even over periods of up to five years. But some did better than others, losing less or eking out some positive returns. Seven funds and two managers, some a little abashed, were toasted at this week's Morningstar awards in Cape Town. The awards were made on the basis of risk-adjusted returns over one, three and five years to the end of last year, ensuring that only managers who deliver top returns consistently qualify, but there is a weighting towards the shorter one-year period that shines a light on those who in particular did well over the past year. THE BEST SA EQUITY FUNDAylett Prescient Equity FundReturn over five years: 7.98% a yearSA equity funds average over five years: 3.62% a yearRank relative to peers: 8th out of 405Return over one year: -0.6%Category average: -9.29%Rank relative to peers: 14th out of 755 Boutique investment manager Aylett and Co beat some 115 peers by "avoiding" the big potholes, from Steinhoff to the poor...

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