Stephen Cranston Writer & columnist

It is curious how often a unit trust with a boastful name gives disastrous returns. Investors would be well advised to steer clear of a fund claiming "the sun shines out of us", or that it is "indestructible" or "top quality". In a poor quarter on the JSE you would have been asking for trouble investing in the Absa Smart Alpha Equity Fund, which was down 11.2%. Even the Z class of the share — and who among the living would want the Z class — lost 10.9%. Not so long ago there was a conspiracy of silence to suppress short-term numbers. It was a very paternalistic approach — these statistics can be misused, but ultimately investing takes place one day at a time. There weren’t too many places to hide when the passive default, the Satrix Alsi Index Fund, was down 7.6%. Funds that navigated well through these choppy waters include Rezco Equity, which was down just 2.5%. It’s quite an unusual case, as managers with plenty of experience are scattered among Joburg, Port Elizabeth and Bela Be...

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