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With almost all the asset classes giving negative returns, 2018 was not a year to be positioned as a raging bull. It was a year for risk-off assets such as SA government bonds and cash. And so there is a fair amount of turnover in the nominations for this year’s Morningstar fund awards. After three victories in a row, Prudential is out of contention for the main prize for large houses. When the prize is awarded in Cape Town on the evening of February 27, there will be three very different contenders. Large groups have at least 10 funds, including both those on a domestic management company and those domiciled offshore registered for sale in SA, known as section 65 funds. None of the three finalists is there by accident; they have long track records. PSG, last year’s runner-up, is nominated again: can it improve its score enough to get the trophy? Each underlying fund is measured 80% in its return and 20% in risk, so that 48% of the score is for 2018’s outcome, and the rest is split ...

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