Research Universe

Over 1300 Exchange Traded Funds, Investment Trusts and Closed-Ended Funds

Fund Rating System

Take a Guided Tour of the Assets RouteMap

Take a Guided Tour of the Bonds RouteMap

Take a Guided Tour of the Forex RouteMap

Take A Guided Tour of the Shares RouteMap

Take a Guided Tour of the Styles RouteMap

Take a Guided Tour of the Extras RouteMap

Comprehensive Coverage: Separate RouteMaps analyse government bond, foreign exchange and stock markets plus economic sectors & investing styles as well as overall asset allocation and alternative assets. Geographical coverage includes 51 developed countries, emerging markets and regional investment mandates. The fund selection system provides regularly-updated recommendations on a research universe of 1300 exchange traded funds, US closed-ended funds and UK investment trusts.

Investors RouteMap provides its Best Guess for the prospects of exchange traded funds, closed-ended funds and investment trusts listed in EuroNext, Frankfurt, London, New York and Tokyo. These are regularly updated as at month-end prices. Recommendations are made for each fund, not only in terms of absolute performance but also relative to an appropriate benchmark. These are: -

  • US$ Price - Absolute price measured in a common currency

  • Relative to World - Performance compared to a global benchmark index

  • Local Currency - Absolute performance measured in local currency

  • Regional Market - Performance compared to regional market

  • Global Style - Performance compared to global style index

Exchange Traded Funds in Research Universe
(Click on link in table below for each dataset)

    Assets Countries & Regions Styles & Sectors Bonds Forex Extras    
    Passive Active Managed Passive Active Managed Passive Active Managed Passive Passive Passive Total  
  Frankfurt 137 16 6 170 5 8 89 3 8 8 7 30 328  
  London 41 11 56 86 11 88 41 9 82 8 5 67 327  
  New York 67 29 25 100 41 49 141 95 40 18 22 54 507  
  Tokyo 2 0 0 18 0 0 25 0 0 0 0 0 43  
  Total 247 56 87 374 54 145 296 107 130 34 35 151 1326  


Regional Considerations

Funds for investors in Continental Europe

In Continental Europe index funds are the way to go, because there is little tradition of investment companies, apart from the Netherlands, home to Robeco and Rolinco, Europe's largest investment companies. In practical terms there is little difference, because Continental managed funds generally have redemption facilities. Liquidity can be problematic for all but the broadest European mandates and domestic country funds in their home markets. 

Funds for investors in Great Britain

Britain has the most liquid market for global managed funds, a.k.a. investment trusts, so index funds funds have been relatively slow to catch on, and they were initially less liquid than comparable investment trusts, but that is changing. There are many specialist trusts and a majority have broader mandates covering whole regions or investment styles, while only a minority cover individual countries or sectors. Many funds have a bias towards UK quoted companies, for tax reasons. Capital gearing is a speciality of many UK funds. 

Funds for investors in the United States

As the largest market in the world, the US is also the leader for index funds, covering a long list of individual countries and the full range of domestic sectors. Managed funds, a.k.a. closed-end funds, are typically more specialised than their UK counterparts. Most are reasonably liquid, so investors have the luxury of choosing between the two types for most mandates. Under US laws, funds are obliged to pay out not just dividends but also realised capital gains. However these are minimal for index funds, because of low portfolio turnover.

Glossary of ETF Terms

Stock Code The unique identifier for every security on each stock market. This is the stock code on EuroNext, WKN in Germany, EPIC in London and ticker  ticker symbol in the US.
Fund Name This is the short form, excluding the manager's name, which is shown in a separate column as Fund Sponsor. Funds are listed alphabetically by this data type.
Investment Mandate The Investors RouteMap category, or combination of categories, on which recommendations are based. These are researched in the Shares and Styles RouteMaps.
Best Proxy The preferred option, based on liquidity, quotation in local currency, capital gearing and closest fit between with the fund's mandate and the Investors RouteMap category.
Liquidity Rating Unrated funds are often illiquid. Dealing spreads may be wide for one star funds but should be modest for two star funds. Three star funds are suitable for large positions.
Correlation with World The closer to unity, the more likely the investment mandate will perform in line with a Global Stock Markets index. Correlation is based on monthly changes over two decades.
Volatility (Std. Dev.) Standard deviation of monthly changes in common currency prices for the mandate. These are average figures over two decades, but fluctuate significantly with market conditions.
Fund Sponsor The brand name of the financial institution responsible for issuing a family of index funds, or the investment management firm for managed funds.
Capital Gearing This shows whether the fund has borrowed money against the security of its portfolio. data is available only for UK investment trusts.