Bonds/Money Market Funds 

These are the Bonds/Money Market funds that topped my list based on the criterion of at least 5% average annual returns over 3 years/1 year period. There are very few bond funds that have been around for 5 years and more, which is why I used 3 years as a benchmark. The results revealed that RHB‘s bond funds were the top performers, taking 1st and 2nd place and Pheim‘s bond fund came in a close 3rd. Public Mutual‘s Bond Fund, although in 4th place, was the only fund in the lot that achieved Lipper leader certification for both consistent performance and capital preservation.

Two Investment-linked (IL) insurance funds from Great Eastern also made the cut. Its Dana Sejati earned a credible 18.95% over the 3-year period.

Co 5-year return 3-year return 1-year return Other info Cons Ret Cap pre  Syariah
1 RHB Bond Fund 0.00% 34.44% 12.75% BO
2 RHB Islamic Bond Fund 0.00% 32.23% 12.80% BO Y
3 PHEIM Income Fund PIF 0.00% 29.86% 8.57% BO L
4 Public Islamic Bond 0.00% 19.07% 6.50% BO Y
5 Great Eastern Dana Sejati 0.00% 18.95% 6.34% BO IL
6 Public Bond Fund 48.22% 17.55% 5.02% BO L L
7 Avenue BondEXTRA Fund 0.00% 17.33% 4.86% BO L
8 PB Fixed Income Fund 0.00% 17.27% 5.19% BO
9 Great Eastern Lion Fixed Income 38.56% 16.12% 5.73% BO IL

BO-Bond, IL-insurance-linked, L-Lipper leader (top 20% within its asset class)

No money market funds were selected in the list, as none of them met my criterion and besides, most achieved returns of only around 3% per annum i.e. worse than FD’s.

However, even though a 6% return for bond funds may look better than fixed deposits on paper, one should also take into account the one-time upfront sales charges (usually around 1%) and increased risk of bonds vs fixed deposits when choosing between these two categories of investments.

Finally, I excluded the following funds from the list due to 1-year returns not meeting required minimum:

 Fund                      5-year/3-year/1-year

  • PRUBond Fund 0.00%/30.49%/Not in PM list
  • MAAKL Bond Fund 0%/19.05%/Not in PM list
  • MAA Income 30.53%/13.04%/3.89% (IL)
  • AIA Fixed Income 31.71%/12.90%/2.81% (IL)
  • Prudential Prulink Bond 30.35%/12.60%/2.79% (IL)

Capital Guaranteed (CG) Funds

These were the top CG funds based on my criterion of at least 3.5% returns pa. Again there weren’t many funds that had been around for 5 years and more.

Co 5-year return 3-year return 1-year return Other info Cons Ret Cap pre  Syariah

1 AIA Capital Guaranteed (2nd series) 0.00% 17.96% 3.91% CG IL
2 AIA Capital Guaranteed 0.00% 17.77% 4.22% CG IL
3 MAA Capital Guaranteed 0.00% 17.60% 4.26% CG IL

The best performers were all IL funds, with AIA‘s CG series taking pole position.

Two mutual fund co’s CG funds missed out because their 1-year performance was less than 3.5% namely:

  • Hwang-DBS Capital Guaranteed 1 0.00%/13.97%/0.60%
  • Mayban Dana Fitrah 0.00%/0.00%/3.11%