None of the information provided is investment or tax advice.
You should always read the associated risks before deciding whether to invest. These can be found on the product pages as well as in our risks overview.
Please confirm you have read the information above.


Welcome to Downing LLP


Request information for

Product Offer Hero Title

Hello, thanks for your interest in investing with Downing. Please complete this form to receive the requested information.

Did you know. Risk warning. Take 2 mins to learn more.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
plus icon
document search icon 3
min read

Downing Fox - Review of 2023

Simon Evan-Cook
Simon Evan-Cook

Fund Manager

Simon Evan-Cook
Simon Evan-Cook

Fund Manager

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.


  • asd
  • asd
  1. asdasd
  2. asd
  1. asd


What helped or hurt the Downing Fox portfolios last year?

We’re pleased with how the Downing Fox portfolios performed in 2023, but we can see how you might look at this chart of the year and think “meh”.  

The simulated Downing Fox Model portfolios referred to in this review are based on the models used to manage the VT Johnston Portfolio Funds and the VT Downing Fox Funds.

Simulated and actual past performance are not a reliable indicator of future performance. The simulated Downing Fox Models performance is based on the models used to manage the VT Johnston Portfolio Funds and the VT Downing Fox Funds. Source: Morningstar. Total return from 01.01.2023 to 29.12.2023. ARC PCI refers to private client index which is priced monthly. Downing Fox and IA are priced daily. Downing Fox Model Simulated Portfolios include an Annual Management Charge to reflect Downing’s own AMCs: 100% Equity Strategy = +0.5%; 80% Equity Strategy = +0.4%; 60% Equity Strategy = +0.3%; 40% Equity Strategy = +0.2%.Weightings rebalanced month end. Note, Downing performance is simulated. Any statements regarding future performance may involve known or unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors, which could cause actual performance to differ from expected.

So that’s the question we’ll address in this review: Why do we think it was OK to be average-to-sub-par in 2023?

Let’s kick straight in with the three headline reasons:

  1. Our simulated portfolios performed strongly amid the inflationary horror show of 2022, and much of the plummeting stuff we avoided that year bounced back in 2023. So we looked a little slow compared to many rebounding competitors, as we had less exposure to the assets that swan dived the previous year.
  2. A single year is short-term and we invest on a long-term basis. We’re trying to ‘win’ substantially every ten years, not every one year, and so aren’t overly emotional if we don’t outperform in a specific 12-month period (although we never want to dramatically underperform – see below). 
  3. 2023 was a “kryptonite” year for how we invest: We face an uphill battle when only the stock market’s biggest companies outperform and when corporate bonds fare a lot better than government bonds. 2023 saw both.

It’s also worth remembering the point of the Downing Fox portfolios. We want investors to benefit from holding great active equity funds. Obviously, that means finding great active equity funds to populate the Fox portfolios, but it doesn’t stop there: Once we find the great funds (which we think we have), if we don’t blend them carefully, our own portfolios could become too hot to handle, causing your clients to panic sell (and therefore not benefit from holding great active equity funds).

What causes clients to panic sell? 

Dramatic underperformance.

Even if that dramatic underperformance comes on the back of dramatic outperformance (many holders buy a fund towards the end of a good run, so they only experience that good run reversing). This is why we’ve designed the Downing Fox funds and process the way we have. We are, as far as possible, trying to meaningfully outperform without traumatising you through bouts of dramatic underperformance. We’re not magic though: We will underperform at times, but we fight hard to make that underperformance as dull and bearable as we can. 

And our portfolios’ performance in 2023 was nothing if not dull and bearable. Which is why we’re OK with it: 2023’s conditions were a nightmare for our investment philosophy and approach. So, to have avoided giving our investors an actual nightmare falls within the bounds of our mission.

What to read more?

Download the Downing Fox - Review of 2023:

Written by Simon Evan-Cook, Fund Manager, VT Downing Fox Funds

If you'd like to subscribe to receive updates from Simon email

Risk warning:

This content is intended for retail investors and their advisers and has been approved and issued as a financial promotion in line with Section 21 of the FSMA by Downing LLP (“Downing”). Opinions expressed represent the views of the fund manager at the time of publication, are subject to change, and should not be interpreted as investment advice. Please refer to the latest full Prospectus and KIID before investing available from Downing LLP or from the ACD, Valu-Trac; your attention is drawn to the risk, fees and taxation factors contained therein. Please note that past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. Capital is at risk. Investments and the income derived from them can fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the full amount invested.  

This document is for information only and does not form part of a direct offer or invitation to purchase, subscribe for or dispose of securities and no reliance should be placed on it. Downing does not offer investment or tax advice or make recommendations regarding investments. This document contains information and analysis that is believed to be accurate at the time of publication, but is subject to change without notice. Whilst care has been taken in compiling the content of this document, no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made by Downing LLP as to its accuracy or completeness, including for external sources (which may have been used) which have not been verified. Downing is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm Reference No. 545025). Registered in England No. OC341575. Registered Office: St Magnus House, 3 Lower Thames Street, London EC3R 6HD.


We're here to help

If you are a financial adviser, or discretionary fund manager call 020 7630 3319 or email us at

If you are a private investor call  020 7416 7780 or email