Barclays, winner of two prestige sectors in the Fund Manager of the Year Awards puts its success down to being in the right place at the right time. WHERE does Joe Public start when playing today's highly active and complex money markets? How does he wade through the seemingly endless mire of information available? He could do no worse than take the advice of Mr George Long, managing director of Barclays de Zoete Wedd (BZW) who managed to steer its Hongkong fund to the top of the table to win the Sunday Morning Post Fund Manager of the Year award in the Hongkong and equities sectors. Over the 12 months to December 31, 1992, Barclays fund finished up 63 per cent, about 16 points ahead of its nearest rival. Mr Long attributed the success to three factors. ''We were in the right sectors to play them at the right time, particularly the financial and property investment ones. The latter had a good run,'' he said. He cited companies such as Amoy Properties, Hongkong Land, Hysan and Great Eagle. The second factor was recovery stocks. ''For various reasons stocks like Hongkong Bank, New World Development, and Swire Pacific had lows over the last three or four years but they recovered in 1992,'' said Mr Long. ''The Hongkong Bank, for example, went up 55 per cent during the year, but then the banking sector overall did well. Bank of East Asia went up 65 per cent.'' The fund is managed by Mr Walter Wu. Thirdly, the Barclays fund bought aggressively into the large China players - companies perceived to benefit from China's development; sometimes up to as much as a third of the fund. Mr Long cited CITIC, Guangdong Investments and Thai company C. P. Pokphand, which increased 160 per cent. Pokphand is in the chicken feed business and has a tie-in with Kentucky Fried Chicken. It also has a motorcycle factory. Referring to this year Mr Long said: ''You always have to be optimistic in Hongkong. ''Things will be politically volatile but we still believe 1993 will be a positive year. ''Dividends yield higher than deposits, negative interest rates, earnings are strong and China continues to grow.'' For this year, he recommended the financial sector and property investment companies over developers. All would have to be actively managed with reviews on daily, weekly and monthly basis. Barclays' Southeast Asia Fund also came out on top, and Mr Long thought there was reasonable money to be made in Thailand and Hongkong. On the speculative side, he suggested it was time for markets in the Philippines and Indonesia to turn around. ''We are neutral about Singapore and Malaysia. Singapore is too expensive; of the two we prefer Malaysia. We don't expect aggressive gains out of Korea.'' His final words of advice were: ''Don't forget China. China B shares have bottomed out in the last few months.''