Discount volatility has added both stress and excitement to this year’s market gyrations, so far as investment trust investors are concerned. Having ended 2019 at an exceptionally narrow 2%, the average discount on the trust sector plunged from 5% to 22% during the first three weeks of March, severely exacerbating the downward pressure on trust share prices as the threat from Covid-19 became frighteningly apparent.
The winners of Money Observer’s annual Investment Trust Awards are testament to the success of active management and the advantages enjoyed by investment trusts.
The winners of our investment trust monthly savings medals ended the five years to the end of January in fine fettle. Those who invested £50 every month during the period gained up to 80% on their £3,000 stake.
The subsequent coronavirus-induced turmoil reversed much of those gains. However, past bear markets, no matter how severe, now look like blips along a multi-decade upward trajectory for US and UK equity indices. What’s more, those indices have proved they can quickly recover from setbacks.
Winner: Baillie Gifford
Baillie Gifford wins our Premier Group award for the fourth year in succession, with benchmark-beating performances from all seven longstanding investment trusts that qualified for inclusion.
Winner: JPMorgan Emerging Markets
Portfolio turnover at JPMorgan Emerging Markets Trust (JMG) was lower than ever last year at 6%, but this did not prevent JMG outperforming its benchmark index for the fifth year in succession and retaining its award.