A healthy yield has helped keep our higher income portfolio in the black over the past four months, but some of our holdings have suffered capital losses. Tom Becket, who manages the portfolio, says: “We have seen a unique switch in the past few months, from abject pessimism to overflowing optimism. We endured one of the worst Decembers on record, followed by the best start to the year for global stockmarkets since 1991 and, in all honesty, not a huge amount has actually changed in the world to justify that switch.”
A solid start to the year helped ease the pain of the final quarter of 2018 for our long-term growth portfolio. All fund sectors were in positive territory in the first month of 2019. Those investors who held on through the tumult of the previous few months have been rewarded, as the stockmarket has recovered since the beginning of the year.
Laura Foll has been at Janus Henderson since she joined its graduate programme in 2009 straight from university. Like many of her generation, she joined the workforce while the full ramifications of the financial crisis were still playing out and the country was deep in recession. “Thankfully, the company didn’t cancel its graduate recruitment scheme in the middle of the crisis. It was either this or go back home and live with my parents,” she says.
As we usher in the new year, James Brumwell, the manager of our Regular Income portfolio, has made a number of changes over what has been a truly torrid period.
Many investors might have forgotten what stock market volatility feels like until recently. Indeed, those who started their investment journey within the past 10 years will not previously have experienced sustained (historically pretty normal) volatility. However, October 2018 brought the first notable sell-off in global stock markets for years, hitting investors’ portfolios and dragging down returns. Even the professionals were not immune to the damage.
Improved transparency in the investment funds industry has made it easier for cost-conscious investors to compare fees and charges before choosing where to put their money.
A significant stock market sell-off in October hit many investment funds and trusts hard. Over recent years we have become accustomed to seeing double-digit returns from many of our investment picks, but this year finds much of the cohort in the red. In times such as these, it is those holdings which can provide much-needed downside protection and beat their benchmark that shine.
Richard Penny has done his homework. He enters the meeting room on the first floor of Crux Asset Management’s Pall Mall offices clutching the latest issue of Money Observer and keen to talk about a recent feature on whether the size of a fund matters. He thinks smaller funds do better – which bodes well, as in September he launched a new special situations vehicle at the boutique fund firm, which he joined this summer after 15 years at investment giant Legal & General.
This article was written in November for the December 2018 print edition of Money Observer. Market data and share prices are likely to have since changed.
As the end of the year approaches, it’s out with the old and in with the new for our higher-income portfolio. New manager Tom Becket, chief investment officer at Psigma Investment Management, has overhauled the portfolio.
Praveen Kumar likes investing in businesses run by young, dynamic, entrepreneurial risk-takers. He looks for fast-growing companies that are disrupting their industries.
Japan, you might think, is not an obvious hunting-ground for firms with these characteristics. The country has gained a reputation for poor corporate governance, decades of deflation, and notoriously cautious savers who are unwilling to put their money in the stock market. It is not known as a nation of risk-takers.