Monks Investment Trust
Rated Fund 2014, 2017-2018. Backs companies with above-average earnings growth
Manager Charles Plowden and his two deputies, Malcolm MacColl and Spencer Adair, took over this trust in 2015, since when performance has shot forward. The trio abandoned the cautious approach that had previously been adopted and started increasing the trust's borrowing to take advantage of opportunities. Its gearing currently stands at 6 per cent out of a maximum 7 per cent.
The team's core belief is that a company's share price ultimately follows its earnings. They therefore look to invest in companies that offer the prospect of sustainable above-average earnings growth. Instead of poring over companies' financial statements, they focus on understanding where a company's competitive advantage lies and whether this edge is sustainable.
They take a long-term approach, expecting to hold stocks for around five years. Indeed, the fund's annualised turnover was a low 14 per cent during the financial year ending April 2017.
They believe their long-term investment perspective allows them to capture more volatile growth from companies in a range of industries that other growth investors may overlook. The portfolio typically contains more than 100 holdings.
Morningstar research analyst Fatima Khizou believes the considerable improvement in performance under the new management team is likely to continue, and investors who stay for the long haul should be well-rewarded'. Furthermore, ongoing charges at 0.59 per cent are among the cheapest within global equity funds (both open and closed-ended), contributing further to her positive view.
In the middle of 2016, the shares were on a 15 per cent discount to net asset value. This has narrowed considerably to a small premium, but those who time their entry carefully could still buy at a discount.
Narrative and ratings content all as of 01 January 2018.See all Money Observer rated funds
|Amazon.com Inc||4.08 %|
|Prudential PLC||3.13 %|
|Naspers Ltd Class N||2.73 %|
|Anthem Inc||2.16 %|
|AIA Group Ltd||2.13 %|
|Alibaba Group Holding Ltd ADR||2.05 %|
|Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd||2.01 %|
|SAP SE||1.92 %|
|Apache Corp||1.86 %|
|Moody's Corporation||1.85 %|
|United States||44.52 %|
|Asia - Emerging||9.34 %|
|United Kingdom||8.15 %|
|Asia - Developed||6.83 %|
|Europe - ex Euro||5.78 %|
|Financial Services||28.23 %|
|Consumer Cyclical||14.83 %|
Spencer graduated BSc in Medicine from the University of St Andrews in 1997, followed by two years of clinical training in Edinburgh. He joined Baillie Gifford in 2000 and spent time working in the Fixed Income, Japanese, European and UK teams, before becoming an Investment Manager for the Global Alpha portfolio. He became a Partner in 2013.
Malcolm graduated MA in Economics and History in 1998 and MLitt in Economics, Politics and Management in 1999 both from the University of St Andrews. He joined Baillie Gifford in 1999 and has spent time working in the UK Small Cap Team and North American Team. He has been a Global Alpha Investment Manager since the product’s inception and became a Partner in 2011. Malcolm is a member of the UK Society of Investment Professionals (UKSIP).
Charles graduated BA in Modern History from Oxford University in 1983 and joined Baillie Gifford the same year, becoming a Partner in 1988. He was an Investment Manager in the UK equity team for over 20 years notably developing Baillie Gifford’s specialist UK capabilities, and was latterly head of the team. Since its inception in 2005, Charles has headed up the Global Alpha strategy which is currently his sole portfolio management role. He became Joint Senior Partner with overall responsibility for the investment departments in 2006.
Data provided by Morningstar.
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