The fund was launched in April 2011. It follows a disciplined value investing strategy, seeking to deliver superior investment returns to the wider equities market (MSCI World) over the long term.
Focuses on strong companies with above-average returns on capital over a business cycle
Follows a highly disciplined value investing approach to buy these businesses when out of favour and trading at a significant discount to their intrinsic value.
Offers diversified exposure across industries and geographies, through a portfolio of 40 to 70 stocks.
Latest commentary - November 2018
Global markets rose a couple of points in USD terms, driven by the US and Asia on the back of the results from the US mid-term elections, positive comments by the Fed, and the resumption of US-China trade talks. The UK was a big underperformer as GBP suffered in the final stages of the Brexit negotiations. The pre-agreement that was ultimately reached provided only limited relief. Sentiment in Europe was further affected by weak GDP figures in Germany and budget tensions between Rome and Brussels.
The USD continued its climb on the back of the expectation of a December rate rise, while the Oil price fell all the way to $58 as Trump encouraged Riyadh not to cut oil production. In this environment utilities, healthcare, telecoms and industrials performed the best with energy, materials and IT lagging the overall market.
The Fund underperformed the market on the back of our overweight position to IT and energy as well as negative selection in both energy itself and staples. Our Tobacco holdings in particular were hit by the regulatory measures being considered by the FDA for flavoured smoke products, including menthol, one of BAT’s and Imperial’s key categories in the US. While this adds to short term uncertainty, long term we remain firm believers in the economic power of Tobacco companies and their ability to adapt to next generation products. Paying trough multiples confers our theses is a significant margin of safety.
Cielo, a recent investment, was also a notable detractor as the competitive environment in its home market of Brazil intensified meaningfully. The company’s dominance and solid balance sheet coupled with the stock’s exceptionally low price continue to underpin our investment case. Elsewhere, fashion group Michael Kors was also a notable detractor on the back of general consumer discretionary sentiment.
Conversely, the fund was rewarded by a broad selection of stocks across sectors. With a steep fall in popular tech stocks, our fund benefited by avoiding Apple, NVidia and Facebook. Our best contributor was recent investment Oshkosh, whose construction segment is proving to be resilient and whose military unit is demonstrating increasingly encouraging order levels. Arrow Electronics, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Ahold, UnitedHealth and SJM were also notable contributors to performance.