When the Wealth 50 list was replaced by the Wealth Shortlist approx 20 new funds were introduced. Many of those were in Sectors not popular with my clients but some of the new funds are worthy of serious consideration. In some cases, my research indicates that the new fund(s) may be a better alternative to the funds which were on the Wealth 50 list and are in existing portfolios. In other cases, the decision is not at all straightforward and whilst the new fund might be used for a new investment there is not sufficient justification to switch out of an existing fund.
I am hoping to put together a webinar to take clients through my research process but in the meantime am noting below some preliminary thoughts. As always, I must stress that this is general guidance and not personal advice. Every client’s circumstances are different, and I encourage you to do your own research wherever possible.
North America. Until now there has not been an American fund in the Wealth 50 list which has consistently outperformed the index so clients have used the L&G US Index Tracker. The Baillie Gifford American Fund, included in the Wealth Shortlist, has consistently outperformed the Index and a switch could be considered. Some clients may, however, be cautious in investing in a fund with such a stellar recent performance record.
Japan. The new First State Japan Fund has significantly outperformed the MAN GLG Fund over recent years. However, the manager of the Man fund has an excellent longer-term track record and HL continue to use that fund for the Japanese holding in the HL Special Situations Fund so they continue to have confidence in him. Not an easy decision but I think I would use the First State Fund for a new investment but split existing holdings in the hope of a recovery in the Man GLG performance.
Building Diversification. Where clients have both SIPP and ISA accounts, or spouses both have accounts, they may like to build in a little extra diversification by using some of the new funds. The following is a list of the new funds which I think are interesting but not necessarily superior to existing selections.
Baring European Select(I)
ASI Asia Pacific Equity(I)
ASI Global Smaller Companies(S)
Fidelity Global Dividend(W)
Liontrust UK Growth(I)
TB Amiti UK Smaller Companies(B)
Hargreaves Lansdown will not always get it right but there is good evidence that they have learnt from their past mistakes, particularly from the Woodford debacle, and now have a far more robust selection and monitoring processes in place.
It is important that you continue to monitor your holdings to ensure that they maintain their position in the Wealth Shortlist. I will continue to do additional research and will issue supplementary Wealth Shortlist updates as appropriate.
We are still in turbulent times and higher than usual volatility is to be expected. As always, do not have any money you may need to spend in the next few years exposed to funds which fluctuate upwards and downwards. The best performers this year often perform badly the following year and vice versa so don’t be tempted to chase performance and finish up with all your eggs in one basket.
I am always interested in my client’s views so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you think there is something I have missed or to which I should be paying attention, use this link to arrange a complimentary 30-minute Zoom discussion.
Richard Cook Aug 2020
Retirement Risk Zone: If you are in what I call “The Retirement Risk Zone“ – the three years before retirement and the three years after – this is a particularly important time for you, so do please get in touch. Just use this link to book your Zoom chat.
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