Collective Investments

January 2024 Update from the Wellesley Investors Action Group

This article reflects the opinions of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc.  Cliff Weight originally highlighted the Wellesley Investors Action Group, in this article.  I still encourage those affected to join Neil Taylor’s group, but I’ve had some requests for an update from affected investors. Neil has kindly provided the following update:  To put you in the picture, Wellesley Finance Ltd, the company that went into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) on 25 September 2020, has failed to pay back investors’ payments.  ...

Too good to be true investment returns – Another SIPP provider collapses

This article reflects the opinions of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Need for name on register further evidenced as high costs of administration seem likely I have been to Cape Verde and seen some of The Resort Group “investments”, many of which are half built following a boom. So, I was not that surprised when I read this story. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has declared SIPP operator Rowanmoor Personal Pensions in default after receiving 1,464 claims against the firm. Rowanmoor ...

When is an Investment Trust not an Investment Trust?

This article reflects the opinions of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Opaque Accounts of Alternative Asset Trusts Traditionally, investment trusts invested in highly liquid, listed, operating businesses. The accounts for such trusts are straightforward. The balance sheet simply reflects the market value of the trust’s investments and profit/loss is determined by the change in valuation of assets and liabilities plus any income generated by the investments. In recent years, however (and some not so recently), a number of “alternative” investment trusts ...

IBP Special Administration and Thames Ventures VCT 1

This article reflects the opinions of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. I have a very small holding in Thames Ventures VCT 1 (TV1). This is the remnant of holdings in other VCTs originally invested from 1997 onwards and which have generated a total return of minus 58% to date according to Sharescope, although I doubt that is accurate due to multiple consolidations and name changes. I would have sold the holding long ago if it were not for the roll-back ...

A Tale of Two Investment Trusts

The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Salutary Lessons for Directors and Shareholders of Trusts Investing in Alternative Assets  Usually, the role of non-executive director at an investment trust is a bit of a sinecure. Most investment trusts invest in stocks and bonds. Their portfolios are easy to value and there is little scope for misdeeds. Most such trusts publish their NAVs daily. The principal role for NEDs of such trusts is to ...

Home REIT – A Personal Viewpoint

This article reflects the opinions of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Initial Period  Home REIT (HOME) appeared to offer rather an attractive proposition. It was intended to purchase residential properties and lease them at affordable rents to charities and public bodies (“the tenants”) providing accommodation for the homeless. The rent was supposed to be covered by housing benefits paid directly to the tenants, i.e. fully government backed. Rental income was expected to be sufficient to support a dividend of at ...

Fundsmith Annual Investor Letter

The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Terry Smith has published his thirteenth annual letter for investors in the Fundsmith Equity Fund (which I hold). As usual it’s a good mixture of sound analysis of market events and witticisms. I’ll cover a few significant points: The fund underperformed the MSCI World Index with a total return of minus 13.8%, which was better than my own portfolio. As he points out, the only way ...

Vanguard Platform/Funds and Customers’ Performance

The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. ShareSoc’s role is not to recommend one platform over another, but we do try to bring to members’ attention relevant information about platforms. Robin Powell in the Telegraph has written about the performance of investors in Vanguard funds and highlights that in general they have been patient investors and not bought at the top, nor sold at the bottom, nor over-traded. Data on Vanguard A Vanguard ISA has ...

The Death of KIDs

The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. HM Treasury have announced plans to revoke the PRIIPs regulations which will likely mean the death of KIDs (Key Information Documents). KIDs are imposed and regulated under the PRIIPs regulation as devised by the EU for packaged investment products, such as funds and trusts. KIDs give basic financial information, risk indicators and likely future performance based on past performance. Those who purchase investment trusts, for example, ...

Property Trusts and Supermarket Income REIT Results

The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Commercial property investment trusts should be a good defence in a market downturn – at least that is what the investment pundits have been saying. As the market heads south I have been selling overvalued tech stocks and retail stocks vulnerable to a recession and reduced consumer spending. Property trusts should be less volatile as although the property market has been changing in some regards, ...