Collective Investments

Core VCT – another messy VCT

It is some time since ShareSoc mentioned the Core VCTs in 2015, https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/company-news/governance-in-investment-trusts-alliance-trust-baronsmead-vct-3-and-the-core-vcts/ but due to the hard work behind the scenes by Nigel Sommerville, Tim Grattan, Robin Goodfellow and others, it looks like progress is about to happen. Nigel has written up the latest developments with ShareProphets click here to read (it is free - outside their paywall) https://www.shareprophets.com/views/59458/core-vcts-a-vote-is-called-if-you-or-someone-you-know-held-these-then-please-read The Times wrote about Core on 7 Dec https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/investor-sues-over-cheap-asset-sales-n0wkxqk3f (behind a paywall). Cliff Weight, ShareSoc, Director DISCLOSURE: I have never owned shares in Core. I have ...

Alliance Trust Resets Dividend

An announcement this morning from Alliance Trust (ATST) says that the board has concluded that an increased dividend “will benefit existing shareholders and enhance the attractiveness of the Company’s shares”. They expect the overall annual dividend to increase by 32.5% over the 2020 dividend. The proposed increase will be well covered by distributable reserves and income it is suggested although no doubt some of the extra dividend cost will come from capital. ATST had a reported yield of 1.43% last year according ...

When is a concert party not a concert party?

The views expressed in this article are those of the author, not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Today’s RNS from GHE (Gresham House plc) who own Gresham House Asset Management...

Closet Indexing – Update

This is a personal blog by ShareSoc Director Cliff Weight and does not necessarily represent the views of ShareSoc. I have been concerned about Closet Indexing for some time. As have many others, eg https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/general-news/closet-index-trackers-are-you-paying-over-the-odds/ https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/general-news/closet-index-trackers-investigations-in-progress/ https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/collective-investments/closet-indexing/ I met with executives from the FCA on 26 July to discuss our concerns. I have also had several conversations with David Rankin from Punter Southall. The latest news is that Harcus Parker have now starting gathering claimants for a class action against Scottish Widows. They have said- Harcus Parker ...

City of London Investment Trust Annual Report

I have been reading the City of London Investment Trust (CTY) annual report in advance of their AGM on the 28th of October. This is one of my oldest shareholdings – first purchased in 2011 with an annual total return since of 11.5% p.a. according to Sharescope. Historically it has been a good performer, if somewhat boring. That’s OK but last year was a disappointing one. Has Job Curtis, the long-time manager, lost his touch? Last year the trust supplied a share ...

ShareSoc Woodford Legal Claim Webinar

Former ShareSoc Chair Roger Lawson attended the Woodford Webinar and gives his view below. I watched the ShareSoc webinar last night covering the legal claims over the collapse of the Woodford Equity Income Fund (WEIF). I never personally held any of the Woodford funds but from past experience of other similar big legal claims it was of some interest. With as many as 270,000 investors in WEIF affected it must be one of the most discreditable events in the financial world in ...

Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Proposes Name Change – Roger Lawson says Vote Against!

This article represents the views of its author, not necessarily those of ShareSoc. The Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Trust (SLS) is proposing to change its name. The managers are currently Aberdeen Standard Fund Managers Limited but the name “Standard Life” has been sold to Phoenix Group so a change of name is not unreasonable. Of course this is the kind of problem that arises when a trust is named after the fund manager. It also causes problems if the board of directors ...

Changes to KIDs Proposed by the FCA

Yet another public consultation issued by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in mid-summer is one on KIDs (Key Information Documents). This is relevant to private investors and is designated CP21/23 – see link below. 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 will be asked ...

FCA, AFMs, ACDs, High fees for inappropriate products, Closet indexers

By Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc. These are my personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of ShareSoc. The FCA has published two reports in a week that highlight the historic failings of the fund management industry and are hugely critical. According to Wealth Manager "In a damning report, the watchdog said fund houses have failed to properly assess the value of their funds." see https://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/news/asset-managers-can-t-explain-why-funds-offer-value-fca-says/a1527497 It is a good report with many sensible suggestions. It should have been done 5 years ago immediately ...

Platform Transfer Finally Completed and Pointless Trust Changes

Good News! A transfer of one of my SIPPs from one platform to another has finally been completed today (22nd June). I initiated the transfer on the 12th January this year so this has actually taken over 5 months. A totally unreasonable period of time for what should have been a simple transfer of cash and a few direct shareholdings of UK listed crest stocks. However their failure to collect the tax refunds on PID dividends on some of the holdings ...
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