Collective Investments

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, ...

Investment Trust fees – should they be based on market cap or NAV?

The views expressed in this article are those of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Should Investment Trusts (including VCTs)  base their fees on market cap and not Net Asset Value? In the case of of Chrysalis Investments (CHRY), the 58% discount to NAV means the 0.77% fees as a % of NAV are in excess of 1.5% of market cap, which in my opinion is egregious:   A story in Investment Week "Chrysalis managers stand by unlisted holdings" https://www.investmentweek.co.uk/4055056/ also highlighted the ...

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 ...