Celebrating investment opportunities in England on St George’s Day

Joss Murphy 20/04/2023 in UK, Equities

St George’s Day is an important holiday in England. Falling on 23rd April each year, it celebrates the life of St George, who is a central figure in the country’s history and early lore – despite not being English himself and never having visited our land, according to English Heritage!

Although he may be hailed as a national hero, he is actually thought to have been born in Cappadocia – modern day Turkey. His reputation for virtue and holiness spread across Europe, however, and he became popular with English kings. Not only is he the patron saint of England, but also of Venice, Genoa, Portugal, Ethiopia and Catalonia among others, and his ‘help’ and ‘protection’ was used to flight plagues and armies.

To celebrate the day, we take a look at four funds investing in English companies with more to them than meets the eye, and four funds run not by knights, but by men who are Elite Rated Georges themselves …

Four funds investing in English companies

1. City of London Investment Trust

Launched back in 1891, this investment trust invests all over the UK, not just London, as the name could suggest. It aims to provide growth in income and capital by investing predominantly in larger UK firms with international exposure and also makes use of its ability to invest a certain percentage of assets overseas. It has also increased its dividend payment every year for the past 56 years – the best track record of any trust or fund available to UK investors.

2. TIME: Commercial Long Income

A very English pastime is talking about property – our homes and our investments. The fund is invested primarily in commercial freehold ground rents and commercial freehold property, which benefit from long leases. Commercial freehold ground rents are paid by a tenant to a freeholder for the use of a property asset for an agreed period of term, typically 60 years plus. These rents are often inflation protected. Commercial freehold property is let to commercial tenants for long periods: typically 15 to 40 years.

3. CT UK Extended Alpha

St George was known as a protector, and this fund can help protect capital when the UK stock market falls as it can make money out of falling share prices as well as those that rise. The manager looks for out-of- favour companies with resilient long-term business models, which he believes are ‘cheap’ considering their long-term growth prospects. Conversely, when he is not positive on a stock, he can take a short position, which means he can make a profit if the share price falls.

4. Schroder British Opportunities

One of the few products to be launched in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Schroder British Opportunities trust (SBO) seeks to tap into the unloved status of UK equities by targeting companies which have been in the eye of the storm. The portfolio consists of 30-50 small and medium-sized public and private businesses requiring fresh injections of equity.

Four Elite Rated Georges

1. Ninety One Global Gold

This is a concentrated fund investing in gold mining companies. It has an excellent track record and has been managed by George Cheveley, a highly experienced commodities expert, since 2015. George’s philosophy is that investing in gold equities is better than investing in gold itself because they offer leverage to the gold price – so if you believe in gold, you are better off owning gold equities. In addition, unlike physical gold, many gold miners pay a dividend and these pay-outs have been rising in recent years.

2. LF Montanaro European Income

George Cooke co-manages this fund with Alex Magni, and they focus on small and medium-sized businesses in Europe. They have a simple philosophy: invest in companies you can understand, buy things which are growing, back quality management, engage with your companies and don’t over trade. Wider macroeconomic factors are ignored. All holdings must yield when initially purchased, although the primary focus is on dividend growth.

3. Jupiter Merlin Growth

This fund is run by team of six: John Chatfeild-Roberts, Algy Smith-Maxwell, Amanda Sillars, David Lewis, Alastair Irvine and George Fox.  It is a high conviction multi-manager fund of funds, and the majority of the portfolio is often held in the top five fund holdings. The team has a simple process and share our bias towards fund managers who are resilient in tough times. This means there tends to be a high number of Elite Rated funds in the portfolio. We like the fact that the team is willing to back underlying managers with conviction.

4. TB Amati Strategic Metals

This is a great portfolio diversifier that taps into unique investment opportunities, including the transition to a lower carbon world. It benefits from having co-managers – Georges Lequime and Mark Smith – with both strong technical and industry knowledge, and who use their global network of CEOs, brokers, commodity traders, mining engineers and geologists to unearth the best opportunities in the sector. They will only invest in metals and mining companies whose revenues are sourced from the sale of metals that have strategic importance to the global economy and future macroeconomic trends, like gold, copper, nickel, silver, and lithium.

This article is provided for information only. The views of the author and any people quoted are their own and do not constitute financial advice. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any fund or trust, or to adopt a particular investment strategy. However, the knowledge that professional analysts have analysed a fund or trust in depth before assigning them a rating can be a valuable additional filter for anyone looking to make their own decisions.Past performance is not a reliable guide to future returns. Market and exchange-rate movements may cause the value of investments to go down as well as up. Yields will fluctuate and so income from investments is variable and not guaranteed. You may not get back the amount originally invested. Tax treatment depends of your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. If you are unsure about the suitability of any investment you should seek professional advice.Whilst FundCalibre provides product information, guidance and fund research we cannot know which of these products or funds, if any, are suitable for your particular circumstances and must leave that judgement to you. Before you make any investment decision, make sure you’re comfortable and fully understand the risks. Further information can be found on Elite Rated funds by simply clicking on the name highlighted in the article.