288. Virus resistant pigs, Amazon TV deals and why the UK is so compelling
Murray Income manager Charles Luke highlights a trio of reasons why the UK market looks compelling...
As the UK prepares to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee on Sunday 6 February 2022, figures from the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) show that almost a quarter of investment companies by assets were in existence at the time of the Queen’s accession to the throne some 70 years ago. Six of these investment companies are Elite Rated by FundCalibre.
Annabel Brodie-Smith, communications director at the AIC, said: “It’s a testament to the investment company sector that 35 companies were around at the time of the Queen’s accession to the throne and are still delivering excellent long-term performance to shareholders.
“It’s also reassuring for investors to see that over the last 70 years, investment companies have survived bouts of market turbulence including the 1973 to 74 crash, Black Monday in 1987, the dot-com boom and bust, the financial crisis and the pandemic. Since the first investment company launched in 1868, the industry has weathered two World Wars and the Great Depression.
“Investment companies have pioneered investing in a wide range of assets including emerging markets, renewable energy infrastructure and unquoted companies. They also have unique income advantages and the benefit of an independent board of directors to look after shareholders’ interests, qualities that stand them in good stead for the future.”
Manager Peter Ewins has run this trust since 2005. He says: “My colleagues would say I am a born pessimist and that sometimes helps when considering the risks in small-cap investing. But the real joy of the job is the scope to unearth some of the next generation of winning business franchises.” Peter spoke to us in January 2022 about the opportunities in global smaller companies.
Job Curtis has run this UK equity income trust for the past three decades. He says: “I have a conservative personality and it is reflected in the portfolio. I pay attention to the downside risks as well as the upside potential.” The trust invests predominantly in larger UK companies with international exposure and has increased its dividend payment every year for the past 54 years.
This trust invests in the shares of property companies, typically within Europe and the UK. It will also have a small amount invested in physical property in the UK. Although it has a history dating back to 1905, it became a real estate specialist vehicle in 1982. Marcus Phayre-Mudge has run it since 2004 and says: “Property is a fairly niche investment, but the world is my investment universe and well-run property businesses are what I seek.”
Straight-talking manager Bruce Stout has been in charge of this trust since 2004. He says: “Followers of investment fashion invariably pay extravagant prices to own the latest, must-have, in vogue stocks. For those of a thriftier disposition, our investment process focuses more on sustainable, long-term growth opportunities where valuations have yet to reflect widespread popular recognition.”
This trust no longer has a focus on Scottish investments and has nothing to do with mortgages. These days, it typically holds between 50 and 100 companies worldwide, united by their strong growth prospects. Co-manager Tom Slater has helped run the trust since 2010 and says: “We want our shareholders to benefit from the transformational growth opportunities that abound in this era of accelerating change.”
Charles Luke has managed this trust since 2006 and aims to provide a high and growing income combined with capital growth by investing in a portfolio of 30-70 UK companies. He runs the trust in a conservative manner and targets resilient companies which can thrive in any economic scenario. The trust has grown its dividend for investors for almost 50 years.