Best performing Elite Rated funds of 2018…. and the 21st century
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On 2nd August 2018, Apple became the first publicly traded company in history to be worth $1 trillion.
The company boasts one of the most impressive ‘from zero to hero’ stories around; it was first launched from founder Steve Job’s garage in in 1976 and investors participating in its initial public offering, at a price of £22 in December 1980, would have seen $10,000 rise to $6.3 million, including reinvested dividends, today*.
We take a look at four Elite Rated fund managers who hold Apple in their portfolios.
First on the list is AXA Framlington Global Technology, which is headed up by Jeremy Gleeson. Jeremy looks for companies which can be dominant market leaders in their respective fields over the long term, fending off any competition that comes along in the process. He is not constrained by a benchmark so can therefore invest wherever he sees the best opportunities. It means he can also hold some of the under-the-radar stars of the future, as well as some of the larger, more established, tech names. Apple is the second-largest holding in Jeremy’s portfolio, with Google’s parent company, Alphabet, taking the top spot at 9.05%.
Hot on its heels with a 6.76% weighting is Stephen Kelley’s AXA Framlington American Growth fund. Stephen has a keen focus on entrepreneurial companies which are self-sufficient and are highly innovative; he also tends to favour companies with their own intellectual property. In order to pick the market leaders of the future, the manager believes company meetings are vital and, between him and his team, will conduct around 200 company meetings per year. The fund performs particularly well when the US economy is growing. Apple is the largest individual holding in the portfolio, followed by Microsoft, Alphabet and Amazon.
Duo Hutch Vernon and Maneesh Bajaj draw on influences from investing greats Benjamin Graham, David Dodd and Warren Buffett. They hunt out companies which have been undervalued by the broader market compared to what they can offer, and which can demonstrate that they can keep growing and improving over time. Specifically, they look for companies which aim to grow between 40% and 50% a two-to-three year time period. The fund managers tend to stick to their guns and will hold each company over genuinely long-term time frames. Apple is the fund’s eighth -largest holding; its biggest is Visa, followed by Alphabet and Mastercard.
Headed up by David Eiswert, this fund has an investible pool of 4,000 stocks to choose from; the manager is unconstrained in terms of regions and, unlike many of his peers, he is unafraid to scour emerging markets for opportunities, too. After a rigorous stock selection process, which focuses on individual company fundamentals, valuation and what is going on in the broader economy, the portfolio is typically narrowed down to between 70 and 80 holdings. David has a keen focus on companies which boast “an imagination surrounding disruption”, and which will therefore keep performing well as the world changes around us. Apple is the 10th largest position in the fund. Topping its list of largest holdings are Amazon at 4%, Facebook at 4% and Alphabet at 3.1%.
*Washington Post, 2 August 2018, “Apple is the first $trillion company in history”
**Fund fact sheets, June 2018