Well, what sort of three months have you had? Market valuation rises since the vaccine announcement, skewed towards such under-priced ‘value’ stocks, have been phenomenal. We have enjoyed a 20-25% gain on our median ‘balanced’ strategy since the 5 October valuation report (noting this is still simply recovery for longer-term investors though, after the carnage of the spring’s reaction to the Pandemic) and with values of certain holdings at amazing levels compared to March lows. We may have been optimistic during the depths but could never have dared hope to see so much and so soon.
We have trimmed some, yes but have ridden others all the way up and some of our core Investment Trusts held by most clients are at the Firm’s largest ever exposures as a consequence. Investment Trusts like CQS Natural Resources (with a good gold bent), Aberdeen Smaller Companies, Miton Global Opportunities, Seneca Global Growth and Income, Premier Miton Global Renewables and UIL Investments (a utility entity) have rocketed from such cheap levels and yes, some are only regaining earlier levels but some of these were the sorts of things we were buying with every spare pound of cash we had available during those dark months (as others were giving them away because of their ‘poor performance’). Many of our holdings are arguably boringly low risk too by what they hold (define risk? Another day perhaps). Remember as well that our ‘balanced’ approach includes more rock-solid investments such as cash, currencies, core commodities and loan funds which won’t have moved up (or much) so it shows what just a ‘few’ outstanding recoveries does to the whole portfolio! Indeed, we have sustained a good level of regular income for those needing it too and can still project forwards a natural income of between 3-4%pa from what we hold now.
We shan’t be able to replicate our results over the next three months as much as we’d like it (that would be greedy) but I am comfortable with what we own and have no lack of places for new money too, all spread very widely and relatively defensively too. However, what you want us to buy and hold is what is unloved now as it is ‘cheap’. If you are not with us as your adviser and investment manager, is this what you pay your advisers (as I assure you that you are doing!) to do for you? Have they been doing it during one of the most challenging times we have all faced – and also some of the best opportunities? If not, you know what to do.