Only Bri­tish stocks are al­lowed – but there is a clever way to get ex­po­sure to Sil­i­con Val­ley’s bright­est hopes Three tech­nol­ogy trusts that could power you to vic­tory in our £20,000 com­pe­ti­tion

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - RICHARD EVANS

TECH­NOL­OGY stocks are very much on Questor’s mind at the mo­ment be­cause we are on the hunt for shares that have the po­ten­tial to rise dra­mat­i­cally over the next three months for our £20,000 Fan­tasy Fund Man­ager game – and the right tech stocks would fit the bill per­fectly in this col­umn’s view.

This is be­cause tech­nol­ogy has come so much to the fore dur­ing the coro­n­avirus pan­demic as re­mote work­ing and on­line shop­ping cease to be op­tional and be­come es­sen­tial to very many homes and busi­nesses.

There is a prob­lem as far as our com­pe­ti­tion is con­cerned, how­ever: it al­lows only Lon­don­listed com­pa­nies to be held – only FTSE 350 com­pa­nies at that – and tech stocks are over­whelm­ingly found over­seas, par­tic­u­larly in Amer­ica. Bri­tain has

a hand­ful – Ocado,

Just Eat and Avast, the an­tivirus firm, spring to mind – but while those three would qual­ify for the game, oth­ers are in­el­i­gi­ble ei­ther be­cause they are quoted on the junior Aim mar­ket, and there­fore can­not be in the FTSE 350, or are too small to be mem­bers of that in­dex.

All is not lost, how­ever. In­vest­ment trusts pro­vide the an­swer. Sev­eral tech­nol­ogy-fo­cused trusts are mem­bers of the FTSE 350 and there­fore eli­gi­ble for in­clu­sion in your Fan­tasy Fund Man­ager port­fo­lio. Let’s look at the most prom­i­nent. Scot­tish Mort­gage is not only a mem­ber of the FTSE 100, and there­fore au­to­mat­i­cally a mem­ber of the FTSE 350, which con­sists of the blue-chip in­dex and the FTSE 250, but it is Lon­don’s big­gest in­vest­ment trust by a very long way. Much of its suc­cess can be put down to its hold­ings in tech stocks that have turned out to be ex­tremely well cho­sen. Prom­i­nent among them are Amazon and Tesla, both of which are rid­ing high at the mo­ment.

Scot­tish Mort­gage and the fund man­age­ment firm that runs it, Bail­lie Gif­ford, have a strong com­mit­ment to find­ing the small num­ber of stocks any­where in the world that have the po­ten­tial to grow very strongly and also sus­tain­ably. James An­der­son and Tom Slater, the trust’s man­agers, de­vote huge ef­fort to iden­ti­fy­ing such com­pa­nies and when they have found them they are pre­pared to stick with them for very long pe­ri­ods.

Another pop­u­lar and suc­cess­ful tech­nol­ogy trust is Po­lar Cap­i­tal

Tech­nol­ogy. When we tipped

it in Novem­ber 2018 we said the man­age­ment team, led by Ben Ro­goff, who had spe­cialised in tech­nol­ogy for 22 years and joined Po­lar Cap­i­tal in 2003, had a “strong record of stock-pick­ing” that had re­sulted in sub­stan­tial out­per­for­mance of the tech sec­tor as a whole.

Al­lianz Tech­nol­ogy is not a trust we have cov­ered here so far but Questor has ex­pressed its ad­mi­ra­tion for it in another way: by tip­ping sev­eral in­di­vid­ual stocks held in this port­fo­lio on the strength of con­ver­sa­tions with its man­ager, Wal­ter Price. Sev­eral of those tips have per­formed ex­traor­di­nar­ily well: CrowdStrik­e, a cy­ber­se­cu­rity com­pany, has gained 88.7pc, Zs­caler, a “cloud com­put­ing” firm, 80.4pc and Twilio, which sells com­mu­ni­ca­tions soft­ware, 222pc.

Mr Price is another vet­eran watcher of the rise of Sil­i­con Val­ley and is him­self based in California. Questor can per­son­ally at­test to his energy and com­mit­ment, even though he is now in his fifth decade in fund man­age­ment.

We will now add these three trusts to Questor’s Fan­tasy Fund Port­fo­lio, where they will re­place our three re­main­ing ran­domly cho­sen stocks. That main­tains the min­i­mum re­quire­ment of five hold­ings and we could leave things at that for the du­ra­tion of the con­test.

If, on the other hand, we find some other promis­ing FTSE 350 mem­bers in the com­ing weeks, we can al­ways add them too, as con­tes­tants are al­lowed up to 20 hold­ings. Sign up for the con­test and build your port­fo­lio at tele­­ta­sy­fund-man­ager.

The in­ter­face is very in­tu­itive and the process should take you just a few min­utes.

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