FIVE EX­AM­PLES OF IN­VEST­MENT TRUSTS CRE­AT­ING VALUE IN DIF­FER­ENT WAYS

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SCOT­TISH IN­VEST­MENT TRUST (SCIN)

This value-driven trust has de­liv­ered 9.4% an­nu­alised to­tal re­turns over the past decade through a strat­egy of in­vest­ing in in­ter­na­tional eq­ui­ties and try­ing to achieve div­i­dend growth ahead of UK inflation.

Re­search group Ke­pler says the port­fo­lio was re­vamped in 2016, mov­ing the in­vest­ment strat­egy to a higher con­vic­tion ap­proach with fewer hold­ings and 2018 saw the in­tro­duc­tion of quar­terly div­i­dend pay­ments.

The port­fo­lio con­tains a mix­ture of well-known UK stocks in­clude Tesco (TSCO) and BHP Bil­li­ton (BLT), as well as some fa­mil­iar brands listed over­seas in­clud­ing Gap, Exxon Mo­bil and Pep­sico. You’ll also find some non-house­hold names such as Ja­pan’s Su­mit­omo Mit­sui Fi­nan­cial and Na­tional Oil­well Varco, a US en­ergy firm.

TEM­PLE BAR IN­VEST­MENT TRUST (TMPL)

Tem­ple Bar looks for out-of-favour stocks trad­ing on cheap val­u­a­tions. It looks at price rel­a­tive to the op­er­at­ing profit it thinks the com­pany can ul­ti­mately make when it has re­cov­ered.

It also de­mands a de­cent bal­ance sheet from a com­pany it is con­sid­er­ing adding to its port­fo­lio. That doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean a pris­tine one, but rather a de­cent enough one to let the man­age­ment work un­der the con­di­tions they are be­ing given. It doesn’t want com­pany bosses wor­ry­ing that the bal­ance sheet will im­plode in the next few months.

The ma­jor­ity of its port­fo­lio is FTSE 100 stocks and some mid-caps. It doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily look for high in­come yields on day one. But it wants to make sure the shares are very cheap for com­pen­sa­tion that it isn’t re­ceiv­ing a div­i­dend yield on all of its stocks.

AURORA IN­VEST­MENT TRUST (ARR)

Pa­tience is a key virtue with Aurora which says its re­search process of­ten takes years. It un­der­takes highly de­tailed stud­ies of com­pa­nies in or­der to gain ut­most con­fi­dence be­fore con­sid­er­ing an in­vest­ment. This means it is very picky and in turn this re­sults in a very con­cen­trated port­fo­lio of typ­i­cally 12 to 20 stocks.

The trust – run by Phoenix As­set Man­age­ment – says it buys great busi­nesses when they are cheap, usu­ally be­cause they are hav­ing short term is­sues. ‘If our re­search is cor­rect, then they emerge Phoenix-like and de­liver high re­turns,’ adds the as­set man­ager.

Aurora’s port­fo­lio in­cludes stakes in Sports Di­rect (SPD), WM Mor­ri­son Su­per­mar­kets (MRW)

and air­line Easy­Jet (EZJ).

FIDELITY SPE­CIAL VAL­UES (FSV)

Per­haps one of the bet­ter-known value-style in­vest­ment trusts, this Fidelity prod­uct has a stel­lar track record, beat­ing its bench­mark in­dex on a three, five and 10 year an­nu­alised ba­sis by a con­sid­er­able mar­gin.

Its port­fo­lio con­tains a large num­ber of FTSE 100 com­pa­nies but it does also have mid-cap ex­po­sure. Hold­ings in­clude CRH (CRH),

Ul­tra Elec­tron­ics (ULE) and Aviva (AV.).

It aims to achieve long term cap­i­tal growth by in­vest­ing in stocks whose growth po­ten­tial isn’t yet ap­pre­ci­ated by the broader mar­ket. Fidelity says the trust ‘thrives on volatil­ity and un­cer­tainty’. The port­fo­lio typ­i­cally con­tains 80 to 120 stocks.

CRYS­TAL AM­BER FUND (CRS:AIM)

This is an ac­tivist in­vestor fund tar­get­ing mainly small and mid-cap UK eq­ui­ties. It likes to shake up com­pa­nies and ex­tract hid­den value.

Pre­vi­ous targets (and past fund hold­ings) in­clude Aer Lin­gus, Pinewood and Kentz. The cur­rent port­fo­lio in­cludes Hur­ri­cane En­ergy (HUR:AIM), Ocado (OCDO) and John­ston Press (JPR).

One is­sue to con­sider is that Crys­tal Am­ber’s shares are cur­rently trad­ing on a 5.6% pre­mium to net as­set value. That’s likely to be a re­sult of in­vestors be­ing en­cour­aged by good past per­for­mance in­clud­ing 2017 where its suc­cess­ful cam­paigns boosted its value by 33% year-on-year.

In March this year, the in­vest­ment trust said its net as­set value fell by 6.7% over a six month pe­riod – il­lus­trat­ing how per­for­mance can be volatile with ac­tivist funds as you are of­ten wait­ing a long time for change to be achieved in a busi­ness. In­vestors buy this fund for the po­ten­tial rich re­wards and ac­cept that the risks are high as not all ac­tivist sce­nar­ios play out as ex­pected.

Aurora’s de­tail re­search has in­cluded the re­cruit­ment of mys­tery shop­pers for Mor­risons and mon­i­tor­ing cricket bat prices for its work on Sports Di­rect

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