‘There is only one truly British stock in the fund’
Fears are growing that global stocks, which have performed so well of late, have peaked and may be due to fall. Many investors, especially in Britain, are uncertain about the outcome of Brexit and the consequences of a “no deal”.
Cautious investors may want to put their money with an equally cautious manager. Job Curtis, of the £1.5bn City of London investment trust, is such a manager; his trust is one of Telegraph Money’s top 10 “defensive” funds.
Here he explains why he is not bothered about Brexit, how banks have changed over the decade since the financial crisis and why he has invested in a cruise company.
We invest mainly in Britain, with about 70pc of the portfolio in the FTSE 100. We have some overseas holdings and some investments in smaller companies, but we mainly like larger, dividend-paying stocks. We believe in having a diversified portfolio with companies that can grow and pay us an income at the same time. Consumer staples such as British American Tobacco, Unilever and Diageo, the drinks maker, have all done very well for us recently.
We aim to appeal to people in retirement who want a growing income. I am a fairly cautious character and that is reflected in the portfolio. I try to pay a fair price for companies that can offer a good dividend and can afford to pay that dividend; companies that invest sufficiently in their own business. We try to avoid the classic trap of companies that over-expand and cannot afford to pay shareholders. We had very little money in banks in the pre-crisis period so we avoided some of the big losers. Now I am a lot
CV: Job Curtis
Mr Curtis, s, who works for r Janus Henderson, on, has been managing naging money since nce 1987 and has 35 years of industry ry experience ce in total. He has an MA in politics, litics, philosophy hy more positive and we have about 8pc of the fund in the sector. Both HSBC and Lloyds are in our top 10 holdings. They have rebuilt themselves and are trading at a slight discount because of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
I bought back into Lloyds a few years ago and have been building my position. It has not performed that well but it pays a decent yield of about 5pc, so the bank is paying us to be patient. Interest rate rises are good for the banks and if we get a “soft Brexit” we may well see rates go up further, which should fuel growth in the sector. Barclays is cheap, relative to the net value of its assets, and is another one I think looks interesting.
Veteran fund manager Job Curtis explains to Harry Brennan how his ‘UK’ portfolio is actually international