Equity markets have been relatively quiet since June, with the big news being the devaluing US Dollar and the gold price. Our wealth management portfolios have all performed well during July and August, rising between 4.5% and 4.7% whilst the comparative benchmarks during that period delivered between 1.2% and 1.7%.
We made several changes to the wealth management portfolios by increasing our position in gold which has been our largest investment holding since February and combined with other metals makes up 15% of the multi-asset wealth management portfolio. As you are no doubt aware, gold is performing well (even Warren Buffet is buying gold miners) as the US dollar devalues and inflation expectations rise this is a theme we expect to continue.
Recently we have taken some of the investment profits from our positions that have done well in the tech sector and now look very stretched. We added Baillie Gifford Pacific Investment Fund to replace Prusik Asia, as the Baillie Gifford Investment Fund has a better and more consistent return profile. We have sold the Polar UK Value Opportunities Investment Fund and exited Man GLG High Yield Opportunities.
Politics is never far away from financial markets’ thoughts and while both the Democrat and Republican National Conventions captured attention, it was the resignation of Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, that provided some late drama on the last business day of August. Japan’s longest-serving post-war Prime Minister resigned because of ill-health, due to a recurrence of colitis. Abe has been a key figure behind corporate reform in Japan and a significant reason for our investment exposure to Japanese small and mid-size companies as part of our reform theme. It remains to be seen if his departure alters the corporate governance landscape in Japan.
JULY & AUGUST PERFORMANCE
Portfolio A + 4.70% (Benchmark + 1.5%)
Portfolio B + 4.66% (Benchmark + 1.2%)
Portfolio C + 4.61% (Benchmark + 1.5%)
Portfolio D + 4.57% (Benchmark + 1.7%)