Fund Spotlight Issue 1


INSIDE THIS ISSUE: BREWIN DOLPHIN Value of diversification CITY ASSET MANAGEMENT Active vs Passive: the good, the bad and the average M&G Downside protection without forgoing upside COLUMBIA THREADNEEDLE Your Success. Our Priority Plus much more...



way of accessing this expertise is through their Threadneedle Dynamic Real Return Fund, which is their most flexible multi-asset vehicle and new to the Tenet approved fund list. Read more about this on page 9. City Asset Management’s article ‘Active vs Passive: the good, the bad and the average’ debate active vs passive investments. Since 2008, there has been a rise in the use of passive investments at the expense of actively managed funds. Passive investing removes making decisions over which stocks to buy and reduces costs. Investors hold the shares that make up an entire index, e.g. the FTSE 100. So, is this a clever idea? Take a look on what City Asset Management think on page 5. M&G highlight changes they made to their Global Listed Infrastructure Fund. The defensive qualities of listed infrastructure came to the fore in October’s market downturn, but the asset class has not always been seen in a favourable light during 2018. Some compelling valuation opportunities emerged, leading us to buy aggressively into the weakness. The relative performance of utilities, for example, reached levels not seen in 20 years. Read the full article on page 8. Plus there are plenty more articles to read in this edition from other fund specialists such as Sinfonia Asset Management, Schroders and Deepbridge Capital, so we hope you find this supplement an interesting read and useful for keeping up to date with current funds in the market.

We have created this publication as a dedicated platform for Fund Managers to showcase their products and services to ensure you are up to date with all the latest news and information in the fund management sector. We will produce two fund manager supplements throughout the year alongside our popular Connected & Selected publication, to help give a tighter focus on funds in particular and specialist areas specifically about fund management that may not usually appear in the other publications. INVESTING in the stock market can sometimes seem like a daunting prospect for your clients, especially when markets are volatile and share values swing sharply up and down. But not only have equities proven to be the most profitable home for investors’ money over the long term, there are ways to mitigate the risk and make the process far less stressful. Brewin Dolphin discuss the importance of diversification and highlight the benefits that not only does diversifying reduce risk, it can produce clever counterbalancing effects which can ‘even out’ performance during volatile periods. Read the full article on page 6. ALSO IN THIS ISSUE Columbia Threadneedle Investments is a leading global asset manager with AUM of £372 billion*. They know investors want strong and repeatable risk-adjusted returns, and aim to deliver this for you and your clients through an active and consistent approach. Their article focuses on Multi-asset investing and they recommend the purest


Bill McQuaker, Portfolio manager, Fidelity Multi Asset Open range

I S U S V U L N E R A B I L I T Y B E G I N N I N G T O R E A R I T S H E A D ?



With the cracks in the strong performance of the US beginning to show, we are positioned defensively against the very real vulnerabilities in the global economy. The US has been the standout so far in 2018, but when we look under the hood we see the US is not immune from tighter financial conditions, and may just be beginning to show that its resilience is not a certainty. Important information The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up, so you may not get back what you invest. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns. Investors should note that the views expressed may no longer be current and may have already been acted upon. Overseas investments will be affected by movements in currency exchange rates. The price of bonds is influenced by movements in interest rates, changes in the credit rating of bond issuers, and other factors such as inflation and market dynamics. In general, as interest rates rise the price of a bond will fall. The risk of default is based on the issuer’s ability to make interest payments and to repay the loan at maturity. Default risk may, therefore, vary between different government issuers as well as between different corporate issuers. Liquidity is a measure of how easily an investment can be converted into cash. It is possible that, in difficult market conditions, it could be hard to sell holdings in corporate bond funds. Investments in emerging markets can be more volatile than other more developed markets. Reference to specific securities should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell these securities and is included for the purposes of illustration only. Investments should be made on the basis of the current prospectus, which is available along with the Key Investor Information Document, current annual and semi-annual reports free of charge from or on request by calling 0800 368 1732. Issued by FIL Pensions Management and Financial Administration Services Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Fidelity, Fidelity International, the Fidelity International logo and F symbol are trademarks of FIL Limited.

When we look at economic indicators, we see other issues at play. Retail sales growth is still strong, but is starting to slow meaningfully, with Q3 annualised figures falling to 5.1% from 7.3% in Q2. A 30% decline over a single quarter is not something to ignore. While the short-term picture has been helped by home appliances and vehicle sales, inventories have jumped meaningfully, and may be the result of demand driven by fears of prices spiking when the trade tariffs with China begin to hit. THE CANARY IN THE COAL MINE But most importantly, what do these indicators mean for positioning in the Fidelity Multi Asset Open range of portfolios? Despite the rather negative assessment for the direction of the US presented here, we still like the defensiveness built into the US stock market compared to other markets. But to maintain exposure while being defensive, we have been underweighting the FAANG stocks, with our four US equity managers having a bias towards more defensive value stocks. In some of our funds we have also decided to short semiconductors, which are a key component in technology devices and often a “canary in the coal mine” for the direction of technology stocks, in order to further reduce our technology exposure. Another key decision taken over the summer months was to reduce our exposure to the innately cyclical energy sector in order to buy into utilities, which are less tied to economic growth and tend to be stronger performers in times of uncertainty.

OUTPERFORMANCE RELATIVE TO THE REST OF THE WORLD IN BOTH GDP GROWTH AND STOCK MARKET PERFORMANCE, LED BY THE STANDOUT PERFORMER, THE FAANG- DRIVEN TECHNOLOGY SECTOR. When commentators refer to ‘US markets’, the tech-heavy S&P 500 is the most commonly used proxy. Thus far in 2018, the S&P 500 has strongly outperformed the rest of the world, and remains close to neutral for the year despite a recent selloff. However, the more broad-based NYSE Composite Index is much further into negative territory following the recent selloff, indicating that outside the 500 largest US firms by market-capitalisation the picture is not so positive. Interest rate sensitive sectors like homebuilders and automobiles have also been hit hard, and are firmly into the red so far in 2018, which is hardly surprising given real rates are at their highest level since 2010, and mortgage rates are at 5-year highs. What is important here is that there are real headwinds for these interest rate sensitive sectors, and this is not simply sentiment driven weakness. These sectors have benefitted from artificially low rates created by loose monetary policy - which is continuing to be unwound - despite President Trump’s claims that the “out of control” Federal Reserve was to blame for the recent selloff. We continue to closely watch those sectors that tend to be the most sensitive to Fed policy.


A C T I V E V S P A S S I V E : T H E G O O D , T H E B A D A N D T H E AV E R A G E

SINCE 2008, THERE HAS BEEN A RISE IN THE USE OF PASSIVE INVESTMENTS AT THE EXPENSE OF ACTIVELY MANAGED FUNDS. PASSIVE INVESTING REMOVES MAKING DECISIONS OVER WHICH STOCKS TO BUY AND REDUCES COSTS. INVESTORS HOLD THE SHARES THAT MAKE UP AN ENTIRE INDEX, E.G. THE FTSE 100. SO, IS THIS A CLEVER IDEA? The stock market can be compared to an auction room. Instead of goods, stocks are offered and competing bids discover the “correct” price. As viewers of daytime TV shows can attest, prices vary greatly between auctions. Bidders lose their heads, getting carried away. Our approach to passives is comparable; when markets appear irrational, we do not want to track passively. There are times where we would buy passive investments. However, we are into year 9 of this bull market and monetary policy is normalizing; an active approach is likely to yield better results. Active managers should pick better companies that generally fall less during a bear market and have the ability to use cash as a risk management tool. We invest in a number of funds which have seen cash levels rising as the market has pushed ever higher, yet have still managed to keep pace with market returns. One such fund is the Findlay Park American Fund, which invests in US shares. Since 1988, there have been 26 quarters when the stock market has fallen but this fund has outperformed the market in 25 of those periods. Effectively, Findlay Park needs to make less to recover because a fund that, say, loses 25%,

mathematically, needs to recover by 33.3% to get back to where it started. We consider that active management is risk management and, in this environment, it is worth the extra costs. Cost is a key driver behind the popularity of passive investments; with no fund manager or investment process, the fees can be extremely low. However, the result is a holding of every company in the index; good, bad and average. When tougher environments occur, we would prefer not to be holding the bad companies. Stock dispersion becomes important. Early in the cycle, companies are cheap, recovery lifts all stocks by similar amounts and there is little need for risk management and stock picking. Recently, weaker companies have been able to survive on cheap debt due to low interest rates. Debt costs are now rising, weak companies will find it more difficult to service and refinance debt, leading to stock dispersion. Active managers tend to thrive in this environment. With passive investments, the greatest amount of money will be invested into companies that are generally most expensive. If all company valuations are low, this may not be a problem. However, when we look at technology stocks during the late 90’s boom, investors may be taking on risk simply because the rest of the market has become irrational. Today, we prefer active management but there will be a time where we make passive investments in more efficient markets, such as US equities. This document may include forward-looking statements that are based upon our current opinions, expectations and projections. Investment markets and conditions can change rapidly, and as such the views and interpretations expressed should not be taken as statements of fact, nor should they be relied upon when making investment decisions. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward- looking statements and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated by any forward-looking statements. Past performance is not a guide for future performance. The value of your investment can fall, and you may not get back the amount invested.

Duggie Hawkins CFA Senior Analyst – US Equities



WHEN YOU WORK WITH BREWIN DOLPHIN AS YOUR DFM, YOU WILL HEAR US TALK A LOT ABOUT DIVERSIFICATION. INVESTING in the stock market can sometimes seem like a daunting prospect for your clients, especially when markets are volatile and share values swing sharply up and down. But not only have equities proven to be the most profitable home for investors’ money over the long term, there are ways to mitigate the risk and make the process far less stressful. Chief among these is diversification - one of the fundamental principles of a successful investment strategy and something we have been using as a tool for protecting and growing assets for over 200 years. Given the volatility we have seen in markets this year, now may be a good time to remind clients of why diversification matters. Diversification means spreading your money across different stocks, shares, funds, industrial sectors and even geographical regions. It helps to smooth out performance and minimise risk. Some of the reasons for diversification are obvious, others are more subtle. WHY DIVERSIFY The most obvious reason to spread investments around is that it reduces volatility and lessens the impact of any one share or asset class performing badly. Imagine ploughing all of your clients’ money into one share. If that company went bust

they would lose all of their money. But investing in a broad range of shares means that some can fall in value without having a major impact on the overall performance. The same is true of geographical regions. As we are seeing at the moment, the US market has rocketed to record highs, while other stock markets, such as emerging markets, have been struggling. Therefore we are currently overweight in US equities. Investing in a spread of assets in different countries helps to capture those that are performing well, while minimising the impact of those that are experiencing a period of underperformance. OTHER BENEFITS Not only does diversifying reduce risk, it can produce clever counterbalancing effects which can ‘even out’ performance during volatile periods. For example, as a general rule, government-issued gilts tend to rise in value when the stock market falls, because investors look for a safe place to park their money and nowhere is safer than government gilts. That demand pushes the price up, and so the profits from gilts help provide a counterbalancing effect to the losses on equities, thereby smoothing out the returns. Diversifying also creates the opportunity to invest in riskier asset classes. A great example is emerging markets. They are either heroes or zeroes - they can be up 20% one year and down by 15% the next. But, by spreading money around different regions and assets, the overall portfolio returns are smoothed out.

For example, in 2014, when UK equities returned only 1.2% and emerging markets returned only 5%, Brewin’s balanced portfolio returned 7.2% because of our exposure to commercial property and the US market, both of which did well that year. A balanced approach can give a smooth return which makes it far more predictable and, crucially, far less stressful. That means you and your clients can get on with your life without worrying about their investments swinging too wildly in value. Partnering with a DFM such as Brewin Dolphin can take away the strain of managing your client’s’ investments on a day to day basis. This allows you to concentrate on your clients’ financial planning needs. For more information on all of our services that can help you to help your clients, please contact your local business development manager. WWW.BREWIN.CO.UK/FINANCIAL-ADVISERS The value of investments can fall and you may get back less than you invested. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. No investment is suitable in all cases and if you have any doubts as to an investment’s suitability then you should contact us. The opinions expressed in this document are not necessarily the views held throughout Brewin Dolphin Ltd.

For Investment Professionals only

Downside protection without forgoing upside

Alex Araujo, Fund Manager M&G Global Listed Infrastructure Fund

Many of the stocks to which we added have featured prominently among the top contributors to performance since this phase. However, we see further upside in these positions as valuations continue to look depressed. Economic infrastructure looks particularly compelling, both relative to history and the other segments of listed infrastructure, namely social (health, education and security) and evolving (communication, transactional and royalty).

The defensive qualities of listed infrastructure came to the fore in October’s market downturn, but the asset class has not always been seen in a favourable light during 2018. In January and February, bond proxies and, by association, many infrastructure stocks were sold off indiscriminately as investors became increasingly concerned about the pace of rising interest rates. Economic infrastructure, which covers utilities, energy and transport, was the hardest hit alongside companies structured as REITs. Some compelling valuation opportunities emerged, leading us to buy aggressively into the weakness. The relative performance of utilities, for example, reached levels not seen in 20 years. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

Valuation by infrastructure class






Oct 10 Oct 11 Oct 12 Oct 13 Oct 14 Oct 15 Oct 16 Oct 17 Sep 18

S&P Utilities vs S&P 500: price ratio over 20 years





Source: Bloomberg, 31 August 2018.


However, we believe that it is important to extend the definition of infrastructure beyond the traditional realm of economic to better reflect the increasingly digital world we live in. The social and evolving categories provide benefits of diversification as well as valuation opportunities depending on the market environment. We must also not lose sight of the long-term nature of the asset class. Short-term monetary policy decisions will not materially affect the long-term performance of these exceptionally long-life assets and the companies that own or control them. Powerful shifts in society’s needs and activities – and the implications for infrastructure use – will have a greater bearing on listed infrastructure’s long-term performance. The value of investments will fluctuate, which will cause fund prices to fall as well as rise and investors may not get back the original amount invested. The fund invests mainly in company shares and is therefore likely to experience larger price fluctuations than funds that invest in bonds and/or cash.


20-year trough


Jan 98

Jan 02

Jan 06

Jan 10

Jan 14

Nov 18

Source: Bloomberg, 31 August 2018.

It was not just sentiment and valuation that prompted this course of action. We were also motivated by the belief that our holdings – all of which pay growing dividends, reflecting the growth in the underlying businesses – should not be treated as bond proxies, which, by definition, offer a high yield with no growth. The attraction of infrastructure is not limited to low volatility; the asset class offers a wide array of growth opportunities to drive attractive returns over the long term. Our utilities holdings, for example, are harnessing structural growth trends, such as society’s transition to renewable power, or the adoption of electric and autonomous vehicles. Our holdings structured as REITs, dominated by owners or operators of data centres and wireless communications towers, are capitalising on the tailwind of digitalisation. Indeed, because of our emphasis on growth and the fact that many listed infrastructure businesses benefit from the economic growth and inflation that drive interest rates higher, we find that the financial impact of interest rates on our holdings is negligible.

For financial advisers only. Not for onward distribution. No other persons should rely on any information contained within. This financial promotion is issued by M&G Securities Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK and provides ISAs and other investment products. The company’s registered office is Laurence Pountney Hill, London EC4R 0HH. Registered in England No. 90776. NOV 18 / 324505


Y O U R S U C C E S S . O U R P R I O R I T Y.

Columbia Threadneedle Investments is a leading global asset manager with AUM of £372 billion*. We know investors want strong and repeatable risk-adjusted returns, and we aim to deliver this for you and your clients through an active and consistent approach. Disruption is everywhere, from trade and geopolitics to technology, and it is our job to navigate our clients through this. Multi-asset investing is at the heart of what we do. Our multi-asset experts are at the hub of our distinctive investment framework, which is built around our specialist investment teams. As better-informed investors, our multi-asset teams are well positioned to deliver better investment outcomes for you and your clients The purest way of accessing this expertise is through the Threadneedle Dynamic Real Return Fund **, which is our most flexible multi-asset vehicle and new to the Tenet approved fund list. Aiming for equity-like returns with less than two-thirds the risk, it seeks to protect investors’ capital when threats appear and participate when opportunities develop by dynamically managing asset allocation. Since launch five years ago we have exceeded our CPI +4% objective returning 6.8% per annum***. The Threadneedle Dynamic Real Return Fund** complements our well-established Threadneedle Managed Funds that have been available on the Tenet approved funds list for some time.

That said, we maintain a preference for equities (as well as commodities and commercial property) over credit as we move into the new year, but remain fairly neutral from a risk appetite perspective. We continue to favour European, Asian and, particularly, Japanese equities within this favourable allocation to equities overall. Our position in European equities is held despite the political dislocation in Italy and Angela Merkel’s struggles and we also hold UK equities in our asset allocation matrix.




Equity Property Commodity

Asset Allocation

Government I/L

Cash Credit


Equity Region

Pac ex-Jpn EU ex-UK


Financials Industrials Consumer Cycilcals

Real Estate Materials Utilities Telco

Global Equity Sector

Health Technology

Energy Staples

Germany US UK

Nordic Australia EM Local

Bond - FX Hedged


Corporate IG EMD Corporate HY


Livestock Softs Energy

Precious Metals

Base Metals Grains



Euro Nordics



Whatever your clients’ investment goals, our broad range of investment strategies across equities, fixed income, asset allocation solutions and alternatives are designed to meet the evolving needs of our clients, and we are committed to first class service and investment excellence. OTHER OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE TO YOU AND YOUR CLIENTS VIA THE APPROVED FUND LIST INCLUDE:


At Columbia Threadneedle, equities are key within our asset allocation. We offer global, regional and country-specific strategies across the market cap spectrum and aim to invest in companies with sustainable long- term value. Combining bottom-up analysis with thematic insights into markets helps us build portfolios that can deliver consistent, long-term outperformance.

• Threadneedle European Select Fund • Threadneedle UK Equity Income Fund • Threadneedle UK Fund. • Threadneedle High Yield Bond Fund • Threadneedle UK Property Authorised Investment Fund**


Important information: * as at 30.09.18 ** non-UCITS retail scheme. ***Source: Columbia Threadneedle Investments For use by Professional Investors only. Your capital is at risk. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of investments and any income is not guaranteed and can go down as well as up and may be affected by exchange rate fluctuations. This material is for information only and does not constitute an offer or solicitation of an order to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments, or to provide investment advice or services. The analysis included in this document has been produced by Columbia Threadneedle Investments for its own investment management activities, may have been acted upon prior to publication and is made available here incidentally. Any opinions expressed are made as at the date of publication but are subject to change without notice and should not be seen as investment advice. This document includes forward looking statements. None of Columbia Threadneedle Investments, its directors, officers or employees make any representation, warranty, guaranty, or other assurance that any of these forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate. Subscriptions to a specific Fund may only be made on the basis of the relevant current Prospectus, the Key Investor Information Document, the latest annual or interim reports and the applicable terms & conditions. Please refer to the ‘Risk Factors’ section of the Prospectus for all risks applicable to investing in any fund. Issued by Threadneedle Investment Services Limited. Registered in England and Wales, Registered No. 3701768, Cannon Place, 78 Cannon Street, London EC4N 6AG. Authorised and regulated in the UK by the FCA. Columbia Threadneedle Investments is the global brand name of the Columbia and Threadneedle group of companies.



OUR INESCAPABLE TRUTHS ARE THE ECONOMIC FORCES AND DISRUPTIVE FORCES WE THINK WILL SHAPE THE INVESTMENT LANDSCAPE OVER THE YEARS TO COME. It seems clear to us that the world investors have got used to over the last few years is very different to the one we need to get accustomed to in the years to come. We have identified a number of economic forces and disruptive forces we think will shape the investment landscape ahead of us. They represent our “inescapable truths”. ECONOMIC FORCES We believe a confluence of factors will set the scene for a slowing global economy in the next decade: • Slower growth in the global labour force • Poor productivity growth • Ageing populations • A growing role for China • Low inflation • Low interest rates This backdrop is similar to what we’ve seen since the global financial crisis, where equity and bond markets have performed well despite low growth and inflation. However, the big difference for the years to come is that there will no longer be the tailwind of ultra-loose monetary policy, where interest rates have been kept well below inflation. As interest rates normalise and quantitative easing (QE) unwinds, we think there will be a greater focus on the reliability of corporate earnings as market volatility increases. Just because GDP growth will be lower, it does not necessarily mean that companies’ profit growth will be lower. Returns from market indices will also be lower, we believe. Investing passively (tracking a market index) is not likely to reap the returns investors have grown to expect.

The implication is simple: there will be greater need for active fund managers who can generate alpha – i.e. who can beat the market – in the period to come. DISRUPTIVE FORCES We think disruption will come from a number of angles in the years to come. MARKET DISRUPTION • Changing patterns of finance. Banks are likely to play a reduced role in financing economic activity and other forms of funding will grow in importance. We expect the corporate bond market to expand along with private equity and alternatives such as peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding. • The end of QE. Other central banks are likely to follow the US’ lead in gradually reducing the assets on their balance sheets. These were assets bought via QE - a measure to ward off the fallout following the financial crisis. This unwinding will increase the supply of government bonds and corporate bonds to the private sector. It should be welcomed given the present shortage of these supposedly “safe” assets and with more retiring savers seeking investments that may offer greater financial security. TECHNOLOGICAL DISRUPTION. • Changing business models. Technology creates unique challenges for investors through its tendency to disrupt existing businesses and create winners and losers. Clearly picking those who are on the right side of technological progress will continue to be key for investment performance. • Displacement of jobs. Technology can bring greater efficiency in production, but can also increase displacement in the labour market as traditional jobs become obsolete. The increased use of robotics and AI (artificial intelligence) will affect a wider range of professions.

tensions between the real economy and the natural environment - and climate change in particular. The challenge has been centuries in the making, but remedial action will have to be far faster to avoid its worst impacts. • Unchecked environmental damage will have severe economic and social consequences. While inaction implies significant long-term risks, steps to avoid the worst effects of climate change will also prove necessarily disruptive. pressure. The economic outlook will undermine government finances, while ageing populations will increase pension spending and demand for healthcare. The ability of governments to meet voter expectations will become increasingly challenged and may feed further populist unrest. • Pressure on individuals will grow. Government challenges will mean people will have to take greater individual responsibility for funding their retirement and healthcare. • The rise of populism will increase political complexity. Policies to temper the impact of globalisation through restrictions on trade, immigration and capital flows are increasingly likely to emerge. In summary, after almost a decade of strong returns many investors have become complacent about the outlook. This assessment suggests that in a more challenging future environment factors such as asset allocation, access to multiple sources of return, active stock selection and risk management will be critical in meeting the goals of investors over the next decade. As we enter the next phase of the post- global financial crisis era, these inescapable truths can help guide investors through a time of unprecedented disruption. Important information: Please remember that the value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amounts originally invested. This marketing material is for professional investors or advisers only. POLITICAL DISRUPTION • Government finances will come under

This may worsen the problems of inequality and potentially bring even greater political disruption.

ENVIRONMENTAL DISRUPTION • Rapid action needed. Our views of the future are complicated by growing

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