An update on MoneyWeek’s model portfolio – July 2016

When we introduced the MoneyWeek investment trust portfolio I told you that I wasn’t expecting that much from it. We wanted stability, defensiveness (we worry…), some exposure to growth and some income. And we wanted not to have to change its composition very often. So how is it doing? The answer to that is: just fine.

Since inception, it has returned 64% compared with 44% from the FTSE All-Share. Over the last year it has given us a total of 5.18% against 2.11% from the FTSE All-Share and in the short period since the Brexit vote 3.16% against 3.52%. Where the comparisons don’t look quite as good is against the MSCIWorld index (including emerging markets): there the numbers are 79%, 14%, and 10.5%, which we can mostly put down to the strong US dollar.

The best performer over the last year has been Personal Assets Trust, a fund we have held from the start for its defensive characteristics. That’s worked out well: its gold holdings have been particularly good performers over the last six months. Scottish Mortgage isn’t there for its defensive characteristics, but its US exposure was good news as the pound fell last week.

I don’t need to say much about Finsbury – you can read the interview with its manager above,and there is a longer piece on Train’s views on our website at It’s a good “forever” fund.

The underperformers over the past year have been Caledonia and Law Debenture. However, there seems little reason to do much about this. The former investment trust currently trades at a large discount to its net asset value (as you can see from the table opposite), but has a sensible-looking portfolio and a fabulous history of rising dividend payouts. The latter offers a diversified portfolio full of good-value firms, a low ongoing charge and an attractive yield of 3.4%. So, as per usual, we are making no changes.

Investment trust Ticker Date bought Price when bought Date sold Price at 1/7/16, or when sold Change Total return (divs reinvested)
BH Macro BHMG 15/06/12 1,948p 11/10/13 2,056p 5.50% 5.50%
Caledonia Investments CLDN 11/10/13 1,830p n/a 2,287p 24.97% 33.67%
Personal Assets PNL 15/06/12 36,000p n/a 38,750p 7.64% 15.18%
Scottish Mortgage* SMT 15/06/12 642p n/a 275p 114.17% 123.49%
Finsbury Growth FGT 15/06/12 331.75p n/a 615p 85.38% 103.13%
Capital RCP 15/06/12 1,238p n/a 1,657p 33.84% 44.01%
3i Infrastructure 3IN 15/06/12 124p 18/09/15 167.5p 35.08% 60.39%
Law Debenture Corporation LWDB 18/09/15 503.5p n/a 482p -4.27% -2.02%
Portfolio return** 47.78% 60.84%
FTSE All Share 19.40% 36.44%
MSCI World*** (excl. EMs) 47.45% 62.99%
MSCI World*** (incl. EMs) 40.54% 55.40%
* Return adjusted for 5-for-1 stock split on 30/6/14
** Assumes BH Macro holding rolled into Caledonia
*** Returns in sterling
Investment trust Ticker NAV when bought Latest NAV at 1/7/16 NAV change Prem/disc when bought Prem/disc at 1/7/16 Forward yield
BH Macro BHMG SOLD 11/10/13
Caledonia Investments CLDN 2,311p 2,851p 23.37% -26.28% -20.96% 2.33%
Personal Assets PNL 33,675p 38,841p 15.34% 6.46% -0.25% 1.45%
Scottish Mortgage SMT 138.7p 257.38p 98.54% -8.02% -1.48% 1.09%
Finsbury Growth FGT 328.2p 607.39p 85.07% 1.07% 1.58% 2.06%
Capital RCP 1,211p 1,555p 28.41% 2.18% 4.95% 1.87%
3i Infrastructure 3IN SOLD 18/09/15
Law Debenture Corporation LWDB 461p 533.0p 15.62% 8.50% -11.26% 3.41%