Anthony Nutt: the world’s greatest investors

Investor Anthony Nutt sought out value in companies, focusing his search on value-rich sectors.


Anthony Nutt: a value investor after dividends

Nutt was born in 1953 and got a job at the Ministry of Defence when he left school. While working he studied for a part-time degree with the Open University (OU).He graduated in 1983 (later becominga major donor to the OU's Business School) then got a job at stockbrokers Foster & Braithwaite. Similar jobs followed at other brokerages.

His big break came when he was given control of TSB's General Unit Trust in 1986. He was headhunted by Fleming Investment Management in 1989, then moved to Jupiter in 1996, where he remained until stepping down from his management positions in 2013. He formally retired in 2014.

What was his strategy?

Nutt considered himself a value investor, and was extremely reluctant to put money into companies that were trading at high multiples of their earnings. At the same time, he wanted them to be strong enough to pay good dividends that rose over the long run. His primary concern was with the fundamentals of individual companies, but he also focused his search on sectors that he felt offered particular value.

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Did it work?

Nutt's two main funds were the Jupiter Income Trust (JIT), which he ran from mid-2000 to the end of the 2012, and the Jupiter High Income Fund (JHIF), which he ran from 1996 to mid-2013. During his tenure, JIT returned 94.18% (5.45% a year), compared with only 43.99% for the FTSE 100 (2.96% a year).His time in charge of JHIF was even more successful, with £10,000 invested in it growing into £49,645 (9.77% a year).A comparable investment in the FTSE would only have been worth £30,185 (6.57% a year).

What were his biggest successes?

While at TSB, Nutt famously sold a large number of stocks days before the "Black Monday" crash. He also avoided expensively priced technology shares during 1999-2000 in favour of cheaper "old-economy" companies, which protected him when the bubble burst. He invested in resources firms after learningthat the growth of the Chinese economy was driving demand. After benefiting immensely from the run up in commodities, he sold out of the sector in 2007, thus avoiding the commodity price crash that followed the crisis of 2008.

What lessons are there for investors?

Avoiding fashionable stocks, coupled with a dogged search for value, can work over the long run. His success with miners shows unloved sectors can harbour hidden opportunities.

Dr Matthew Partridge

Matthew graduated from the University of Durham in 2004; he then gained an MSc, followed by a PhD at the London School of Economics.

He has previously written for a wide range of publications, including the Guardian and the Economist, and also helped to run a newsletter on terrorism. He has spent time at Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and the consultancy Lombard Street Research.

Matthew is the author of Superinvestors: Lessons from the greatest investors in history, published by Harriman House, which has been translated into several languages. His second book, Investing Explained: The Accessible Guide to Building an Investment Portfolio, is published by Kogan Page.

As senior writer, he writes the shares and politics & economics pages, as well as weekly Blowing It and Great Frauds in History columns He also writes a fortnightly reviews page and trading tips, as well as regular cover stories and multi-page investment focus features.

Follow Matthew on Twitter: @DrMatthewPartri