Investment update: History in the making
Mohammad Kamal Syed, head of asset management at Coutts, reflects on markets in 2020 and takes a look at how investment portfolios and funds have performed.
3 min read
We are living through extraordinary times. Many of us are experiencing this every day with our usual working and social pattern disrupted as we unite to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
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We're not immune, but we’re holding a steady position
Our portfolios and funds, of course, have had to face the reality of falling markets. We know how disturbing it can be to see the value of your investments fall.
But our process is working and we have been able to cushion the investments we manage from the worst of the falls. For example, since the start of the year, UK equities have lost -23.9% (MSCI UK, total return, to 31 March); by contrast, the average Coutts sterling balanced portfolio lost -10.3% over the same period.
Our holdings in government bonds have done what we expected them to and provided ballast as markets have fallen. UK gilts returned 6.9%*over the first three months of the year (total return, to 31 March 2020).
Holding a broad range of global equities has also helped. US equities have fallen less sharply than UK equities while our emerging market allocations have also fared better over the year to date. Currency has played a role, with a fall in the value of the pound against other currencies boosting returns from overseas assets for sterling investors.
We have also seen the actively managed equity funds we invest in fall less than equities generally over the period of volatility, particularly those invested in technology companies.
And in the longer term, returns are still ahead of peers.
MOHAMMAD KAMAL SYED
Head of Asset Management
|Coutts investment performance|
31 March 2015 to 31 March 2016
|31 March 2016 to 31 March 2017||31 March 2017 to 31 March 2018||31 March 2018 to 31 March 2019||31 March 2019 to 31 March 2020|
|Coutts balanced portfolio||-3.0%||15.9%||3.0%||3.3%||-4.2%|
|Coutts Multi Asset UK Balanced A GBP Inc||-5.9%||16.3%||1.9%||2.8%||-4.8%|
|Personal Portfolio Fund 3 – Medium Risk||n/a||n/a||1.4%||5.4%||-5.3%|
Return data for funds are calculated net of fees, in sterling and assumes reinvestment of dividends. Past performance should not be taken as a guide to future performance. Balanced portfolio performance figures are composite returns from the actual portfolios of all clients shown on a total return basis and quoted net of all fees. For the composite performance calculation, individual portfolio monthly returns are asset-weighted based on their respective asset values at the beginning of the month.
Blank cells represent period prior to that fund’s launch on 1 June 2016.
Source: Coutts & Co, 31 March 2020.
When investing, past performance should not be taken as a guide to future performance. The value of investments, and the income from them, can go down as well as up and you may not recover the amount of your original investment.
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