COUTTS MULTI ASSET FUNDS UK
Coutts multi-asset funds are a range of UK-biased funds that aim to deliver attractive long-term returns by investing in a broad range of asset classes such as cash, bonds, equities, commodities and property.
Second Quarter 2017
Performance slowed somewhat in the second quarter of 2017, but remained positive across all funds and remains solid over the year to date. Our positive position in equities continued to add to returns, in particular thematic holdings in healthcare and financials. Europe was another positive contributor, although being underweight US equity was negative as US equities continued to perform well across the quarter.
On the bond side, our positioning benefitted performance, especially our low allocation to government bonds as developed market government bonds sold off. Being overweight global corporates added to returns, and our allocations to commercial property and alternative investment strategieswere also positive.
Applying our disciplined investment process and core investment principles has continued to underpin our decision making:
- Patience – We have added to our healthcare equity theme as we believe it has strong long-term prospects, characterised by an above average earnings/revenue growth outlook. This is supported by long-term demographic trends in both developed and emerging markets which will support the expansion of healthcare companies.
- Macro-driven – Inflation is returning to developed economies, with central banks beginning to raise interest rates and tighten monetary policy. We have reduced the duration in our government bond holdings to reduce interest rate risk, and remain underweight in favour of corporate debt and alternative diversifiers.
- Quality – Our holdings in financial credit are focused on larger national banks where risks of default are very low and which have the backing of their governments. Our UK equity holdings are focused on quality FTSE 100 companies and larger companies in the FTSE 250.
|Fund returns, after fees (GBP Class A - distributing)||Defensive||Balanced||Growth||Equity Growth|
|Rolling 12 Months:|
|End Jul 16 to end Jul 17||9.8%||15.0%||19.0%||19.0%|
|End Jul 15 to end Jul 16||2.2%||-1.0%||-2.9%||21.8%|
|End Jul 14 to end Jul15||5.6%||5.7%||6.1%||5.7%|
|End Jul 13 to end Jul 14||7.7%||8.7%||9.0%||9.1%|
|End Jul 12 to end Jul 13||-||-||-||-|
|Blank cells represent periods prior to the funds launch|
|Source: Coutts/Thomson Datastream|
In May, we shifted our exposure in US energy infrastructure companies – or ‘Master Limited Partnerships’ (MLPs) – from a passively managed ETF to and actively managed fund. As oil prices stabilise, we think that an active manager will be better able to find value in this sector than simply following the index. We also locked-in gains made from the fall in sterling by selling a dollar-denominated share class and buying sterling hedged shares.
In June, we reduced risk across our funds by reducing our exposure to emerging market equity and high yield debt. We see emerging markets as economically sensitive and Asia ex-Japan and China are showing signs of having peaked, while high yield valuations are at the higher end of their historical range. We used proceeds to increase our holdings in our healthcare equity theme – which has more defensive characteristics and is supported by long-term demographic trends – and investment grade bonds.
As a further defensive measure, we added to our holdings in market neutral investment strategies, topping up holdings in defensive mandates and adding the strategy to our balanced mandates. The low volatility and low drawdown characteristics of this strategy make it a solid defensive play.
(Please note: not all fund additions will be relevant for all funds)
27-Feb-2023As the new tax year approaches, you might want to know about possible changes to what you’ll pay in tax. In his Autumn Statement last November, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a series of tax freezes and adjustments. While there are no personal tax rises, the fact that some rates have been frozen following a year of rising prices means we’re likely see more people fall into the higher rate category and find themselves paying more tax as wages increase.