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14th winning year for fund star Miller

Legg Mason value fund manager Bill Miller has beaten the S&P500 index for an unprecedented 14th consecutive year despite lagging the market by 5.6 per cent as late as the end of October.

The $1bn Dublin-domiciled value fund, a mirror of Miller’s US-based $11.8bn value trust, posted growth of 4 per cent in sterling terms over 2004 against a 3.4 per cent return from the S&P500.

Miller’s record looked in jeopardy, with the fund 6.96 per cent behind its benchmark in August. In October, the fund was still trailing the index by almost 6 per cent.

Forsyth Partners’ research shows that Miller’s heavy weighting in tech and internet-based consumer discretionary stocks, such as ebay, which staged a late rally, enabled the fund to edge it. One holding, Expedia parent IAC, gained over 6 per cent in the last week of the year.

Miton Investments fund of funds manager Sam Liddle says: “There was a worry he was going to miss it. It is a fine achievement and he was well positioned for the market rally after the election.”

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Investment risks

The value of an investment and any income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Forecasts and past performance are not a guide to future performance. Some information and statistical data herein has been obtained from sources we believe to be reliable but in no way are warranted by us as to their accuracy or completeness. These are Neptune’s views and as such this document is deemed to be impartial research. We do not undertake to advise you of any change to our views.

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