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Julian Gibbs

Three years ago, a typical private investor&#39s portfolio of 10 shares might have consisted of Marks & Spencer, ICI, British Airways, Boots, Rentokil, Great Universal Stores, Bass, Halifax, Sainsbury and Lloyds TSB. If you had invested equally in all these shares, you would have lost 29 per cent of your money. M&S and ICI were the worst performers, with M&S down by over 60 per cent and ICI by over 59 per cent.

On the other hand, if you had invested in a unit trust that equalled the average performance of the UK all companies sector, you would have made over 26 per cent.

The top five performers in the FTSE 100 – Logica, CMG, Sage, Spirent and Capita – are nearly all technology, media and telecomm-unications stocks – companies barely heard of three years ago. Of the well-known blue chips, only Royal Bank of Scotland is among the top 10 performers.

I believe it is the duty of IFAs to point out to clients with ordinary shares how much the investment world is changing and that it is worth at least using up the husband and wife&#39s capital gains tax allowance each year by taking profits on individual shares and reinvesting in well-managed unit trusts.

While the outlook for the UK market generally is not particularly exciting, the best managed trusts should be well ahead of the field. My favourites, both managed by Nigel Thomas, are ABN Amro UK growth, up by 144 per cent over three years, and Solus UK special situations, up by 222.3 per cent over the same period. The latter fund is more volatile and slightly more risky and both have above-average volatility.

Where less volatility is required, I like Baillie Gifford British 350 and Fidelity special situations.

Investment IFAs really do add value and lower the risks for private investors.


Quester sticks with proven VCT record

Quester is looking to capitalise on the resurgence of technology related investments with the introduction of its fourth version of the venture capital trust, VCT 4.It is aimed at investors who want to reduce the amount of tax that they pay and at the same time are willing to put up with a high degree […]

RSAIFS introduces UK planning pack

Royal & SunAlliance International Financial Services is launching a UK inheritance tax planning pack. The pack has a general guide to inheritance tax including sections on rates, allowances and mitigation techniques. It also contains information about RSAIFS&#39 gift, loan and capital access trusts with an advisers guide. RSAIFS technical services consultant Brendan Harper says: “The […]

Online IFA adds GPPs to internet offering

Online pensions IFA is offering employers a choice of stakeholder-friendly group personal pension schemes through an online service.The IFA says advisers may need to follow its lead and look to the internet as the key communication channel to clients.The service allows sch-emes to be selected, installed and offered comp-letely is also planning to […]

Merrill sponsors Chelsea

Giant fund manager Merrill Lynch is to sponsor this year&#39s Chelsea flower show. The four year deal, will last until the Royal Horticultural Society&#39s bicenteniary year in 2004. As part of the deal, Merrill will have its own show garden.

What exactly is product innovation?

By Fiona Tait, Pensions Specialist Ros Altmann reportedly hoped for more product innovation following pension freedom¹ and, according to one poll, 66 per cent of advisers also believe that providers should be doing more². This article considers whether there is a real client need for new products, or whether we should be focusing our attention on efficient delivery […]


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