Is to achieve significant growth in our investors’ wealth by investing in global equity markets, using a multi-manager approach.
Is to achieve an investment total return exceeding that of the Company’s benchmark over the long term, together with growth in the dividend ahead of inflation.
We aim to select exceptional third party managers who are expected to outperform their assigned benchmarks. Most of the managers are not open for investment by UK individuals, or not on the same terms. They manage approximately 90% of Witan’s assets. The remaining assets are invested directly by Witan’s Executive team, which is also responsible for the management of gearing, under delegated guidelines from the Board.
Relative numbers may not add up due to rounding.
† Source: Morningstar / Witan / FTSE, total return includes the notional reinvestment of dividends.
‡ The Net Asset Value figures value debt at fair value and include the notional reinvestment of dividends.
# Witan’s benchmark is a composite of 30% FTSE All-Share, 25% FTSE All-World North America, 20% FTSE All-World Asia Pacific, 20% FTSE All-World Europe (ex UK), 5% FTSE All-World Emerging Markets. From 01.10.2007 to 31.12.2016 the benchmark was 40% FTSE All-Share, 20% FTSE All-World North America, 20% FTSE All-World Europe (ex UK) and 20% FTSE All-World Asia Pacific. FTSE is a trade mark of the London Stock Exchange Group companies and is used by FTSE under license.
*Please remember, past performance is not a guide to future performance, and the value of shares and the income from them can rise and fall, so investors may not get back the amount originally invested.
Monthly Commentary - December 2019
Equity markets finished the year on a positive note as a key driver of investor sentiment (the ebb and flow of US-China trade negotiations) appears to be reaching the first stages of a positive resolution. There is, of course, many a slip ‘twixt the cup and the lip, so markets will keep a close eye on Washington and Beijing as the year unfolds. The UK (+3.3%) benefitted from Boris Johnson’s decisive election victory. UK equities remain relatively lowly valued and should benefit from the government’s ability to move ahead with the Brexit process and its ability to govern on other fronts, after the paralysis of recent years. A decisive improvement in the UK’s relative performance may rest on the government’s ability to assuage the lingering fear of a nodeal scenario. Elsewhere, Emerging Markets rose 4.5%, Asia was up 1.8% and Europe gained 1.2%. Despite a mediocre return in December, the US market (+0.6%) was 26.4% higher in sterling terms over the year, making it again the best performing major market.
As announced on 6 January, Lindsell Train has been appointed to manage a Global equity mandate in place of the UK equity mandate they have run with outstanding success for Witan since 2010. This appointment forms part of an evolution to a more global portfolio as signalled by the change in the Company’s benchmark which took effect on 1 January 2020. In addition to this reallocation, we undertook some portfolio rebalancing during the post-election euphoria, which has resulted in Witan’s UK weighting falling from 30.3% to 26.5% over the month. As noted above, we believe that the UK market remains attractively valued so further adjustments will be opportunity driven. As if to provide investors with a New Year wake-up call, the killing of a key Iranian general by the US military once again proved the unpredictable nature of global geopolitics. Whilst this act, from a President who has thus far been reluctant to engage in military action, led to a short-term spike in Oil and Gold prices, it had no significant initial impact on equity markets, although an escalation in tension and more significant impact on oil prices (which would act as a tax hike on all consumers) could trigger a greater setback. With this backdrop, we remain of the view that global equity markets, while more highly rated than a year ago, provide an attractive pool in which to fish for long-term investment returns. The key, as ever, is to be selective and patient.
How to invest
Witan’s shares can be traded through any UK stockbroker and most share dealing services, including online platforms that
offer investment trusts.
A growing number of platforms offer investment trusts directly to retail investors.
Advisers who wish to purchase Witan shares for their clients can do so via a stockbroker or via a growing number of dedicated platforms.
This marketing communication is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as constituting an offer or a solicitation to buy or sell interests or investments in Witan Investment Trust plc. Any reference to individual securities does not constitute a recommendation to purchase, sell or hold the investment.
Please remember that past performance is not a guide to future performance. Witan Investment Trust is an equity investment. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise as a result of currency and market fluctuations and you may not get back the amount originally invested. Investment trusts can borrow money to make additional investments on top of shareholders’ funds (gearing). If the value of these investments falls gearing will magnify the negative impact on performance. If an investment trust incorporates a large amount of gearing the value of its shares may be subject to sudden and large falls in value and you could get back nothing at all. The share price may trade above and below the NAV per share representing either a premium or discount to the share price respectively.
This marketing communication is issued and approved by Witan Investment Services Limited. Witan Investment Services Limited is registered in England no. 5272533 of 14 Queen Anne’s Gate, London, SW1H 9AA. Witan Investment Services Limited provides investment products and services and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Calls may be recorded for our mutual protection and to improve customer service.