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 15% FTSE All Share and 85% FTSE All World. From 01.01.2017 to 31.12.2019 the benchmark was 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 - 29 February 2020
Global equity markets (as measured by the FTSE All World Index) hit an all time high on 12 February having recovered from January’s concern surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus’ impact on China and its economy. However, just as the rate of growth in Chinese infections appeared to be slowing, news of outbreaks elsewhere (particularly in South Korea, Italy and Iran) catalysed a market correction. The severity of this setback which, at the time of writing, remained ongoing, was perhaps exacerbated by the need for a period of consolidation given the elevated nature of some equity prices.
It is too early to predict the economic impact of the virus or, more pertinently, the effect of potentially invasive government measures to limit its spread. One silver lining is that the growth of the epidemic in China has continued to slow. However, the increased number of countries affected means that the spread of the global epidemic is hard to forecast and likely to prolong economic disruption. This will require a policy response, to prevent the impact on individuals and businesses from developing into a fully-fledged recession. There were signs by early-mid March that this response (in the form of rate cuts and increases in government spending) was underway, with the objective of underpinning a recovery once the immediate impact of the epidemic has passed.
February was a busy month for Witan. As signalled in our December factsheet, we had begun the process of reallocating assets to managers with a greater global outlook, primarily at the expense of the UK and Europe. This continued throughout February with additional money withdrawn from Europe and Asia being allocated to Global mandates and, temporarily, to a US Equity ETF. This is a low-cost index fund which allows us to increase our investment in US equities while the process of selecting and allocating to global active managers continues.
In February, Witan also announced a fourth interim dividend of 1.825p per share. The dividend will be paid on 3 April 2020 to those who were on the register at 28 February. This makes a total dividend of 5.35p in respect of 2019, an increase of 13.8% and an annualised growth rate of 9.8% over the last decade.
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.