Japanese revival perks up returns for Premier

The £41.73m fund has edged above the average return seen in the Investment Management Association Flexible Investment sector at 24.29 per cent and is now in 16th place.

David Hambidge has been managing the fund as part of his remit as overall manager of Premier’s multi-asset team since July 2012, targeting equity-linked returns with lower volatility to achieve long-term capital appreciation.

The fund aims for a minimum 75 per cent exposure to equities and has a 16.3 per cent allocation to emerging market equities and a 14.4 per cent allocation to European equities.

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However it is the 17 per cent allocation to Japanese equities that has helped the fund benefit from the recent surge in shares and series of economic measures implemented by the country’s prime minister Shinzo Abe.

Its biggest holding is the GLG Japan Core-Alpha fund which has shown a positive performance of 43.8 per cent from 2012 to 2013.

The Premier portfolio has a total expense ratio of 1.99 per cent, with detailed costs including an annual management charge of 1.5 per cent and a maximum initial charge of 4 per cent. There is an initial investment of £1000 with additional investments of £500. It can be accessed through an Isa.

By contrast the Total Clarity Diversified Long Term Growth fund, part of the range offered by TCF Investment, has struggled to make an impact since launch. TCF was established by David Norman and Gary Mairs in 2009 to offer a low-cost and transparent alternative for investors and was acquired in June last year by Verbatim Asset Management, the fund management and financial planning arm of the SimplyBiz Group.

The portfolio aims to appeal to growth-seeking investors who are seeking a faster rate of capital growth than normal. It is mostly invested in equities at 82 per cent, has a 42.76 per cent holding in the UK, but also the US at 15.13 per cent and developed Asia at 11.53 per cent.

Its main investment is in the Vanguard FTSE UK Equity Index fund at 18.76 per cent, which invests primarily in UK blue-chip companies such as GlaxoSmithKline.

The fund had a TER of 1.69 per cent and an AMC of 0.4 per cent. The initial investment is £10,000 with additional investments of £1000. The fund cannot be used by Isa investors.

Adviser view: Juliet Schooling Latter, head of research for London-based Chelsea Financial Services, said: “A heavy weighting in Japanese funds has certainly aided performance in the Premier fund, as we’ve seen a stellar performance in this market over the past year and expect that to continue.

“I would have said that Total Clarity’s large holding in emerging markets has not helped its situation but Premier is even more heavily invested in this sector. The difference in performance must be down to clever stock selection on the part of Premier.”

Top Five Holdings:

Premier World Growth
GLG Japan CoreAlpha Equity - 5.47%
Lindsell Train Japanese Equity - 5.01%
JOHCM UK Opportunities - 4.74%
BlackRock Continental European - 4.71%
Lazard Developing Markets - 4.63%