Buoyant UK equities lift Hargreaves fund

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A strong UK equity stance has helped the Hargreaves Landsdown Multi-Manager Equity and Bond Trust to outperform its sector consistently over the past three years, according to FE.

The £193.9m portfolio invests in a core list of favoured equity, bond and total return funds which offer potential for income and growth, according to its latest factsheet, returning 29.35 per cent in the past three years, placing it seventh in the Investment Association’s Mixed Investment 20-60 per cent share sector.

Fund managers David Smith and Lee Gardhouse have a 50.2 per cent equity allocation, with a bias towards UK equity funds, which they say offers relatively attractive income in a low-interest-rate environment. The dividend yield, which is paid monthly, is 2.25 per cent.

The CF Woodford Equity Income Fund is its largest holding, at 14.8 per cent. This is followed by Artemis Income, at 6.9 per cent; and Threadneedle UK Equity Alpha Income, at 6.1 per cent.

The portfolio has a 27.5 per cent fixed income allocation. The managers said they maintain a cautious stance towards bond markets, reflected in an increase to its exposure to the Invesco Perpetual Tactical Bond Fund.

The managers maintain a preference for strategic bond funds, which can provide shelter from potential troubles. With UK government bonds ending the quarter with a 0.4 per cent rise, and losses to corporate and high-yield bonds, the defensive positioning allowed it to outperform its peer group, according to its factsheet.

The fund’s minimum investment is £100 and its ongoing charge is 1.44 per cent.

In the same peer group, the Barclays Wealth Global Markets Fund aims also to provide growth over the medium to long term with an ongoing source of income, according to its latest factsheet.

The portfolio also has a 55.1 per cent equity exposure, with a developed markets bias, at 45.7 per cent.

The next biggest allocation are high-yield and emerging market bonds, at 13.7 per cent. It also has a 12.8 per cent exposure to global investment-grade fixed-interest, and 5.5 per cent in developed government bonds.

It has 12.9 per cent in cash and short maturity bonds.

The objective of the management team is to gain access to the global market by investing in a range of underlying indexed funds including ETFs.

The £15.3m portfolio has underperformed the sector, returning 11.95 per cent in the past three years, placing it 15th in the sector, according to FE.

The portfolio’s top holdings are the Vanguard Global Stock Index Institutional, at 18.4 per cent; iShares MSCI World Hedged UCITS ETF, at 18.2 per cent, and the iShares Global Corporate Bond, at 12.8 per cent.

The fund’s minimum investment is £500, and the ongoing charge is 1.6 per cent.

HL Multi-Manager Equity and Bond Trust Barclays Wealth Global Markets Fund
CF Woodford Equity Income 14.8%Vanguard Global Stock Index Institutional 18.4%
Artemis Income 6.9%iShares MSCI World Hedged ETF 18.2%
Invesco Perpetual Tactical Bond Fund 6.7%iShares Global Corporate Bond 12.8%
Threadneedle UK Equity Alpha Income 6.1%BlackRock Emerging Markets Index 9.6%
Jupiter Strategic Reserve 5.6%HSBC ETF HSBC MSCI World 9.1%


Ben Willis, investment manager at Bristol-based Whitechurch Securities, said: “The HL MM Equity and Bond Trust uses the active managers within the fund, using tried and trusted household names that can demonstrate long-term track records. It is the choice of complementary funds and asset classes that has seen this fund deliver exemplary performance and at a keen price. HL’s presence in the market means they have managed to negotiate superclean prices on the active funds used within this fund, and so the OCF comes out at less than 1.5%.

“The Barclays Wealth Global Markets Fund has been consistently poor, and for those invested in it – get out as soon as you can. With such dismal performance, it is hard to see any catalyst for change. The fund adopts a passive approach, using ETFs and index trackers but the OCF is still over 1.5%! That is a lot to pay for the relative meagre returns. There are so many better alternatives out there for investors seeking this type of investment.”