Portfolio picks  

Why we are overweight the tech sector

However, this is much lower than the 170 times the shares were on at the beginning of 2018. It may sound extraordinary, but the fact is Amazon’s shares have got much cheaper in the past nine months, despite the share price going up nearly 75 per cent.

The reason for this is that not only are earnings growing very strongly, but the company is taking steps to grow its addressable market exponentially into sectors such as healthcare. 

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Recent additions to the portfolio include Intuit, the US accounting and tax software company, which is now expanding internationally on the back of its leading cloud computing offering.

We bought a holding in Diageo, the global beverage company, which is benefitting from strong market share positions in well established brands such as Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness, as well as growing new products - in particular, the fashionable Tequila brand Casamigos recently purchased from George Clooney.

Finally, we bought a holding in the Japanese chemicals company, Showa Denko. The company produces ultra-high performance graphite electrodes which are essential for electric steel production.

We believe that the market is overlooking a shortage of supply in the sector and an increased demand for this type of steel production which, together, should lead to strong pricing power.

We also added to an existing holding in Novo Nordisk. This company has long had an unrivalled franchise in diabetes treatment. In June it presented the results of its Oral Semaglutide trial, which confirmed strong efficacy with low side effects – apart from significant weight loss.  

The company is now trying to develop Semaglutide into an anti-obesity drug. If successful, it could be the biggest pharmaceutical product in the world. 

In conclusion, while we are acutely aware of the risks in the market, the data that we look at suggests that there is further upside in equity markets from here and we therefore maintain our overweight position. 

Alexandra Buchan is co-manager of the Waverton Portfolio fund