Fund manager commentary
Both equities and bonds recorded positive returns during August. Comments from the governor of the Bank of England, following the recent meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, appeared to guide investor’s expectations towards the early part of next year for the first rise in interest rates. That and good inflation figures, pushed bonds higher but were also viewed positively by the equity market. A weakening of sterling relative to the dollar and generally good half year figures from UK corporates provided additional support for the equity market. An environment where sterling moves lower against the dollar and equity markets move higher is generally positive for the investment company sector where over half the assets of the sector are invested overseas and modest amounts of gearing can improve returns.
Against this background the FTSE All Share Index gained 2.2% over the month and the FTSE Equity Investment Instruments Index also gained 2.2% (both figures are total return). The net asset value of the Income portfolio rose by 1.5% whilst that of the Growth portfolio recovered strongly to record a gain of 2.3%.
As at 31 August 2014
The value of shares and the income from them is not guaranteed and can fall as well as rise due to stock market movements. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. When you sell your shares, you might get back less than you originally invested. If markets fall, gearing can magnify the negative impact on performance. Changes in rates of exchange may have an adverse effect on the value, price or income of investments. Emerging Markets, Unquoted Companies and Smaller companies carry a higher degree of risk and their value can be more sensitive to market movement; their shares may be less liquid and performance may be more volatile. The fund may invest in hedge funds or private equity funds which are not normally available to individual investors, exposing the fund to the performance, liquidity and valuation issues of these funds. Such funds typically have high minimum investment levels and may restrict or suspend redemptions or repayment to investors. The asset value of these shares and its prospects may be more difficult to assess.