Weekly financial advice tip – the importance of continuity of management

5th August 2013

In the first of a series of weekly advice tips from a roster of Mindful Money experts, fund picker and senior investment manager at broker Hargreaves Lansdown, Adrian Lowcock, looks at the Jupiter UK Growth fund and whether it is right for you.

Continuity of management is important when looking at a fund and assessing its performance but it is a rare thing these days.

Fund managers move around regularly, making it difficult for investors to track their progress.

Finding a manager staying in his role for the long term and showing little sign of wanting to move on is difficult.  Ian McVeigh is just such a fund manager.  He recently celebrated his 10th anniversary on the Jupiter UK Growth fund. Over that past decade, the fund has grown by approximately 215 per cent compared with 144 per cent for the FTSE All Share Index.

The fund has also outperformed its benchmark over one, three and five years, but it has not all been plain sailing. Despite going into the financial crisis of 2008 with an underweight position in banks Mr McVeigh did not appreciate the extent of the problems or the economic dislocation that was to follow.

In the subsequent recovery his experience, both from his time at Jupiter and his previous role at Schroders, came into its own. He is a genuinely contrarian investor who looks at what others are selling and tries to gauge how much bad news is already in the price and what the likelihood of recovery might be.

By early 2009 he believed the banking sector had reached this stage and he started buying Barclays at a time when most other investors maintained a strongly negative view. It might not have been a smooth ride, but the decision ultimately proved fruitful.

He is not afraid to back his ideas with conviction and this is a concentrated portfolio that bears little resemblance to the benchmark. To be a true active manager you have to do something different to your peers and Mr McVeigh has always been willing to stand apart from the crowd while sticking to his guns and buying great companies under appreciated by the wider market.

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