Annual General Meeting

On 8 March 2022, the Chairman and Co-Portfolio Managers provided an update on markets, the performance of the Trust in 2021 and the outlook for the year ahead.

Capital at risk. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and are not guaranteed. Investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

Key insights:

  • The situation in Ukraine continues to create volatility. It has raised defence spending by governments and pushed energy prices higher.
  • Over the past 12 months, economically sensitive sectors have performed well, but it has been a tougher environment for defensive areas.
  • In contrast to the environment of economic recovery at the start of the year, inflationary pressures are now rising, demand is falling, and economic growth is slowing.
  • The portfolio has some natural defensiveness, given its focus on cash-generative companies with strong balance sheets, but also holds high weightings in defensive areas such as healthcare.
  • The Trust has modest gearing, reflecting the portfolio managers’ concerns on valuations at the start of 2022.
  • Dividends have resumed strongly, driven by the economic recovery and by several special dividends from the resources sector.

This material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or financial product or to adopt any investment strategy. The opinions expressed are as of March 2022 and may change as subsequent conditions vary.