Many global stockmarkets have risen by more than 10%, although the UK market has been a relative laggard because of Brexit concerns compared to those in Europe, America and some parts of Asia. The main driver for equity markets has been expectations of easier monetary policy and the avoidance of a global recession, notwithstanding trade wars. At the same time, bonds have delivered solid returns, as they have benefited from falling interest rates and investors’ risk aversion.
Given markets’ gains this year, it is important to assess whether they are still attractive. Many stockmarkets are at or close to all-time highs. This tends to be accompanied by media commentary expressing the view that markets are ‘too high’. We would disagree. We need to assess prospective returns based on their valuation which, despite recent strong performance by some markets, such as the US, has only led to a modest deterioration in their outlook. Putting market returns into context, the focus on ‘year-to-date’ ignores the poor performance at the back end of 2018. We continue to prefer equities over other asset classes such as bonds and cash, on a medium-term view, in light of the very low level of interest rates.
Past performance is not a guide to future performance.
NAACIF converts to a new structure
At the Extraordinary General Meeting on 4 October, it was confirmed that 99% of shareholder votes received had voted in favour of M&G’s proposals to convert the NAACIF Almshouses Fund into the new Charity Authorised Investment Fund (CAIF) structure. The target date for completion of these changes is Monday 18 November.
Commenting on the changes, Richard Macey, Director of Charities at M&G, said “We are delighted to have received such resounding support from our existing almshouses investors to proceed with the changes we have proposed. I am confident that the new fund, to be re-named The M&G Charity Multi Asset Fund, will continue to provide almshouses with consistent and competitive returns for their long-term reserves. The key aspects of these changes that I would draw trustees’ attention to are threefold: first, the fund manager will have a wider choice of different global assets from which to construct the portfolio, thereby increasing diversification; secondly, we are opening access to all UK charities; finally, we are reducing our annual charges from around 0.60% to 0.50% per annum. M&G remains absolutely committed to helping our almshouses clients make the most of their endowments and, after 57 years under the NAACIF fund banner, I am very much looking forward to an exciting future under the new regime.” If individual investors have any further questions regarding these plans, please contact Richard Macey directly on 020 3977 3623 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The value of the fund's assets will go down as well as up. This will cause the value of a charity’s investment to fall as well as rise and it may receive back less than it originally invested.
We are unable to give financial advice. If you are unsure about the suitability of your investment, speak to your financial adviser. The views expressed in this document should not be taken as a recommendation, advice or forecast.