Portfolio

This page lists my holdings as of February 2021.

Taking a themed approach

Most of my portfolio is in global investment trusts and funds but I’m also investing in a few themes that I like such as UK small-caps, technology, biotech/healthcare and infrastructure/renewables.

I also have a small position in a venture capital trust (VCT) but I tend to group that with my UK small-cap trusts as it largely invests in the same sort of companies.

Overall, my investments are somewhat weighted towards the UK. I reckon about 30% of my underlying holdings are UK-listed businesses, which is much higher than the 5% or so you’d get with a standard global tracker.

In addition to investment trusts, I also own an exchange-traded fund (Vanguard All-World ETF: VWRL) and a couple of open-ended funds (Lindsell Train Global and Fundsmith Equity).

My wife and children also have some investments in various global index trackers.

What’s not listed here

I sometimes hold one or two individual company shares but I don’t intend to list them here. They tend to be very small positions.

Likewise, I don’t plan to list any free shares I’ve been awarded by Freetrade.

In terms of other assets, a decent chunk of my net worth consists of residential and commercial property. Therefore, I am not 100% exposed to equities. I also keep the usual ’emergency fund’ of cash to cover unexpected expenses.

I don’t own any fixed-income securities (i.e. bonds/gilts) right now. That’s something I am thinking of adding, although it’s not an asset class that’s well served by investment trusts (the trusts that do specialise in debt tend to be rather esoteric).

My strategy

I don’t trade very often, typically just a few times a year, and when I do it’s usually to top up a holding I already own.

Some folks like to trade their investment trusts a bit more actively, taking advantage of discount moves, but I don’t tend to play that game. I’m looking for long-term trends and strategies where I can hold a position for several years at least.

As Charlie Munger famously said: “The first rule of compounding is never to interrupt it unnecessarily“.

Market timing isn’t my thing either as most evidence I’ve come across seems to show it’s extremely hard to do successfully on a consistent basis. That means I’m usually fully invested and I regularly reinvest my dividends.

I’ve written about my investing strategy in more detail, outlining what I am aiming to do and how I plan to do it.

And you can find my portfolio reviews here, where I track my performance against global and UK index trackers on a quarterly basis.

My portfolio

None of the trusts listed below, or anywhere else on this site, should be considered as buy, hold or sell recommendations.

I am not registered to give any kind of financial advice and what I think suits my investment purposes and my tolerance for risk may not be appropriate for others.

As the saying goes, you should always do your own research.

I’ve organised my list of holdings into themes:

Global

  • Caledonia Investments (CLDN)
  • Fundsmith Equity (Fund)
  • JPMorgan Global Growth and Income (JGGI)
  • Keystone Positive Change (KIT)
  • Lindsell Train Global Equity (Fund)
  • RIT Capital Partners (RCP)
  • Smithson (SSON)
  • Vanguard FTSE All-World ETF (VWRL)

UK Smaller Companies & VCT

  • Acorn Income Fund (AIF)
  • Baronsmead Venture Trust (BVT)
  • BlackRock Smaller Companies (BRSC)
  • Henderson Smaller Companies (HSL)

Technology

  • HG Capital (HGT)  #

# HG is a private equity trust but it’s very heavily weighted to technology. Purely for my purposes, I’m treating it as a tech trust.

Infrastructure and Renewable Energy

  • Bluefield Solar Income (BSIF)
  • Gresham House Energy Storage (GRID)
  • HICL Infrastructure (HICL)

Biotech & Healthcare

  • BB Healthcare (BBH)
  • International Biotechnology (IBT)
  • Worldwide Healthcare (WWH)

Recent outright sales

  • 2019 – City Of London Investment Trust (CTY)
  • 2020 – Murray International (MYI) and Princess Private Equity (PEYS)

Disclaimer

Please note that I may own some of the investments mentioned above -- you can see my current holdings on my portfolio page.

Nothing on this website should be regarded as a buy or sell recommendation as I'm just a random person writing a blog in his spare time and I am not authorised to give financial advice. Always do your own research and seek financial advice if necessary!


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14 Replies to “Portfolio”

  1. Thanks for that excellent review of HG Capital Trust. My investment journey with HGT is very similar. I started investing in the trust in 2008, took up the 2010 subscription offer and continued to add to my holding between 2012 and 2014. Then sold just over half of my shares in 2018 when they were trading on a discount of 6.7% compared with an average 17.7% over the last year. Since then the shares have continued to outperform and occasionally trade at a premium much to my chagrin. Not being well versed in the dark arts of Private Equity I appreciate your efforts explaining complicated things like ‘carried interest’, and the ways of valuing HGT’s investments, but am also very conscious that I have been very lucky with this trust.

    I have had a smaller holding in Harbourvest (HVPE) since 2017. Given the latter’s long-term performance, and its substantial discount relative to HGT, I would be interested in your thoughts on why there is such a wide divergence in discounts and whether HVPE might be a better long-term bet over the next 10 years.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on your investment trust holdings. They are really appreciated.

  2. Thanks Bill.

    HVPE isn’t a trust I’ve looked at in any detail before but I’m aware that HarbourVest has backed some pretty big winners in the past.

    I would guess that investors like the fact HGT is more focused (and where it is focused) whereas it’s harder to see through to the underlying holdings in HVPE. The latter’s discount has been 15-25% for a long time now, so I don’t think its current discount level is unusual and it seems pretty typical for private equity investment trusts, albeit a little harsh given HVPE’s record.

    The fact that HVPE doesn’t pay a dividend and uses US dollars as its base currency might put off some investors as well and maybe result in a slightly higher discount, although both these factors are pretty cosmetic.

    I think a few investors got burnt because of the high level of debt many private equity investments carried into the global financial crisis and so they still treat net asset values across the sector with a little suspicion, especially as the numbers are often only updated fully every 3-6 months.

    What’s more, there’s a long-running debate as to how good private equity returns actually are. Many reports suggest they don’t add any value (above global equities) once costs are taken into account, while other reports reckon they do or that the best returns are concentrated among a small group of super-firms.

    All that said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the discount gap between these two trusts was narrower a decade from now.

  3. This is a great blog with a wealth of information – thanks for sharing. I find your portfolio holdings very useful. Any chance you could put percentage figures/weighting’s against your portfolio holdings?

  4. Thanks, Dave. However, I’ve deliberately not put percentages against my holdings just in case that tempts the odd person into trying to copy what I do — I don’t think that would be a good idea for all sorts of reasons 🙂

    I usually just say that the global holdings tend to be largest and the themed stuff the smallest.

  5. No problem. Yours is an inspiring journey and I hope you continue to share it so we all can benefit from it.

    Any reason you have not considered either North America or Technology given the returns in the past?

  6. Hi Dave,

    I sort of do North America through global trusts as many of them have a hefty weighting towards this region so I don’t feel the need to add specific exposure on top.

    Generally, I’ve steered away from country and regional trusts in recent years as I think they’re harder to call than sectors. That said, China is one area I might make an exception for, as it seems underrepresented in most funds.

    Technology is something I have been thinking of adding for a while but the recent rapid gains have made a little cautious about starting a position. Again, I do get a fair amount of exposure through other trusts but delaying on this has definitely hurt my performance a little.

    I’m generally quite a cautious investor, though, and only make gradual changes to my portfolio each year.

  7. Thanks. I agree, China is underrepresented. I am interested to know which trusts you prefer when it comes to China.

  8. Hi Will, I guess it might be a better option if you’re planning to reinvest the dividends in the same ETF and want to avoid the expense of doing so, especially when smaller sums if involved.

    I haven’t looked into the specifics but I think income tax is still due on notional distributions it’s deemed to make, in the same way they are on the accumulation units of open-ended funds.

  9. Hi Dave,

    Only just seen this on Airbnb and the IPO has taken place now. It’s not a business I have ever looked at closely although we’ve used their service for a few trips in recent years. I like the fact it’s been around since 2008 and the founder/CEO is still there but yet to hit 40. The CEO also seems very highly regarded from what I’ve read in passing.

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