By Annabel Brodie-Smith
Well, what a week it has been! Dominated by the news about Neil Woodford’s open-ended fund and Donald Trump’s visit.
Firstly, the announcement of the suspension of Woodford Equity Income Fund demonstrates a very important difference between open-ended funds and investment companies when it comes to investing in assets which are difficult to buy and sell, known as illiquid assets. A listed investment company with a closed-ended structure is particularly suitable for investing in assets like unquoted shares, which are hard to buy and sell. This is because managers do not have to worry about money coming in or leaving the fund as investment company shares are bought and sold on the stock exchange.
So, if there is negative news the investment company’s share price will fall but the portfolio will be unaffected. Investors may not like the investment company share price which will have suffered but they can continue to buy and sell the investment company if they wish to. The investment company continues and lives to fight another day.
In contrast, open-ended funds do not work well for illiquid assets. The fund manager has to manage the portfolio to accommodate inflows and outflows, ensuring they have enough money available to give investors back their money. When the chips are down, the open-ended fund manager cannot sell the illiquid assets quickly enough to meet investor redemptions, despite retaining a cash cushion for these situations. An open-ended fund is forced to suspend trading so investors cannot buy or sell it. This inevitably brings bad publicity to the open-ended fund which is not helpful when it opens to trading again.
It’s an important lesson from the Woodford debacle and we’ve seen it before. During the financial crisis and after the Brexit vote, sentiment towards the commercial property sector plummeted as a number of open-ended property funds were closed or semi-closed to trading as managers struggled to meet redemptions. Investment company property share prices suffered but investors could continue to buy and sell them and when sentiment turned the share prices bounced back.
Secondly, the Trump visit. Trump, a well-known climate change denier, had a 90-minute chat with the Prince of Wales on his visit to the UK. This was much longer than the 15 minutes scheduled and we know from Trump that the prince did “most of the talking” on climate change. Whether the prince persuaded Trump of his concerns about climate change remains to be seen. But it’s highly appropriate that this month Compass is covering climate change. Do watch my interview below where I talk to Richard Crawford from The Renewables Infrastructure Group and Jon Forster from Impax Environmental Markets on the consumer and political pressure to prevent climate change and their outlook.
Jon Forster – Impax Environmental Markets, and Richard Crawford - The Renewables Infrastructure Group, discuss environmental markets, political regulation, public concern and how they approach these themes in their portfolios.
On climate change, fund manager, Mark Whitehead, of Securities Trust of Scotland explains the very real impact it has on his portfolio: “Whether we like it or not, every investment decision we now make needs to account for the effects of climate-related change.” Take a look at our piece examining how global managers are dealing with climate change.
The Renewable Energy Infrastructure sector has raised a record-breaking billion pounds this year. We talked to managers in this sector to find out about the wind farms, solar farms and energy storage where they are investing this money. They talk about the Extinction Rebellion protests and the regulatory response to prevent global warming. On the theme, Jon Forster, manager of Impax Environmental Markets discusses how his portfolio is capturing opportunities in companies that mitigate against and help us adapt to climate change.
Finally, Ian Cowie ignores the thorny issue of Brexit and looks at whether investors should be considering Europe. He discusses European investment companies and his own holdings in Europe and is of the view that: “seeking exposure to income, growth or a mixture of both from investment companies in Europe could prove to be one of the easiest deals in human history.”
I'm keen to make the most of my first summer in the country and spend lots of time outside walking, riding and gardening.
Wishing you a good June.
Communications Director, AIC
The heat is on
Managers explain their approach to climate change
With thousands of British children skipping school to protest about climate change in February and Extinction Rebellion occupying iconic sites in London and Edinburgh last month, public concern about global warming has never been greater.
Investment companies engage with businesses every day, deciding which ones to invest in and which ones to avoid. How are investment company managers approaching the issue of climate change in their portfolios and how are they engaging with investee companies on the subject?
Positioning portfolios for climate change
Mark Whitehead, Portfolio Manager of Securities Trust of Scotland, said: “Whether we like it or not, every investment decision we now make needs to account for the effects of climate-related change. For long-term investors like us, modelling climate-related impact becomes even more relevant considering the multi-decade trajectory of global warming.
“Widespread scientific consensus acknowledges that within the next 30 years global temperatures will be higher than human beings have ever experienced. Meanwhile, CO2 concentrations are at levels last seen over three million years ago and it is currently possible that by the end of the century the world will be 4°C warmer than pre-industrial levels.”
Paul Niven, Fund Manager of F&C Investment Trust, said: “Environmental, social and governance issues present both opportunities and threats to the long-term investment performance we aim to deliver to our shareholders. As stewards of over £3.7 billion of shareholder assets, and a voice as a shareholder in many companies, we have a duty to influence and support positive change. Of all the ESG issues we consider, climate change is one of the most important, both in terms of the scale of potential impact and in how widespread this impact could be across sectors and regions.
“In 2018 F&C Investment Trust disclosed its carbon footprint, in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. This measures the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by each investee company, per US$1m of revenue they generate. This is then aggregated for the trust as a whole, using the portfolio weights of the companies, and compared with the benchmark. The carbon footprint is a measure of the carbon intensity of the companies we invest in. Whilst it does not provide a full picture of climate risks, it is a valuable starting point both for analysis and for shareholder dialogue.”
“Whether we like it or not, every investment decision we now make needs to account for the effects of climate-related change. For long-term investors like us, modelling climate-related impact becomes even more relevant considering the multi-decade trajectory of global warming."
Mark Whitehead, Portfolio Manager of Securities Trust of Scotland
Andrew Bell, Chief Executive of Witan Investment Trust, said: “Although our stock picking is outsourced to external managers, we monitor and question those managers’ policies in the areas of environment, social and governance effects. We expect our managers to take full account of ESG risks in their assessment of the prospective returns when selecting investments. Whilst our priority is to deliver good investment returns to our shareholders, this needs to factor in the threats and opportunities from the growing body of evidence of climate change and the political and regulatory response to it.”
Craig Baker, Chairman of Alliance Trust’s Investment Committee and Global Chief Investment Officer of Willis Towers Watson, said: “At Alliance Trust, we believe that sustainable investment is central to generating successful long-term investment outcomes, and that climate change is a major part of that. The scale and systemic nature of climate change dictates that it is an important consideration for us when managing the trust portfolio. Engaging with companies to improve their standing on ESG and sustainability issues is a vital part of our role as investors.
“When selecting managers for Alliance Trust, we believe the best stock pickers are integrating ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors, not least climate change, into their investment processes. This not only applies when they pick their stocks, but also covers how they steward those investments on an ongoing basis. We interrogate their processes and portfolios to ensure that their ESG policies get put into practice, and that sustainability is a very real part of their decision making.”
Engaging with companies
Mark Whitehead, Portfolio Manager of Securities Trust of Scotland, said: “We see the necessary change towards a lower-carbon environment as an enabling opportunity for many businesses. The response to climate change, either through the need to mitigate the emissions of greenhouse gases or simply the adaptation to the increasing consequences of a warmer planet, are providing innovative companies with the scope for future development. From an investment perspective, we view this as an area of significant structural growth.
“For instance, take the research work that Dutch nutritional company DSM (held within our portfolio) is carrying out on animal feeds. Livestock accounts for between 14.5% and 18% of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. Staggeringly, if cattle were a country, they would rank third behind China and the United States as the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters1.
“In response to this problem, DSM has developed a feed additive which aims to reduce methane created through the digestive process of cattle. The product, called ‘Clean Cow’, is currently in registration phase and testing in New Zealand, and could create a market worth €1–3 billion2. The potential for uptake here is significant. Not only are more subsidies becoming available for farmers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, DSM also believes its methane-blocking product should boost efficiency and reduce costs, as less energy is used during the digestion process requiring less outlay on feed.”
Paul Niven, Fund Manager of F&C Investment Trust, said: “Royal Dutch Shell is one company we have engaged intensively with, holding ten meetings with its board and senior executives over the past three years. In 2018 we saw significant progress, with the company adopting strong ambitions to cut the net carbon footprint of its operations and its products and committing to link this to its pay policy.”
Craig Baker, Chairman of Alliance Trust’s Investment Committee and Global Chief Investment Officer of Willis Towers Watson, said: “We expect all of our stock pickers to undertake effective engagement and voting, and climate change is an obvious issue to be on their stewardship priority lists. But we recognise they have limited resources to do this, so we don’t stop there. With the pending appointment of Hermes Equity Ownership Services (HEOS), we will be able to enhance the stewardship applied to the Alliance Trust portfolio with HEOS’s industry-leading experts. Climate change continues to be one of HEOS’s top priority engagement themes, exemplified by their efforts as part of the Climate Action 100+ initiative where they are the lead or co-lead on 27 of the targeted companies. The appointment of HEOS will add a further layer of expertise and oversight, helping to enhance the application of ESG and sustainability principles.”
“We expect all of our stock pickers to undertake effective engagement and voting, and climate change is an obvious issue to be on their stewardship priority lists."
Craig Baker, Chairman of Alliance Trust’s Investment Committee and Global Chief Investment Officer of Willis Towers Watson
Increasing interest from investors
Paul Niven, Fund Manager of F&C Investment Trust, said: “Our shareholders have told us they are increasingly interested in this topic, and in response we have taken the step this year of publishing our portfolio carbon intensity figures. In 2018 F&C Investment Trust’s carbon intensity was 30% below the benchmark, the main reason being its smaller overall exposure to two sectors which have higher emissions intensity – energy and utilities.”
Andrew Bell, Chief Executive of Witan Investment Trust, said: “It is important that we remain attentive to both the risks and the opportunities. We expect the degree of political and regulatory scrutiny in this area to increase. On the one hand, this will create financial and operational risks for established companies, as society moves towards a more concerted approach to reducing the impact of pollution, in all its forms, on the environment. On the other hand, climate change, and the reaction to it, will open up opportunities for companies to benefit by providing solutions to mitigate or reverse its effects.”
Craig Baker, Chairman of Alliance Trust’s Investment Committee and Global Chief Investment Officer of Willis Towers Watson, said: “We have developed portfolio management tools that allow us to assess the resilience of the Alliance Trust portfolio to a range of sustainability issues, including the impact of specific climate change scenarios. We can also use this data as part of our continual monitoring of the stock pickers, challenging them on their holdings and ensuring that they are thinking about all the risks in their portfolios, as well as the potential opportunities out there. We strongly believe that all of our work on integrating sustainability in general, and climate change in particular, will help deliver better returns for Alliance Trust investors. Crucially, it will also help shape a better world in which to enjoy those returns.”
1 - Source: World Resources Institute. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of the license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
2 - Source: FactSet and Martin Currie, from company meeting.
Impax discuss how climate change offers investment opportunities
I think most people now accept that climate change is happening, but the extent to which the risks that it creates are reflected in investment portfolios is harder to ascertain.
In the last few years, discussion of climate risk has increased in the investment world. For instance, taking the impact of emissions regulation or carbon taxes into account in sectors like energy and building. To do so may seem obvious, yet just a few years ago very few investors considered these risks when making assumptions about future prices and volumes.
The financial impact of climate change is significant. The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) states that in the United States alone there were 30 weather and climate-related disasters that cost over $1 billion each between the start of 2017 and the end of 2018. In contrast, there were 31 events in the ten years between 1980 and 1990.
Climate change clearly represents a risk to financial returns, but it also presents opportunities for active long-term investors. At Impax we categorise climate change investment opportunities under two headings:
1. Mitigation – avoiding problems
Investing in companies that enable us to mitigate climate change by reducing our environmental impact, for instance energy efficiency, renewable energy, methane reduction and agricultural efficiency.
There is a perception lag in this area of investment. People continue to perceive subsidies as a key attraction, harking back to the days when solar was sold on the back of generous tax breaks. But tax breaks are short-term measures, long-term investors are far more interested in regulation than subsidies. As regulation tightens, emission or recycling targets for instance, new solutions are needed, and this accelerates growth.
Advances in technology often provide these solutions. We are currently seeing rapid growth driven by pure economics, not subsidies, in several areas including the industrial internet of things and electric vehicles (EVs).
2. Adaptation – coping with a more volatile climate
Investing in companies that enable us to adapt and meet the challenges of a changing climate, such as water infrastructure, grid strengthening, back-up power and food production.
Cape Town offers an example of the types of challenges climate change adaptation can present. The city’s population of circa 4 million people, suffered a period of drought that meant its main reservoir was close to zero in March 2018. As a result, residential water use was cut from around 120 litres per person per day in 2015 to 50 litres at the start of 2018.
With drought events more prevalent today than in the past, officials now need to invest in a range of measures including conservation and leak detection. In contrast flooding and storms represent different priorities, where protection and clean up are more pressing. The application of technology to cope with aggressive climate events and variable power generation and the development of more robust infrastructure, we believe, offers attractive long-term returns.
Climate change and the risks it presents to financial returns are real. To meet the challenges that it represents the global economy is already transitioning to a more sustainable model, offering growth opportunities that long-term active investors should find very exciting indeed.
Co-manager, Impax Environmental Markets
Managers delve into renewable markets and what they have to offer
ESG (environmental, social and governance) investment has been one of the biggest investment trends in recent years. 2019 has been a record-breaking year for fund raising for the Renewable Energy Infrastructure sector with £1.06bn of new money raised (IPOs and secondary issuance from existing companies) demonstrating strong investor demand. This figure includes the new launch, Aquilla European Renewables Income, which is due to list on 5th June.
Jon Forster, manager of Impax Environmental Markets, Richard Crawford, manager of The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG) and Ben Guest, manager of Gresham House Energy Storage, discuss environmental markets, renewable energy and how they approach these themes in their portfolios. Their thoughts have been collated alongside comments from Chris Tanner, director of John Laing Environmental Assets Group (JLEN).
Jon Forster – Impax Environmental Markets, and Richard Crawford - The Renewables Infrastructure Group, discuss environmental markets, political regulation, public concern and how they approach these themes in their portfolios.
Where are you investing recently?
Jon Forster, manager of Impax Environmental Markets, said: “We invest in four sectors; new energy, water, waste and sustainable food and agriculture. We look for companies providing compelling solutions to environmental challenges. For example, investing in companies offering products and services that help us to either adapt to or mitigate climate change.
“The main objective of our portfolio is to deliver strong risk-adjusted returns for our investors. However, as an outcome of the opportunities that we actively invest in, the portfolio delivers a net environmental benefit. Of the technologies in our universe, those that have the biggest net environmental impact are reverse vending machines and renewable energy.”
Richard Crawford, manager of The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG), said: “To date TRIG has invested in wind, solar and battery storage. Jädraås wind farm is an example of one of our more recent acquisitions. This is a large operational onshore wind farm in Sweden, capacity 213MW (megawatts), which we acquired in February. Jädraås is interesting because most of the revenues come from power sales rather than a subsidy, which demonstrates the success of renewables as costs have been coming down. In 2018, TRIG acquired several assets with highly contracted feed-in-tariff or contract-for-difference subsidy revenues, so Jädraås complements our existing portfolio nicely.”
Chris Tanner, director of John Laing Environmental Assets Group (JLEN), said: “JLEN has invested in a diversified portfolio of environmental infrastructure projects across a range of technologies, including onshore wind, solar photovoltaic, wastewater and waste management, and anaerobic digestion. We have recently been acquiring assets in the anaerobic digestion sector, such as Vulcan Renewables, a 5MWth (megawatt thermal) plant that uses energy crops as a feedstock and produces ‘green’ gas (gas created from biodegradable material that can displace fossil fuel gas) for the UK’s gas network, for which it earns an attractive inflation-linked subsidy. We are engaged in an upgrade project at Vulcan that will more than double its capacity, generating enhanced returns for investors.”
Ben Guest, manager of Gresham House Energy Storage, said: “The Gresham House Energy Storage Fund seeks to capitalise on the growing intraday supply and demand imbalances caused by our increasing reliance on renewable energy. The fund is aiming to provide investors with an attractive and sustainable dividend by investing in a portfolio of grid-connected, utility-scale energy storage systems located in Great Britain, which primarily use batteries to import and export power, accessing multiple revenue sources available in the power market.
“After the fund’s successful £100m IPO in November 2018, a portfolio of five operational seed energy storage systems projects was acquired, with a total capacity of 70MW. Of these, Project Staunch in Staffordshire and Project Roundponds in Wiltshire are the two largest at 20MW each. These two projects are typical of the fund’s investments. Set within a reasonably small compound of 1-2 acres, lithium-ion batteries function as the core component of the projects which store and release power almost immediately upon receiving the signal to do so.”
Richard Crawford, manager of The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG), said: “Recent climate change activism highlights the increasing public awareness of environmental issues. Whilst we do notice more shareholders prioritising sustainability, much of TRIG’s success to date has been based on its track record of achieving investor returns, which for us is intrinsically linked to its sustainable business model. Ultimately the positive outlook for the sector is supported by the long-term fundamentals behind the need to transition to a low-carbon future.”
Ben Guest, manager of Gresham House Energy Storage, said: “Energy generation in the UK is undergoing fundamental change. Older coal and gas-fired stations are being decommissioned and renewable energy is increasing its share of the energy mix. The growing public concern about the impact of power generation from fossil fuels on the health of the planet is certainly a key driver of this change. Demonstrations such as those organised by the Extinction Rebellion movement have demonstrated how passionately some sections of the public feel about the transition to renewable energy power generation and a low carbon economy. We are determined to be a part of the energy generation revolution and support the shift from finite resources to a clean energy world.”
Jon Forster, manager of Impax Environmental Markets, said: “In outlook terms, the case for environmental markets has never been stronger. However, where it gets really interesting is the addition of positive disruptions, because they really accelerate growth. The science of climate change is no longer in doubt and what is clear is that, on its present trajectory, the economy cannot react quickly enough to the climate challenges we are facing. Governments will turn up the ratchet of regulation, which will in turn encourage action – we’ve seen this most recently with the war on plastic, for which the regulatory response has been unprecedented. But there is also a clear need to adapt to climate change. I have been co-managing IEM for 17 years and the growth trajectory for environmental markets really has never looked as compelling to me as it does now.”
Chris Tanner, director of John Laing Environmental Assets Group (JLEN), said: “Investors are becoming more mindful of environmental concerns when considering investments, with some investors having specific criteria governing what they can and can’t invest in. The listed renewables sector has benefited from its ‘green’ credentials and the increasingly mainstream view that renewables will be a major part of the energy mix of the future. JLEN has recently undertaken environmental impact reports on each of its assets to provide investors with additional information on the benefits that the portfolio provides to the environment.”
Impact of politics and regulation – boost or hindrance?
Chris Tanner, director of John Laing Environmental Assets Group (JLEN), said: “The general political direction is undoubtedly a tailwind – public support for more environmentally friendly infrastructure is growing and is set to become a major part of the economy, supporting jobs and providing low carbon energy. Regulation can sometimes be a headwind, for example when Ofgem makes changes to the rules surrounding the electricity network that negatively impact renewable generators.”
Jon Forster, manager of Impax Environmental Markets, said: “The myth that environmental markets rely on environmental subsidies for returns persists. The reality is that we benefit from the tightening of regulation, and it isn’t just environmental regulation. Tightening standards in recycling, water quality, building regulations, emissions, food standards – you name it, they all demand more resource efficient solutions.”
Richard Crawford, manager of The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG), said: “Over the shorter term, politics and regulation can be a headwind if you are restricted to investing in certain markets. Geographic diversification and, in turn, diversification of regulatory risk remain some of the key pillars of TRIG’s strategy. We are able to invest in different markets and geographies depending on where the opportunities are. However, over the longer term, politics and regulation is a tailwind for our sector, with most governments and supranational organisations generally supportive of decarbonisation.”
“The general political direction is undoubtedly a tailwind – public support for more environmentally friendly infrastructure is growing and is set to become a major part of the economy, supporting jobs and providing low carbon energy."
Chris Tanner, director of John Laing Environmental Assets Group (JLEN)
Subsidy-free renewable energy as a viable investment – how long will it take?
Chris Tanner, director of John Laing Environmental Assets Group (JLEN), said: “Subsidy-free wind and solar is a viable investment now in particular circumstances, but the risk profile is different to the subsidised projects that came before. In particular, the nature of the electricity-selling arrangements can make a big difference – is the project subject entirely to movements in wholesale electricity markets, or has it been able to secure some other arrangement that insulates it, to an extent, from price risk? Unsubsidised assets are also younger than their more established subsidised cousins, and this can also increase risks associated with early-stage assets such as energy yield forecasts and performance optimisation.”
Richard Crawford, manager of The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG), said: “We believe that in certain geographies for the best sites it is already viable. For wind, the scale of the plant including the size of individual turbines is important, as well as strong and consistent wind levels. The climate favours wind in the northern latitudes like Scotland and Scandinavia, whereas solar is in the sunnier south such as Spain and Italy.”
Ben Guest, manager of Gresham House Energy Storage, said: “The UK’s exposure to renewable energy generation has increased significantly over the last few years and the pace has not lessened despite the removal of legacy subsidies to onshore wind and solar. This is largely because the development of offshore wind installations has continued apace. As a result, generation from wind is having a growing impact on the grid, generating a volatile supply of energy which underpins the opportunity for energy storage systems.
“Ultimately returns from energy storage systems can be generated from multiple revenue streams, are not correlated to the absolute level of wholesale power prices and not dependent
on any subsidies, so they represent an attractive opportunity for investors.”
From Europe with love
Ian Cowie makes the case for unloved companies in the EU
Whether or not Britain should leave the European Union and whatever happens with Brexit, individual investors should still consider some exposure to the biggest economic trading area in the world. Deal or no deal, income and growth opportunities do not end at Dover.
One of the main reasons for forming the first investment company more than 150 years ago was to bring overseas markets within the reach of shareholders of all sizes. That role – along with professional stock selection – remains an important attraction of these pooled funds today.
While the Association of Investment Companies’ (AIC) Europe sector lags behind the average for all conventional investment companies over the last year – delivering a share price total return of less than 4% compared to more than 9% – this may create value for medium to long-term contrarian investors who like to buy when others sell. Sometimes the first step toward making a profit is to buy low.
One way of trying to assess whether a stock market is cheap or expensive is to express share prices as a multiple of earnings per share. This price/earnings ratio can be further refined to take account of long-term trends in what is known as the cyclically-adjusted price/earnings ratio or CAPE.
On that basis, according to the German fund manager Star Capital, European equities or shares have an average CAPE of just over 19 compared to a global multiple of 24 and an American average of nearly 31. So Europe may be unloved and underpriced.
More positively, some companies have done much better than the industry averages for capital gains or income. For example, Jupiter European Opportunities (JEO) has delivered total share price returns of 93% over the last five years and 584% over the last decade, according to independent statisticians Morningstar. The comparable averages for all conventional investment companies are 86% and 317%.
"European equities or shares have an average CAPE of just over 19 compared to a global multiple of 24 and an American average of nearly 31. So Europe may be unloved and underpriced."
However, investors for whom income is a priority may be dissatisfied with JEO’s current yield - or dividends expressed as a percentage of share price – which is 0.8%. By contrast, Fidelity European Values (FEV) yields a sector average-beating 2.6% and JPMorgan European Income (JETI) yields 4.2%.
Income-seekers who are willing to venture into the European Smaller Companies sector – where businesses may be less diversified and more risky than larger rivals – can obtain a yield of 5.7% from European Assets (EAT). Full disclosure: I was an EAT shareholder for several years. Unfortunately, dividends may be cancelled or cut without notice. When the latter happened at EAT, I sold up.
Shareholders should beware that the price of a higher income today may be lower total returns tomorrow. While past performance is not necessarily a guide to the future, none of the high-yielding companies mentioned above can match JEO’s medium to long-term total returns.
Another consideration for investors who have direct exposure to trading companies as well as pooled funds is potential duplication. For example, my most valuable shareholding at present is Adidas, the German sports goods-maker. I also have substantial exposure to Nestle, the Switzerland-based foods giant; and Daimler, the maker of Mercedes cars.
JEO’s top 10 shareholdings include Adidas, while FEV has Nestle and JETI has Daimler. That’s partly why my current exposure to continental investment companies is obtained through Aberdeen Standard Life European Logistics Income (ASLI).
This company aims to provide income and capital gains from the growth of e-commerce by investing in warehouses and other logistics necessary to deliver goods bought online in continental Europe. Put another way, it hopes to profit as more of us spend more on the internet.
I invested at the initial public offering (IPO) of ASLI in December, 2017. While the share price has slipped 5% lower during the last year, each of the quarterly dividends paid by ASLI has been higher than the last and – if the most recent distribution is sustained – the annual yield would exceed 5%.
So I intend to remain a medium to long-term investor in ASLI and may obtain additional exposure to Europe via other investment companies focussed on this continent. While the political outcome of Brexit remains uncertain, seeking exposure to income, growth or a mixture of both from investment companies in Europe could prove to be one of the easiest deals in human history.
"While the political outcome of Brexit remains uncertain, seeking exposure to income, growth or a mixture of both from investment companies in Europe could prove to be one of the easiest deals in human history."