Stocks and shares round-up spring 2019

Merryn Somerset Webb / 01 May 2019

A look at stocks and shares this spring with Merryn Somerset Webb.

Don’t run with the crowd

With global economic conditions uncertain – and global political conditions even more uncertain – now might be the time to put your cash with the kind of fund managers who don’t run with the crowd.

An easy way to do this is to buy shares in Alliance Trust. This gives you cheap exposure to eight managers, all running focused, high- conviction, genuinely active portfolios of about 20 stocks. No index tracking here.

Recent performance has been good; the costs are low; and, crucially, ordinary investors can’t invest in funds run by many of these managers any other way. And the icing on the cake? The dividend has risen every year for 52 years.

Going global

UK investors are a global thinking lot, holding just 30% in home stocks. That might not be a bad idea at the moment – Brexit panic has made some companies in the UK look too cheap. But if you hold much more than that here you might want to diversify abroad a little.

A high-quality place to start is with the Murray International Trust. It is low cost (annual management fee 0.5%), globally diverse with a mild bias to emerging markets, and comes with a yield of more than 4%.

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Widen the net

Earlier this year, one of the globe’s investing greats died. Jack Bogle pioneered the idea of passive investing – not bothering with individual stock picking but buying a little of everything in an index. Don’t look for the needle, he said, just buy the haystack. In doing so, he brought cheap, easy investing to the masses.

Want diversified and cheap access to global equity markets? Pay tribute to him with the Vanguard LifeStrategy Equity 100% Fund.

Merryn Somerset Webb is editor-in-chief of Money Week. Her views are personal - always seek professional advice. 

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The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.