01 Feb 2012
Baillie Gifford trusts win gold, silver and bronze
At the beginning of this great Olympic year, Morningstar published ratings for investment trusts. Morningstar have been rating unit trusts and OEICs for many years. IFAs and private investors alike put considerable trust in the findings of their analysts often basing investment decisions on the fruits of their labour. Now they have cast their eyes on the investment trust sector and trusts will be rated for the first time since 1868!
Better late than never though, this move will allow direct comparison between the two collective fund structures – open and closed. The catalyst for this sudden interest in the sector is the Retail Distribution Review which will remove commission bias in favour of OEICs and offer investment trusts wider distribution on IFA's sales platforms. It should also help private investors in their research.
Morningstar make their decisions after judging a trust using five pillars of wisdom – people (manager skill), process (how he/she invests), parent (management company strength), performance and price. If a trust ticks all the boxes its gets a gold. Four ticks and it is silver and so on down to neutral for two and “no way” for one or less.
At the moment Morningstar have rated 30 odd of the 300 plus trusts in the sector including four managed by Baillie Gifford. Scottish Mortgage received a gold (one of only six handed out), Monks and BG Japan took silver, and Edinburgh Worldwide struck Bronze.
More trusts will be rated as time goes on and the quality of the research undertaken behind the service suggests that investors could do well to check out which ones are standing on the podium as the flags unfurl and the anthems play.
Please remember that the value of your investment can go down as well as up and past performance is not a guide to future performance.