The True Wealth share portfolio, which I designed and ran for Fleet Street Publications from September 2005 to February 2007, would have achieved an outstanding total return of 56% by February 2008, assuming that the recommendations were still being held at that date. Indeed, even the steep decline in world markets during 2008 and early 2009 still left it outpointing the markets decisively: by November 2009 the TW portfolio was still up by 54%, compared with a 4% shrinkage in the FTSE-100 during the same period.
This 58 percentage point outperformance has resulted not just from a consistently successful process of share selection, but also from the application of a carefully-judged combination of top-down and bottom-up strategies. Yet the portfolio's recommendations only ever included large companies and liquid investment vehicles which could easily be accessed by a UK-based investor.
About a third of the 20-odd investments in the True Wealth portfolio are related in some way to the commodities and mining sector, and three of these companies have achieved two-bagger status for True Wealth’s subscribers. But the portfolio's shares also include several highly profitable industrials, as well as a number of international luxury brands which have proved highly resistant to periods of stock market uncertainty. Plus a number of well-chosen companies which are set to benefit from significant long-term shifts in consumer behaviour – for demographic, environmental or lifestyle reasons.
Three of the original 20 share selections came under takeover offers during the first 18 months of the True Wealth portfolio's life, resulting in an capital gains to True Wealth subscrbers of 25%, 36% and 105% respectively.
A six-month sortie into Japanese investment trusts brought True Wealth’s readers a 45% capital gain, after which it was sold at a historical peak in February 2006.
The picture by March 2009 appears less positive on first impressions, but in practice it shows that the defensive qualities of the portfolio are still coming through strongly. There are not very many professionally managed funds that can claim to have achieved a 58% outperformance on a diversified portfolio over this time period.
For copyright reasons, I am unable to list the full constituents of the True Wealth portfolio on this Web page; they may, however, be supplied by request, strictly subject to FSP's approval.
The outstanding growth of the True Wealth portfolio, and its resilience during a period of market turbulence, has been the product of long experience, careful research, and a profound understanding of macroeconomic and market factors. I should be pleased to consider any further requests to propose portfolio recommendations.