• Global equity markets had a positive month and continued to rally during the last quarter of the year. Global equities, as measured by the FTSE All World Total Return Index returned 4.7% for the month and just over 16.5% for the year. During the past quarter, a new strain of COVID-19 was discovered, and infection rates increased drastically around the world, yet investors looked past this negativity, boosted by the US election results and positive news on COVID-19 vaccines.
• Government bonds as measured by the FTSE WorldBIG Index also had a positive return for December and for the calendar year 2020, returning 1.24% and 9.47% respectively.
• The Ashburton Global Strategy Fund priced for the last time in December and for the year, returned a satisfactory +2.72% (this is the NAV on NAV move between the 25 November and the 30 December). This brings the performance for 2020 to 6.71%.
• Within the equity bucket, Lyrical outperformed the benchmark for the month returning 7.2% for December, bringing the calendar year performance to 10.3%. This is a good result, given the large drawdown suffered during the Q1 COVID crash. For the fourth quarter, 94% of the investments posted gains, and 88% outperformed the S&P 500.
• The property manager, AB, had a positive return for December of 4.2% and -6.0% for the year, outperforming its benchmark.
• Both fixed income funds, Franklin Templeton Global Total Return Fund and Colchester Global Bond Fund posted positive returns of 1.2% and 2.2% respectively for the month. Colchester managed to outperform the benchmark on a one-year basis.
• The Ashburton Global Strategy Fund reflects the macroeconomic house view of Ashburton Investments. From a tactical asset allocation perspective, changes were made during December to the exposure to equities which was increased by 2%, resulting in the allocation to cash decreasing.