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Global Equity Growth Portfolio: April 2024

Economists often use all available time or word count to explain the past, then offer a balanced view of the future. Ideally, investors would focus more on their long-term forecasts, valuations, and views, largely ignoring the near term. However, the average holding periods of equities have fallen dramatically over the last fifty years, from approximately five years in the 1970s to just a few months now. This trend makes it challenging to argue that many investors act in the long term. A shorter-term focus means that macro commentary can result in whipsawing markets. Understanding this requires an appreciation of how “Mr Market” thinks. In April, global equity markets declined due to fears that persistent inflation might lead to central bank interest rate increases, which, all else being equal, tend to be negative for equity prices.

The FTSE All World Index (USD) declined 3.1% during the month. The Ashburton Global Equity Growth Model Portfolio (USD) declined 2.6%. The portfolio’s best-performing stocks during the month were Sea (17.7%), Tencent (14.3%) and AstraZeneca (11.9%).

Sea, the Southeast Asian e-commerce, gaming and financial services provider, experienced higher margins in e-commerce and a jump in gaming revenues. Tencent also benefited from a seemingly more relaxed approach to gaming in China. We debate internally whether we are at an end of haphazard regulatory intervention in the nation, which given depressed earnings multiples and along with more positive economic data and favourable monetary policy could result in a more meaningful rally in Chinese equity prices generally. AstraZeneca released results ahead of expectations and enjoyed several late-stage clinical trial successes. The company remains reasonably valued based on the low-risk anticipated growth, largely due to the increasing use of their oncology medicines in adjacent cancers and at earlier stages of diagnosis.

On the negative side, the worst performing holdings were Wise (17.2%), Match (15.1%) and Align Technology (13.9%), who all posted declines. Wise reported a revenue increase of 24% which disappointed some overly optimistic forecasts. We remain excited about the prospect of material revenues from the recently announced SWIFT partnership. The Match share price declined after a more buoyant April due to the involvement of activist investor Elliot. Results are due in early May with expectations of slower user growth but higher average spending. Align Technology’s positive earnings release and increase in guidance proved positive on the day of announcement for the firm’s share price, but over the month this still declined perhaps with investors fearing a reduction in discretionary spending.

The path of monetary policy will continue to control the direction of markets; however it is likely that “Mr Market” will begin soon to look ahead to repercussions of the US elections. At present the outcome looks finely balanced. Taking a longer-term growth perspective and being valuation centred helps to navigate choppy waters ahead.

Longer-term views on underlying economic prospects generally look more positive. The International Monetary Fund assesses the global economy as having been more resilient than expected, with less permanent loss to economic prospects due to the pandemic. They continue to predict a gradual economic recovery and further disinflation, while highlighting the risk that an escalation of trade wars could have on prospects for all.


Waystone Management Company (Lux) S.A. is regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) (ref A00000395 & S00000734), Waystone Management Company (Lux) S.A. is a company located in Luxembourg, L-1273 Luxembourg at 19, Rue de Bitbourg. This document is issued by Ashburton (Jersey) Limited (The Investment Manager) which has its registered office at IFC1, The Esplanade, St Helier, Jersey JE4 8SJ, Channel Islands and is regulated by the Jersey Financial Services Commission. Ashburton Investments is a registered trading name of Ashburton (Jersey) Limited. In the event a potential investor requires material risks disclosures for the foreign securities included in a portfolio, the manager will upon request provide such potential investor with a document, outlining potential constraints on liquidity & repatriation of funds; Macroeconomics risk; Political risk; Foreign Exchange risk; Tax risk; Settlement risk; and Potential limitations on the availability of market information. The value of participatory interests and the income from them may go down as well as up and is not guaranteed. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to the future performance. Where an investment involves exposure to a currency other than that in which it is denominated, changes in rates of exchange may cause the value of the investment to go up or down. CIS portfolios are traded at ruling prices and can engage in borrowing and scrip lending. A full detailed schedule of fees, charges and commissions is available from Ashburton on request and incentives may be paid and if so, would be included in the overall costs. The manager does not provide any guarantee either with respect to the capital or the return of a portfolio. The manager has a right to close the portfolio to new investors in order to manage the portfolio more efficiently in accordance with its mandate. This document does not constitute an offer or solicitation to any person in any jurisdiction in which Ashburton Investments is not authorised or permitted to communicate with potential investors, or to anyone who would be an unlawful recipient. The original recipient is solely responsible for any actions in further distribution of this document and should be satisfied in doing so that there is no breach of local legislation or regulations. This is a marketing communication. Additional information about this product, including brochures, application forms and annual or half-yearly reports, can be obtained from the Manager, free of charge, and from the website: In South Africa, the Fund(s) is/are approved for promotion under section 65 of the Collective Investment Schemes Control Act 2002. The Fund Prospectus, and further information including pricing and changes, may be viewed at the Fund’s representative office in South Africa: Ashburton Management Company (RF) Proprietary Limited (“Ashburton CIS”), 3 Merchant Place, 1 Fredman Drive, Sandton 2196. Ashburton CIS is an approved collective investment schemes manager regulated by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority and a full member of the Association of Saving and Investments South Africa.