NAV on 2021/02/25
|NAV on 2021/02/24
|52 week high on 2021/02/17
|52 week low on 2020/03/24
|Total Expense Ratio on 2020/12/31
|Total Expense Ratio (performance fee) on 2020/12/31
Discovery Life Collective Investments (Pty) Ltd.
South African--Multi Asset--Low Equity
Peer group average, measured over rolling 3-year periods
Chris is the co-head of SA Equity & Multi Asset within the 4Factor team at Ninety One. He is the lead portfolio manager for our SA multi-asset strategies. He joined the firm in 2005 having left Futuregrowth Asset Management, where he served as head of equities and portfolio manager from 2001. When he first joined RMB Asset Management (RMBAM) in 1993, he spent nine years as an analyst, portfolio manager and ultimately, director. During this time, he managed a number of portfolios including balanced portfolios for many retirement funds, as well as the RMB General Equity Unit Trust. Still with RMBAM, he relocated to Cape Town in 2000 to take responsibility for the Public Investment Corporation equity portfolio outsourced by Futuregrowth, before formally joining Futuregrowth in 2001. Following the completion his articles, he joined JD Anderson stockbrokers as a banks/insurance analyst in 1990. Chris graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Commerce degree and holds a Bachelor of Computations (Certificate in Theory of Accounting) degree (with Honours) from the University of South Africa. Chris is a Chartered Accountant (SA) and is also a CFA Charterholder.
Hannes Van Den Berg
Hannes is the co-head of SA Equity & Multi-Asset within the 4Factor team at Ninety One. His focus is on the General Equity and Balanced strategies and equity hedge funds. Prior to joining the firm, Hannes was a portfolio manager at Fairtree Capital. He was also an analyst and head of the equities trading desk. Before that, he held various positions within the Sanlam Group, including being a founding member of MiWay Insurance and member of the Group Corporate Finance team. Hannes completed his articles at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Hannes holds a Bachelor of Accounting Honours as well Bachelor of Accounting Masters degree from Stellenbosch University. Hannes is a Chartered Accountant and CFA Charterholder.
Discovery Cautious Balanced comment - Sep 15
Portfolio review Equity markets were volatile in the third quarter of 2015, particularly emerging markets — emerging market equities significantly lagged their developed market counterparts, as the MSCI World Index fell 8.4% while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index declined 17.9% in US dollar terms. This resulted in the sharpest emerging market equity drop since the third quarter of 2011 and, also, the lowest MSCI Emerging Markets Index level since the global financial crisis. South Africa was not left unscathed, performing in line with its peers. After a long period of robust and above-normal returns, periods of volatility and uncertainty around significant policy shifts are not entirely surprising. Currently, the global economy does not reflect a homogenous story of improving growth and rising inflation.
China is arguably the largest contributor to global growth concerns. Recent economic data points to further rapid deceleration, a trend which began almost two years ago. The collapse in commodity prices and Chinese equity markets - the latter occurring following a recent meteoric rise - continues to spill over into global markets.
Our positioning within the resources sector contributed positively to peer-relative performance: not holding the likes of Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Glencore helped as these shares were hurt by falling commodity prices. Meanwhile, our continued overweight exposure to global cyclical industrial shares Mondi and Steinhoff International also added to returns. Our more cautious asset allocation, reflected by our circumspect positioning toward ‘risk’ or growth assets, proved helpful amid heightened volatility. To this end, our overweight fixed income exposure added value as bonds generated positive returns over the quarter. Also, our offshore component was positioned more defensively. This strategy was beneficial as our sizeable cash allocation and significant US dollar skew reduced overall volatility and provided some downward protection. Overall, our offshore exposure was also aided by the tailwind of a weaker rand.
Given the prevalent ‘risk-off’ environment, our underweight allocation to large-cap defensive stocks detracted from peer-relative returns. British American Tobacco and SABMiller were large beneficiaries of negative market sentiment. The latter was further supported by an approach from Belgian-based mega brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, with the intent to make a firm offer to acquire it.
Portfolio activity As markets collapsed in late August, we increased our equity exposure into weakness by deploying most of our US dollar cash position in favour of European equities. In our view, the region continues to provide attractive stock investment ideas, within an environment that is experiencing a broadbased recovery in economic activity. Our sector biases are similar to those we have within our local equity component, away from energy and materials, and toward industrials and select financials. Meanwhile, our allocation away from the US dollar continued. Since its peak in March this year, the currency has tracked sideways, largely held up by prospects of further monetary stimulus in Europe and Japan. While we do not disagree, we argue the euro/dollar adjustment has priced in much of the potential monetary easing. Locally, we added to our fixed income exposure, which now comprises a significant portion of our portfolio, while recognising the serious headwinds facing both the economy and, in particular, the fiscus. Against a backdrop of low global bond yields and a sharp rand sell-off, the prospect of real returns from local debt is attractive in our opinion. Within local equities, we continued to trim some of the larger positions, including FirstRand, Standard Bank Group and Sanlam. We also added Richemont and Vodacom Group on the back of improving earnings outlooks from operational activity.
Portfolio positioning Earlier, we cited the high levels of market volatility and uncertainty surrounding potential policy moves. We recognise the environment for outlandish returns has deteriorated, while simultaneously the potential for somewhat tighter US monetary policy in the near future is ever increasing. Counterbalancing the headwinds is the significant downward price adjustment of assets that are most vulnerable should the global environment deteriorate. Furthermore, the usual inflationary pressures that have historically resulted in much more coordinated tightening by policymakers and a subsequent global slowdown remain largely absent. We maintain a medium level of risk in the portfolio, seeing ample opportunity across a broad set of investments, both in South Africa and abroad.
Within South African equities, we believe opportunities for now remain within the industrials and financials sectors, where companies are seeing improvements in their profit outlooks relative to historical consensus. But within these sectors, we maintain our underweight allocation to companies that are significantly exposed to the domestic economy. Our positions in Mondi, Steinhoff International and, most recently, Richemont all benefit from the improving European growth environment.
In line with our investment process, we will continue to add exposure to companies receiving operationally driven, positive earnings revisions, while having reasonable valuations. We believe that even in uncertain and challenging market environments, the opportunity to outperform remains, but acknowledge that more moderate returns may lie ahead.
The investment objective is to grow income and capital over the medium term with the aim of achieving a low risk profile. The manager's strategy is to select asset classes mindful of downside risk and to select equity using primarily a valuation-driven and contrarian approach.
Equity exposure will be limited to 40% and this portion of the portfolio may behave very differently to the overall market, with a defensive and above-average income yield. Only stocks that meet these criteria will be included and the equity portion may be relatively concentrated, with a low turnover.
The remainder of the portfolio shall be invested in a diversified portfolio of interest-bearing securities. This portion is designed to reduce downside-risk by holding money market instruments which have favourable attributes including a reasonable yield and safety of capital. Allocations to other fixed income securities or other asset classes are made only after thorough analysis reveals an appropriate return for the risk premium. The fund is compliant with Regulation 28 of the Pensions Funds Act.