Smithson's Barnard defends strategy despite market rotation

Challenging start to the year

Kathleen Gallagher
clock • 3 min read
Simon Barnard of the Smithson investment trust wrote a nine-page letter to investors

Simon Barnard of the Smithson investment trust wrote a nine-page letter to investors

In a letter to shareholders Simon Barnard, investment manager of the £2.9bn Smithson trust, cautioned “it is not possible to outperform the index by a significant amount every year, and from time to time, there will also be years of underperformance”.

The nine page letter started by noting that for 2021 the trust's outperformance for shares was 0.3%. It then went into detail explaining that despite the market rotation from growth to value, the portfolio, which includes a number of high growth companies, was still the best strategy. Smithson has struggled in the start of the year, losing 17.6% to 4 February, while the MSCI World Small and Mid Cap index lost 7.3% and the IT Global Smaller Companies sector lost 15.3%, according to FE fundinfo. However, the trust still sits on a 1.4% premium, according to Morningstar. Questions over...

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