Simon Moon and Fraser Mackersie of Unicorn Asset Management
Unicorn’s UK Income Fund was added to the holdings of financial services firms Polar Capital and Brewin Dolphin after investing “surprising levels” of cash in the market in March and April. Economic recovery.
Despite the stock market crash early last year, few new additions were made to the fund, but managers Simon Moon and Fraser Mackersie were able to replenish their existing holdings with attractive valuations.
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Two of them are Asset Manager Brewin Dolphin and Asset Manager Polar Capital, who have joined the fund since 2009 and 2014 respectively due to weak stock prices.
“Dividend payments are flexible, AUM has recovered strongly in the second half of both companies, and Polar has had a special success thanks to the strong performance of the technology fund,” Moon and Mackersie said during Investment Week.
One of the new holdings that started was Emis, a healthcare software provider, which was “very cash-generating, high recurring revenue,” and “totally unfairly sold”.
The fund takes a multi-cap approach with a focus primarily on midsize businesses. That said, it has a lower weight compared to the FTSE 100, but the FTSE 250 has been hit harder by dividend cuts, and Link Group’s most recent dividend monitor shows that the mid-cap index fell 56% by 2020 compared to 35% of the good index.
Nonetheless, Moon and Mackersie noted that focusing on companies with lower debt levels would perform slightly better, with a 40% drop in income, and that the fund could once again perform higher by 2021.
Mackersie said the risk of concentration on UK dividends has actually increased, and the FTSE 100 accounts for 90% of the total in 2020, not 85% in 2019.
However, income investors are now unable to “put hats” on many previously solid businesses and sectors after many “regaining dividends”.
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“This was not a temporary cut, it wasn’t an interruption, it wasn’t a minor change in dividend policy. This is a complete rebase with dividends from companies and sectors coming out.
“Small and mid-cap stocks tend to perform fairly well during the economic recovery period. We’ve seen this many times over the years and we haven’t found any other reason for this.
“Vaccine launches in the UK were exceptional. It would be easy to overlook how much the domestic outlook is relatively improved. This will definitely help for a fund like ours.% of the base revenue raised domestically.
“These companies can not only benefit from the vaccine launch, but also remove the potential of no-deal Brexit. The combination of the two is really positive for the underlying companies in this portfolio.”
According to FE Fundinfo, Unicorn UK Income declined 9.9% by February 9th compared to the FTSE All-Share benchmark and IA UK Equity Income peer averages of 7.4% and 8.2%, respectively.
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