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VT Argonaut European Alpha Inclusive - Class A - Accumulation (GBP)

Sell:333.67p Buy:333.67p Change: 3.17p (0.94%)
Prices as at 18 January 2022
Change: 3.17p (0.94%)
You can buy or sell holdings in this fund through a Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, SIPP or Fund and Share Account
Prices as at 18 January 2022
Change: 3.17p (0.94%)
Prices as at 18 January 2022
You can buy or sell holdings in this fund through a Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, SIPP or Fund and Share Account
The selling price currently displayed is higher than the buying price. This can occur temporarily for a variety of reasons; shortly before the market opens, after the market closes or because of extraordinary price volatility during the trading day.

Our view on this Fund

This fund does not feature on the Wealth Shortlist of funds our analysts believe have the potential to outperform their peers over the long term. This is not a recommendation to sell; however, if you are thinking of adding to your investments, we believe the Wealth Shortlist is a good place to start. View funds on the Wealth Shortlist »

Barry Norris seeks to invest in companies capable of delivering better than expected earnings growth. Our analysis suggests his stock-picking - the ability to invest in some of the market's strongest performing stocks, regardless of what sector or country they're located - has been mixed in recent years.

The fund is priced at a significant premium to others we feel have better long-term prospects. It can be worth paying a higher management charge for fund managers with exceptional track records and excellent performance potential, but we do not believe this fund should command such a premium.

The European sector is highly competitive and features a number of exceptional fund managers with strong track records. We don't currently believe this fund offers the performance potential or value that we seek for the Wealth 150+.

Our view on the sector

Europe has been blighted by political issues in recent years. And some European economies are struggling with high levels of debt and unemployment. But it's important to disconnect a region's economic prospects from its stock market prospects. Europe is home to lots of successful businesses that make money across the globe - from the US to high-growth areas like Asia and emerging markets. That means their prospects aren't heavily reliant on Europe's economy. Some investors have overlooked the region in recent years. But we think Europe is a great place to invest for the long term and there are plenty of high quality fund managers to choose from.

Performance Analysis

Barry Norris outperformed the broader European stock market for a number of years until the end of 2015. Our analysis suggests his stock-picking was positive over this time, but it subsequently detracted significantly from performance. While all fund managers go through poor periods, including times when their stock picking is weak, we are disappointed with the extent to which negative stock selection detracted from returns over this time.

The manager uses a flexible investment approach and is prepared to change the positioning of the fund frequently. We therefore expect performance to look quite different to the broader European market and other funds in this sector at times.

Investment Philosophy

Barry Norris combines his views on the economic environment with analysis of the prospects for individual companies. He is contrarian in his thinking, which leads him to invest in unloved companies that he believes will see an improvement in earnings.

Process and Portfolio Construction

Barry Norris initially considers his outlook for the wider European economy. He then invests in companies he believes are well-placed to benefit from the current economic backdrop. He also aims to identify and invest in companies he feels are likely to earn significantly more profit than other investors forecast. These companies' share prices could rise once their improved earnings and profitability have been recognised by the wider market.

The fund is concentrated at around 30-50 stocks and can invest in companies of all sizes, including smaller companies, which can increase risk.

question mark Manager Track Record Based on HL Quantitative Research

  • FP Argonaut European Alpha GBP A...
  • Neptune European Opportunities A...
  • Ignis Argonaut European Alpha A Acc
  • FTSE World Europe ex UK TR GBP

Fund Track Record

17/01/17 to 17/01/18 17/01/18 to 17/01/19 17/01/19 to 17/01/20 17/01/20 to 17/01/21 17/01/21 to 17/01/22
Annual return 16.49% -20.20% 17.98% 2.34% -6.98%

Please remember past performance is not a guide to future returns. Where no data is shown, figures are not available. This information is provided to help you choose your own investments, remember they can fall as well as rise in value so you may not get back the original amount invested.

Fund Management Group Comment

Argonaut is a London-based investment boutique specialising in managing European equity funds. The business was launched in 2005 by Founding Partners Barry Norris and Oliver Russ as a joint venture with Ignis Asset Management. Argonaut became operationally independent of Ignis in 2012 and a passive minority stake in the group was retained by Standard Life Investments following its acquisition of Ignis in 2014. Barry Norris subsequently assumed full ownership of the business in 2016.

Information about the fund

Fund manager biography

manager photo
Manager Name: Barry Norris
Manager start date: 12 May 2005
Manager located in: London

Barry Norris graduated from Cambridge University in 1996 with an MA in History, and in 1997 with an MPhil in International Relations (with distinction). He also holds the CFA charter, the IMC and IIMR qualifications. Following graduation, Barry joined Baillie Gifford, moving to Neptune Investment Management in June 2002 as Head of European Equities. There he had sole responsibility for the European Opportunities Fund from its launch in November 2002 before founding Argonaut in 2005. The Argonaut European Alpha Fund, which was launched in May 2005, is managed by Barry along very similar lines using his distinct ?earnings momentum? process. Barry also manages the Ignis Argonaut Pan European Fund, launched in December 2005 and the Argonaut Absolute Return Fund launched in February 2009. He is a regular contributor to the financial media, appearing frequently on Bloomberg TV and has had opinion pieces published in the Daily Telegraph and the Financial Times.

Data policy - All information should be used for indicative purposes only. You should independently check data before making any investment decision. HL cannot guarantee that the data is accurate or complete, and accepts no responsibility for how it may be used. Benchmark data provided subject to this disclaimer.
You can buy or sell holdings in this fund through a Stocks and Shares ISA, Lifetime ISA, SIPP or Fund and Share Account