- Nick Train aims to invest in successful companies that have stood the test of time
- Train is a long-term investor, and makes very few changes to the fund from year to year
- He has a strong long-term record, with the fund significantly outperforming the FTSE All Share index since launch
- This fund does not feature on our Wealth Shortlist of funds chosen by our analysts for their long-term performance potential
How it fits in a portfolio
The LF Lindsell Train UK Equity fund aims to deliver long-term growth by investing in high-quality UK companies that generate lots of cash and have stood the test of time. The fund could be an option for the UK part of a broader global investment portfolio. A focus on large, high-quality companies means the fund could work well alongside other funds investing in unloved UK companies with recovery potential, or those focused on smaller companies.
The fund was set up in 2006 by Nick Train, who has more than three decades of investment experience. Train was previously Head of Global Equities at M&G Investment Management, and before that he spent 17 years at GT Management in various senior roles including Investment Director and Chief Investment Officer for Pan-Europe.
Alongside this fund, Train is co-manager of the Lindsell Train Global Equity fund and lead manager of two investment trusts. Given the high degree of coverage overlap between the four portfolios, and the fact they all use a similar investment process, we think this is a reasonable workload. Train also has the support of an experienced and highly regarded team, including fellow co-founder Michael Lindsell.
Although we rate the manager highly, the fund isn’t on the Wealth Shortlist. It was previously on the Wealth 50 (available prior to the Wealth Shortlist), but we made the decision to remove it as the Lindsell Train business owns (including via this fund) a significant number of shares in Hargreaves Lansdown plc. This was done to avoid any potential conflict of interest.
Train invests mostly in large, longstanding businesses with characteristics that are hard to copy, such as strong brands, heritage or sports franchises. His search for high-quality businesses tends to lead him towards larger companies, although he has the freedom to invest in UK companies of any size if he spots an opportunity. This includes smaller companies, which are higher risk than their larger counterparts.
The manager sometimes invests large amounts in certain industries. Beverage companies, for example, currently account around 23% of the fund. Train thinks stock markets will rise over the long term, so he's invested in companies that stand to benefit including asset manager Schroders and the London Stock Exchange. Financial services and personal goods companies also form significant portions of the fund.
The fund's largest holdings are household names – from Unilever and Diageo to Burberry Group and Heineken. They are all sizeable individual positions and more broadly, the fund’s top 10 companies account for around 84% of its assets. This is a very concentrated portfolio, and a number of positions are close to 10% in size, which is as big as the rules allow. The fund was invested in 20 companies as of the end of January 2023. This gives each holding the potential to make a big difference to the fund’s performance, but it’s a higher-risk approach.
There have been no new additions to or sales from the portfolio over the last year, fitting with Train’s low turnover approach.
Between them, Michael Lindsell and Nick Train own the majority of Lindsell Train Limited, the company that runs all Lindsell Train funds. We view this positively as ownership of the business ties the managers’ long-term incentives to the interests of investors.
The duo and their team spend lots of their time reading, learning and compiling information on companies they own shares in and those on their watchlist. They’ve created a truly unique environment for staff, which includes a library within the office. They tend not to recruit experienced people, preferring to train and develop graduates who can be moulded into the Lindsell Train way of thinking.
The managers look for companies with the potential to thrive for decades, or even centuries, so it’s important companies have high governance standards, and manage their environmental and social impacts well. Analysis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors is therefore a natural part of their investment process.
Their focus on high-quality companies means they don’t invest in industries that require large amounts of capital, such as energy, commodities and mining. They also avoid industries they think are detrimental to society and, as a result, potentially exposed to regulation or litigation, including tobacco, gambling and arms manufacturers.
Fund managers are responsible for voting and engagement. Their long-term approach means they are generally supportive of company management teams. If the fund managers disagree with the management team’s approach, they will try to influence the company to adopt a different course of action if it’s in clients’ interests. Voting and engagement case studies are available in the firm’s annual Stewardship Report and their ESG & Engagement Report.
The fund is available to HL clients for an ongoing annual charge of 0.49%, which is 0.15% lower than the standard ongoing charge of 0.64%. The HL platform fee of up to 0.45% per year also applies.
Please note that charges are taken from capital, which could boost the income, but reduces potential for capital growth.
The fund has performed very well since its launch in July 2006, delivering returns significantly greater than the FTSE All Share index. Our analysis puts this down to the manager’s ability to select outstanding companies, regardless of their size or the sector they’re in. Past performance should not be viewed as a guide to future returns. Our analysis suggests Train’s focus on high-quality companies has helped shelter investors' money to a degree when markets have fallen but we expect the fund to lag the broader market when it rises quickly.
Over the last year the fund has delivered a return of 7.97%*, marginally ahead of the FTSE All Share index which rose by 7.30% and ahead of the 2.98% average return from funds in the IA UK All Companies sector. Our analysis suggests luxury goods manufacturer Burberry Group and football club Manchester United have been among the fund’s strongest performing investments over the year. On the other side investments in asset management company Hargreaves Lansdown and beverage manufacturer Fevertree Drinks were among the largest detractors.
Investments go in and out of favour, that’s why we suggest investors build diversified portfolios with exposure to a variety of styles, sectors, countries and asset classes. Plus, you should regularly review your investments to make sure they continue to meet your needs and objectives.
|Annual percentage growth|
| Feb 18 -
| Feb 19 -
| Feb 20 -
| Feb 21 -
| Feb 22 -
|LF Lindsell Train UK Equity||7.45%||5.12%||8.05%||2.58%||7.97%|
|IA UK All Companies||-1.14%||1.04%||8.13%||7.52%||2.98%|
Past performance is not a guide to the future. *Source: Lipper IM to 28/02/2023.
Want our latest research sent direct to your inbox?
Our expert research team provide regular updates on a wide range of funds.