The Affluence Investment Fund returned 1.2% in March as most markets recovered from a tough start to the year. We saw a significant recovery in investor confidence during the month, a trend that has continued into the early part of April. For the quarter, the Fund delivered a return of 0.3%. The Australian stock market (including dividends) lost 2.7% over the same period.
Almost all our investments delivered positive returns in March. Our best returns came from smaller company funds as markets recovered. Our worst were one or two funds with overseas exposure. This was due mostly to an appreciating Australian dollar. We have struggled to find significantly better value in most offshore markets for some months now and hence we continue to have a relatively low allocation to global funds.
The Fund portfolio continues to be conservatively placed. In the last month we made two small investments into market neutral funds. Such funds are (at least in theory) able to make money in both up and down markets. Both are run by exceptional managers with great long term track records.
At 31 March, the Affluence Fund held investments in 17 unlisted funds, which represented 66% of the total portfolio. It also held 22 smaller investments in listed investment companies and securities, representing 15% of the portfolio. The balance of 19% was held in cash. We are actively looking to deploy part of that cash and have another 3-4 investments in advanced stages of due diligence.
We know how painful it can be to complete application forms and have recently launched on online application form for the Affluence Fund. This can be accessed directly from our website. It can save you significant time through faster processing and pre-verification of certain information which reduces the amount of paperwork you have to provide. If you would like to invest with us or add to an existing holding, we encourage you to utilise this facility. A reminder, the cut-off for monthly investments is the 25th. If you know anyone else that may be interested in the Fund, feel free to let them know.
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