Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Troy Trojan Ethical - Portfolio Addition

It's been a very bumpy ride for investors these past few months and in April I decided to move to a more defensive mode and replace some of the bonds I had lost when selling my multi-asset global index funds.

I recently added Personal Assets Trust to my portfolio with a view to preservation of capital during this uncertain period. Troy have been advisers to the Trust since 2009 and have now taken over the management following the recent retirement of long-term managers Robin Angus and Hamish Buchan.

One of the good things I really like about the set-up with PNL is that it is specifically run for it's investors and responsive to their feedback and contributions. I therefore emailed the company regarding my concerns about the tobacco holdings in the portfolio. From this exchange I was advised that Troy have recently established a more ethical fund which is run on very similar lines to PNL and has the same ethos of capital preservation but excludes tobacco whilst retaining most of the other equity holdings.

The Trojan Ethical fund is managed by Charlotte Yonge who has been at Troy since 2013 and is also assistant manager of their £4.6bn Troy Trojan fund. The fund exclusions are alcohol, arms, fossil fuels, gambling, high-interest loan companies, pornography and tobacco. The fund will only invest in securities issued by the G7 countries - UK, USA, Japan, Canada, France, Germany and Italy.

Whilst it's good to exclude these sectors, I think it would be a good idea if these ethical fund managers started to include - or at least add greater weighting - those companies which were making a positive contribution to society and the environment. Here I am thinking of the likes of renewable energy companies like Orsted and Vestas Wind or those operating in areas such as clean water or green hydrogen. I suspect that following the current pandemic, more investors will be thinking seriously about where their pensions and ISAs are invested. I suspect a lot of people, especially younger investors, would prefer their money to be invested in ways which create a more fair and positive society as well as a more sustainable environment.


Similar to the conservative style of Lyon's Trojan fund which has delivered a total return of 30.8% (average 5.5% p.a.) over the past 5 years - well ahead of the FTSE All Share 1.9% (average 0.4% p.a.) - this multi-asset fund is defensively positioned with an emphasis on preserving capital and low volatility which is just what I require in the current climate.

5 Yr Performance Troy Trojan v FTSE All Share Index

Trojan Ethical 3m Performance v FTSE All Share Index (blue line)
(click to enlarge)

According to the latest factsheet to end April, the total return has been 10.8% over the past 12 months compared to -16.7 for the FTSE All Share Index - it's early days for this fund but clearly off to a good start in these turbulent times! The current allocation is similar to PNL with 45% equities, 35% govt. bonds, 12% gold and 8% cash.

Top equities include Microsoft, Google, Nestle, Medtronic, Visa, Unilever, Colgate Palmolive and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. Unfortunately I have not been able to locate a full list of holdings for this fund.

I have compared the holdings with Personal Assets:

I have purchased the 'X' version which has slightly lower charges of 0.87% compared to the 'O' version. The fund was added to my portfolio earlier this week at the price of 105p.

As ever, this article is merely a record of my personal investment decisions and should not be regarded as an endorsement or recommendation - always DYOR!


  1. That's an interesting find. It's quite a new fund, inception date 28th Feb 2020.

    Did you see they have an S version too? It's not available in any of my brokers though, only the O and X flavours.


    1. Yes, I see from their website they had the 'O' and 'S' version but no explanation of the difference. I was surprised to see the new 'X' version available from AJ Bell Youinvest. I am more familiar with investment trusts and not so au fait with funds and not sure why they offer the three versions of the same fund with slightly different charges...I am sure some readers will have the answer!

  2. I recently entered a 10% position in this fund based on it's flexibility and the fund house's long term success instead of a pure bond fund and I think it's worth reading their monthly updates.