This trust was established in 1995 to give investors a chance to gain exposure to the technology sector. Although the trust is UK-listed, since 2007 it has been managed by a team based in San Francisco and close to Silicon Valley which is home to many of the world's biggest tech companies. The trust was added to my portfolio last September at the price of £22.50 when I decided to increase my technology weighting.
The strategy is to identify a number of themes such as cloud computing, security, e-commerce and electric vehicles for example and hold some of the best companies within these sectors over the longer term.
The trust has this week published results for the full year to Dec 2020 (link via Investegate).
It's been an excellent year with net assets increased by 76%...outperforming the benchmark Dow Jones World Technology Index by 34% and share price up 80%. By contrast, the FTSE All Share Index fell by 10% over the year. The Covid pandemic has been a severe challenge for all sections of society around the world however the technology sector has played a key role providing solutions for businesses, governments and individuals.
Some current top ten portfolio holdings include Google (6.0%), Micron Tech (3.9%), Amazon (3.8%), Samsung (3.1%), Apple (2.3%), Microsoft (3.6%) and Crowdstrike (3.0%).
The trust has a good performance record with returns of 80% in the past year, 25% last year, 41% in 2018, 42% in 2017 and just 15.8% in 2016. It is one of the top performing investment trust over both the past 5 years and also 10 years - just behind Scottish Mortgage and ahead of Monks, Biotech Growth and Linsell Train.
Commenting on the past year's results, investment manager Walter Price said:
"Global stock markets were volatile in 2020. There was a savage sell-off in March when it became clear that the virus would spread from Asia into Europe and the United States. The S&P 500, for example, dropped over 30% in a matter of days. While markets subsequently recovered, it proved to be a bifurcated market, with the winners and losers from the pandemic driving in opposite directions.
Technology remained at the top of the heap. Lockdowns forced individuals and businesses to rely on technology more than ever before. If companies didn't have the infrastructure for remote working, they needed to act quickly to ensure it was in place. They came to rely on communication tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams to keep in touch with clients and staff. In other words, technology kept the economic wheels turning at a time of crisis.
This was reflected in share prices. The tech-heavy Nasdaq outpaced the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial indices, rising 42.9%, compared to 16% for the S&P 500 and 6.9% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Our benchmark index, the Dow Jones World Technology Index, delivered 41.7%. Investors sought comfort from companies with reliable earnings and a well-established growth story".
|ATT One Year Performance |
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Post year-end results, the past few weeks have seen a significant correction for the technology sector. One of my former holdings, Tesla was down over 30% in a matter of weeks but luckily I sold out in early February before the drop when they decided to buy $1.5 billion of Bitcoin with reserves.
Over the past year or two I have been adjusting my portfolio and now prefer just two sectors - 75% is allocated to green/climate and the remaining 25% to technology. Holding individual tech shares can be lucrative but is also higher risk as well as more volatile. Obviously gaining exposure to a diversified basket of shares via a specialist fund or investment trust is probably the better option for the diy investor.
|My Tech Portfolio March 2021|
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Obviously it helps that I no longer require income from my investments as this trust is all about growth and does not pay a dividend. However, as I have pointed out in the past, it is possible to take 'income' from capital appreciation. For example, selling down shares to provide 4% 'income' from a trust which is growing at an average of over 20% each year should not be too difficult.
The shares dipped as low as £13 at the start of Covid last March and then climbed above £32 in February before the technology correction. The price is currently £28.75 so a handy 27% uplift on my purchase price last September and happy with progress so far.
I have recently topped up my Polar Capital Technology trust and will be looking to top up this holding at some point this year.
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!