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Weekend press review: disguised remuneration

Revealed: the best fund manager in ISA history.”It’s headline likely to attract the attention of DIY investors as The Sunday Telegraph Money section looks at top performing fund managers over the 20 years since ISAs first became available. The article uses research from Hargreaves Lansdown which looks at the performance of fund managers whose career has spanned the 20 year period, excluding those who had a break of at least two years from managing funds over that time.

So who is the “best fund manager” that the title alludes to? Well, in terms of the search criteria used, Giles Hargreave of Marlborough Special Sits comes out on top. Others who gain plaudits are Liontrust’s Anthony Cross, Cavendish’s Paul Mumford, as well as Mark Slater and Rosemary Banyard. As the article points out, there is no guarantee that these managers will continue to deliver such performance in future – something all advisers will be only too aware of!

On a different tack and looking at the shorter term, since officially taking over the reins at Martin Currie Global Portfolio IT from Tom Walker in October last year, Zehrid Osmani has been quietly turning in a decent performance as he repositions the investment trust’s portfolio. The fund is the Financial Mail on Sunday’s fund in focus this week, as it looks at what changes have been made to the portfolio, what the manager’s outlook is for the future and how the performance has stacked up in the short term.

Over at the Sunday Times Money section it’s the thorny subject of “disguised remuneration” that takes the lead spot this weekend. It looks at the array of companies which are promoting elaborate schemes to tempt self-employed people and contractors in particular, into reducing their tax bills. The article stresses that the authorities are clamping down on such schemes which try to make it look as if someone’s earnings are lower than they actually are. This will not come as news to professional advisers of course, but with estimates showing that these schemes – which often state that they are IR35 compliant – may have around 50,000 users, there is clearly a large group of individuals who might be facing the prospect of an HMRC investigation.

Finally, In his personal account column, Ian Cowie is discussing the ups and downs of investing in individual equities within his personal portfolio. We’ll spare you the details of the individual shares ( you can check them out yourself if you’d like to by reading the article) but the gist of it is to remind investors of the benefits of taking profits and of diversification – having a well balanced portfolio in terms of stocks, sectors, countries or currencies.

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