Despite a very strong start to 2021, markets gave up these gains in the final week of January, ending broadly flat. Performance of some of the main indices are highlighted below:

(All figures are based on bid to bid pricing with income reinvested, in Sterling terms)

It had seemed that investors were continuing with the same optimism that we witnessed through the final quarter of 2020 with almost universal gains across the board. The US Election, Brexit and Covid-19/vaccinations were all in the rear-view mirror and a clearer path to normality was beginning to emerge.

That was until last week as despite generally better-than-expected earnings reports, markets became unsettled when certain shares began to see large price increases that seemed detached from reality. One of those as you may have read was “Gamestop”, a US video-game retailer which rallied some 1,900%, buoyed by retail investors speculating in online forums. This uncertainty prompted more professional investors to temporarily take stock which caused broader markets to head south.

Despite this backdrop, our portfolios once again outperformed this month.

Portfolio Changes

During the month, we have made a change across our ‘Income’ portfolios with the sale of the Legal & General Asian Income Trust. The fund has been sold due to a period of underperformance and a shift from ‘value’ and reinvestment has been made into the Schroder Asian Alpha Plus Trust to benefit from greater growth opportunities within the region.

This has been our only activity in a few rewarding months for us and a reminder that you can read about this in our formal quarterly valuation reports, which have now been sent to print and are due to be issued imminently.

Tax Year End

Finally, as we approach the end of this current tax year we would also like to remind clients of available ISA allowances. Where we have previously agreed, we will continue to automatically utilise allowances, however, those with available cash may prefer to subscribe additional monies. Please feel free to contact us should you wish to discuss further.


The Boolers Investment Committee