British Empire Trust (BTEM)

British Empire Trust (BTEM) – The main focus of this invest trust is “value investing”. What you may ask is “value investing”, essentially a value investor will buy an investment – if they perceive a greater value in the investment than the current market price indicates. That is, in their opinion they are buying the investment at a discount to current market value, and that they anticipate with a change of market conditions, that “additional” value may be realised.

Value investing is a investing style that should enable the managers to outperform the market over time by buying stocks for less than their worth, and that over time this will result in a greater profit than by investing generally into the market. Quite often investors or investors will wait many years for their profit to materialise. That surely is the case with British Empire Trust. Their investors having been waiting for many years for the management to provide investment success.

The performance of this investment trust has been underwhelming and they can make excuses about “sticking to their value investment principles” but that is not the sole reason for under performance, the trust has not invested in the US investment market to any great extent, over the last three years US shares have soared – so little wonder they have under-performed the market.

There is a shuffling of management desks at this investment trust, and the new lead manager will be placing a greater percentage of monies into their top selections. We are not convinced that the changes introduced by British Empire have gone far enough and perhaps they should make more far reaching  changes to both the management team and as to where they allocate investments geographically – before investors should commit cash to this trust.

If you are considering investing in investment trusts take care, as although they tend to outperform their unit trust counterparts, the discounts on investment trusts will provide increased price volatility in the short term.