Contrary to the view of Neptune her view is that there are many good companies in Japan and these tend to be in the Small and Mid-Cap space.
In my previous update we looked at Neptune Japan, and the unique approach the manager takes to investing. The challenge for investors which we identified was the Yen depreciating and how this might mean returns are limited without a hedge.
We are also aware that although the focus of the fund is large cap multinationals the volatility is at the high end and this may not appeal to all investors. We suggested a blend and one fund we use is the GLG, however there are concerns we have with the fund. Firstly for the second time the managers have soft closed the fund to new money, secondly the managers will not discuss the impact of yen depreciation on the fund and thirdly similar to Neptune it plays in the large cap space.
We have recently met Chisako Hardie who is the manager of the AXA Framlington Japan Fund and there are a number of reasons why this might be an interesting blend. Firstly performance, the performance over 1 and 3 years has significantly outperformed GLG and over five years it has outperformed Neptune, over 12 months it has underperformed Neptune. Secondly volatility, the performance has been delivered with volatility close to the index at 12.50% which is significantly lower than Neptune and lower than GLG. Thirdly the investment is different to both GLG and Neptune in that the focus is multi cap with a bias to small and mid-cap.
The meeting with the manager provided an alternative insight to Japan and how to achieve long term returns.