Investment trust insider on Japan – James Carthew: Japan trusts backing internet winners and streamlining cash sinners
Last summer I looked at JPMorgan Japanese (JFJ), which was the leading investment trust specialising in the country at the time, and it still is!
Fund managers Nicholas Weindling and Miyako Urabe have hit a sweet spot in performance terms. The trust just about doubled from the low point in the panicky markets of March 2020 to the end of December. Its share price is up 58% over the past 12 months.
There were good reasons why Japan did relatively well last year. In common with neighbours such as Korea and Taiwan, it managed to get Covid-19 under control, helped by being an island and having strict border controls – why didn’t we think of that?
Its companies also tended to have a fair bit of cash on their balance sheets, which allowed them to ride out the storm – Japan still had a big economic hit in the second quarter of 2020.
Where JFJ got it right was being in exactly the sorts of stocks that were beneficiaries of the crisis. These included companies providing online medical consultations, online retail, video games, cloud security and robotics. The fund managers point out that Japan is behind many other countries in its adoption of things that we take for granted such as cashless payments.
Its top-performing companies include… read more here