Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Cross with the Coop

Now I'm not a particularly cautious investor.  I've dabbled in the stock market in the past with varying degrees of success and learnt the hard way with a couple of times that share prices can go up as well as down.  Oops - good job I didn't put all my eggs in one basket!  But, historically,  long term investments of this kind yield the best growth and, with the miserable rates of interest that are available at the current time,  I decided about three years ago to invest a monthly sum in a unit trust ISA.

A unit trust is a collection of shares that is chosen and actively managed by a bloke, or indeed high powered suited and lipsticked girlie, called a fund manager.  The theory is that all you have to do chose the type of investment that suits your risk profile,  whether you're a tea and slippers or an ice climbing type in the financial sense, and then sit back whilst all the work of collecting dividends and buying and selling shares to make the best use of your money is supposedly done for you.  I chose the Coop Sustainable Leader's Fund, a balanced fund.  That's somewhere in the middle of that risk spectrum, maybe akin to a high wire centre if we stick to the climbing analogies.  The ethical stance associated with this product also was a feature that affected my choice.

So I've been sticking my monthly sum in this pot - and have made a hefty loss  even though investing regularly should lessen the impact of falls in stock markets because of a phenomena called pound cost averaging.   I realise that the global financial situation is sickly but even so.   For much of the time performance tables have shown that my particular choice of fund has been way down compared to others of its type.  Which begs a question?  What has Mike Fox, the fund manager been doing with my money and why hasn't the Coop given him a good kick up the butt rather than giving him the post of head of UK equities?  Could someone else or even little old me do a better job?  Yesterday I asked for my diminished savings back so I'll be able to see!

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