Nick Train reaps returns from wide profit margins at fund houses

Hargreaves Lansdown delivered 21% for his investment trust in April

Nick Train has praised operating margins of at least 20% at his fund management holdings Schroders, Rathbones and Hargreaves Lansdown.

The star equities manager highlighted the trio of holdings in his latest update for the Finsbury Growth & Income Trust, which rallied 6.8% on a share price basis and 6.5% in its net asset value, compared to 2.7% in the index.

“A rather spectacular month,” Train said.

He singled out his asset management companies for their double-digit returns over the month, with Hargreaves delivering the highest at 21%, taking it to an all-time high beyond its September 2018 peak. Rathbones was up 15% and Schroders 17%.

Hargreaves is currently being shunned by analysts with only one ‘buy’ and seven ‘sell’ recommendations out of the 15 that cover it due to its high valuation.

Train said despite the volatility of the sector he was a long-term investor in the funds industry. “Just look at the operating margins of the three we are invested in – all well over 20% or higher.”

He is also optimistic about long-term wealth creation.

“Finding ‘proxy’ investments that allow us to participate in this tendency for wealth to compound worldwide strikes us as sensible. Of course, economies and markets in particular, are volatile. But that volatility shouldn’t matter if the secular progression is up,” he said.

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