SHAM: Pity the fool – why I’m late going big in Japan

Striking workers, royal babies, a Tory majority, lefty Labour, tensions with Russia, the unexplained popularity of U2… today’s parallels with the mid-1980s are striking.

SHAM: Pity the fool - why I’m late going big in Japan


Factor in buoyant markets and power dressing City types, and the similarities are hard to ignore. Double-dips? Nah, let’s talk double denim, rat fans.

As Thatcher’s children, we appreciate the power of individualism – especially the star managers on alert to enrich their reputations, with valuations looking more stretched than Olivia Newton-John in the video for ‘Physical’.

Now, you’ll remember SHAM has already enlightened you with our discovery of The Mobile Index™, but our latest preoccupation is with Japan, itself a poster-child for the 1980s global economic “miracle”.

SHAM already has a long-standing holding in Schroder Tokyo, but with the Nikkei 225 having climbed 12,000 points in the past two years and Japan equities leading the way so far this year, we’re considering adding another fund.

It’s all part of our strict patented ‘Contrarian’s, Contrarian’ approach, of course, i.e. investing where everybody else does.

Schroder Tokyo’s Andrew Rose is considered by many a steady hand and a core holding in Japan, but which other fund should we invest in as a complementary holding?

Over five years, Legg Mason IF Japan Equity is the fund to have led the way with staggering returns of 232%, according to FE Analytics though, perhaps unsurprisingly, it has also been the most volatile fund in the sector.