'Funds to Help Pay School Fees'

Investor Views: Private investor Dominic Evans is hoping his global investment portfolio will support his children’s education

Emma Simon 16 September, 2021 | 9:51AM
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Investor views series piggy bank

Dominic Evans, a psychiatrist who lives in Glasgow, has always been a keen saver who tries to put a little away each month.

Dominic says his parents encouraged this savings habit from an early age. “My dad used to work for NatWest and we had those NatWest ceramic piggy banks to help us save.

“I remember my Dad bringing the baby piggy home and explaining I had a target of saving £100 to get the Dad piggy bank. I loved it and it really encouraged me to save. Even when I first had a Saturday job at 16 I would try to save some of my earnings.”

Dominic started looking at investments instead of cash savings when he was 25 and first qualified as a consultant.

“My focus was to try and ‘pot build’ as I always hoped that I would have children one day and that I wanted them to have a similar education to me. My Mum and Dad fortunately gifted me my first house deposit and helped with my student debts.”

School and University Fees

Dominic, who is now 46 and is married with three young children, hopes his investments will be able to help pay for private secondary school fees as well as potential university costs. He says this is his main investment goal, as he has a reasonable pension through his work.

“I have an NHS pension and contribute the maximum level to this. I have set up Junior Isas for my children which grandparents and family sometimes pop birthday money into. My wife and I also have stocks and shares Isas.”

Dominic’s various Isa investments are with Chelsea Financial Services. He uses their customer magazines and online information to help monitor what is happening in markets and with particular funds. “I also listen to friends and family and look at the past performance of different funds.

“Fees are of course also important when selecting investments. Nobody want to feel ripped off. But I also try to to look at the bigger picture. If I get a better overall return from a fund that has higher fees I would choose it over a cheaper poorly performing fund.”

This approach has worked well for him in recent years, with a number of his main investments delivering excellent returns.

Highly Rated Funds

Across these various Isas he has significant holdings in Liontrust Special Situations, Slater Growth, Premier Miton European Opportunities, Rathbone Global Opportunities and Artemis Income.

All of these funds are highly rated by Morningstar, with three having 5-star ratings, reflecting their strong performance versus peers in recent years.

This includes Rathbone Global Opportunities, which also has a Bronze Analyst Rating. Morningstar describes this fund as a “great option for investors seeking exposure to high-growth mid- to large-cap global equities” and it has delivered annualised returns of 18.99% over the past five years.

Premier Miton European Opportunities is a 5-star fund and is rated Bronze under the Morningstar Quantitative Rating (Q). This fund has delivered outstanding returns according to Dominic, with Morningstar data showing annualised returns of 22.67% over the past five years.

Meanwhile Liontrust Special Situations is also rated 5 stars and has a Bronze Analyst Rating. This UK-based fund delivered annualised returns of 8.99% for investors over the past three years. (It does not have a five year track record).

Slater Growth (Q) and Artemis Income both have Morningstar Analyst Ratings of Silver and 4-star ratings. Slater Growth is another largely UK-based fund, though it will invest in some overseas equities, and has delivered annualised returns of 17.33% over the past five years.

Dominic says: “Performance with all these funds can obviously be volatile but I can’t really pinpoint any absolute disasters I’ve had with my investments in recent years.

“I was considering investing into cryptocurrencies a while back but I never got around to it in the end, which is probably for the best, but it is something that interests me so I may look at this in future, though I appreciate it is high risk.

“I guess I have been lucky with my funds but I have been investing for a long-time and over this period my pot of money has grown well.”

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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About Author

Emma Simon

Emma Simon  is a financial journalist, specialising in investment and consumer issues, writing for Morningstar.co.uk