1955: Dig That Uranium – Bernds
Today Barings have launched a new fund – the Baring Global Mining Fund. This is run by Clive Burstow who was with Blackrock and had responsibility for analysis and investment of the mining sector. He returned to Barings in June last year and has a wealth of experience as an analyst and this will provide him with some of the necessary skills required to run the fund. On the face of it, this seems like a great idea from Barings, mining stocks continue to dominate the key performers of a variety of markets. Of course mining is essentially getting something out of the ground, which is problematic at the best of times.
The fund aims to have somewhere between 70-100 holdings and will used the HSBC Global Mining Index as its benchmark. The benchmark has tumbled over the last year. It will hold non-ferrous metals like copper, aluminium, zinc and tin. Interestingly it will hold ferrous metals including ferrochrome and uranium. Precious metals like gold, silver, platinum and diamonds as well as a variety of commodities including magnesium, titanium, coal and iron ore amongst many others. The fund will have a truly global feel with the UK making up around 20% of the fund.
The million dollar question is of course, will Clive Burstow outperfom his peers due to his research, information and investment strategy? My understanding (which may be wrong) is that he hasn’t run a fund before but has clearly worked very closely with those that have. Lessons from the past would suggest that many themed funds launch on the back of successful historic performance that then becomes all too disappointing – rather like arriving after the event. If others are tempted to follow suit this might indicate a turning point in the short-term future performance of mining stock, which as you will be aware includes gold. We shall have to wait and see. Mining stocks have played a valuable part of a well diversified portfolio, but selecting the right stocks or the right fund is almost as precarious as mining. I suggest checking out Our Approach to Investing to see what I consider to be important factors.
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