e-fundresearch.com: Which benchmark do you adhere to?
Fulton: The fund’s benchmark is the JP Morgan Global Government Bond Index Euro Hedged. The benchmark is used solely for measuring the fund’s performance and risk. The fund is managed on an absolute, total return basis and does not hold any assets with regards to managing a tracking error to the benchmark. The overlap between the fund’s portfolio and the constituents of the benchmark is typically between 0% and 10%.
e-fundresearch.com: Are you also responsible for other funds at the moment?
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e-fundresearch.com: What is the total volume that you manage in all your funds?
Fulton: The AUM of the fund is € 65,000,000.
e-fundresearch.com: Regarding the performance: which performance did you achieve since the beginning of the year and in the years 2007-2011? Absolutely and relatively to the relevant benchmark?
Fulton: All performance as at 29.06.2012.
YTD: -0.04%, Benchmark: 2.15%
2011: 8.12%, Benchmark: 6.90%
2010 (from inception 23.06): -0.1%, Benchmark: 0.53%
e-fundresearch.com: How content are you with your own performance in the last years and this year?
Fulton: The fund has done exactly what we intended it to do given the market background. We do not specifically target short-term returns, but focus on delivering medium-term absolute return to our clients.
e-fundresearch.com: How are you able to deliver added value for your investors with your performance?
Fulton: We are an actively managed fund that focuses on producing absolute returns in excess of inflation. We believe we’ll add real value to our clients by preserving their purchasing power in the future.
e-fundresearch.com: How long have you been a fund manager already?
Fulton: I have been a fund manager since I joined Aberdeen Asset Management in 1996.
e-fundresearch.com: What were your biggest successes and your biggest disappointments in your career as fund manager?
Fulton: That I have been able to deliver consistent absolute returns to my clients throughout my career by studying and understanding the big picture and the fundamental trends rather than simply trying to trade short-term news flow. My biggest disappointment is the increasing myopia of investors in the market: performance is measured in weeks and news and events are only considered for their short-term impact on markets. Access to constant information flow does not make you a better investor, just a more short-sighted one.
e-fundresearch.com: What kind of capital market situation do we have at the moment? How do you act in this environment?
Fulton: The markets find themselves in a secular bear market that started in 2008 as a result of too much debt in as a result of an uncontrolled credit expansion over the preceding 25 years. The events in 2008 showed that the deflationary pressures from too much debt has the potential to collapse the global financial system, but also that it is not going to be allowed to fail, as policy makers countered excessive credit by expanding the money supply, lowering interest rates and transferring debt to sovereign balance sheets. However, this did not change the underlying fundamental weakness of our credit driven monetary system. Our view is that the system remains highly unstable and that the markets expectation) will switch between deflation and inflation as policy makers try to contain deflationary pressures through any measure possible. We remain convinced that the MOST likely ultimate end-game is currency debasement and inflation. We have a “barbell” approach where we actively switch between nominal bonds of stronger high and middle income countries and inflation linked bonds, depending on overall market sentiment and macro-economic developments.
e-fundresearch.com: What are the special challenges in this environment?
Fulton: Not to get caught up in the volatility of markets who are in large part driven by short-term speculative flow but to focus efforts on selecting the right securities and ensure that risk level in the portfolio is sensible giving market sentiment, policy risks and economic data.
e-fundresearch.com: What objectives do you have till the end of the year and in the mid term for the upcoming 3 to 5 years?
Fulton: To maintain a stable portfolio of good assets unless we see developments that may indicate our primary outlook is wrong and to preserve and enhance our clients’ capital by delivering a real return in excess of inflation going forward.
e-fundresearch.com: Do you model yourself on someone? Any ideals?
Fulton: Warren Buffets partner Charlie Munger has always been someone who has interested me. His concept of having a framework of overlapping mental models through which you analyse the world informs a lot of our thinking.
e-fundresearch.com: What motivates you in your job?
Fulton: Being able to spend time studying different economies and gaining an understanding how the world really works and to use this for the benefit of my clients.
e-fundresearch.com: What else do you want to achieve or do you have any further aims as a fund manager?
Fulton: To manage clients‘ capital as an independent investment firm whose main focus is on delivering returns for clients rather than simply raising more assets for the firm, staffed by a team with a culture of intelectual curiosity, enjoyment and pride in what they do.
e-fundresearch.com: What other profession would you have taken interest in, apart from becoming a fund manager?
Fulton: I really can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing, perhaps working for the UK diplomatic service might have been interesting.
e-fundresearch.com: Many Thanks!