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So far, so good, so Appian.


Investors in the Appian Equity Fund have enjoyed a great 12 months as the fund has delivered a return of over 21% in the period up to March 1st this year. Indeed all the Appian Funds have enjoyed a very healthy start to 2015:

 

Appian Equity Fund     +11.2%
Appian Value Fund     +6.5%
Appian Small Companies     +9.6%

 
(Performance Jan 1st to March 1st 2015, net of all fees)

Global stock markets have posted good numbers in the past 12 months but the period hasn’t been without incident. Early in 2014 markets were beset by fears over a US economy which had literally frozen to a halt. So called “Geo-political” fears surfaced in the Middle East and Ukraine throughout most of the year. The oil price halved providing both relief and stress albeit not in equal measure. The second half of the year saw concerns emerging over deflation in the Eurozone and its overall cohesion in the face of renewed Greek uncertainty. Volatility in government bond markets surged to levels never experienced before. We also faced concerns over the Ebola outbreak mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, but with reported cases in the US, UK and Europe.

The Appian Equity Fund navigated a successful path through this uncertainty. The fund’s characteristics remain a solid foundation for its longer term performance. Our stock filters continue to target those companies with solid balance sheets, excellent and sustainable free cash flow, trading at attractive valuations. Our due diligence then helps to identify the management teams that can translate these fundamentals into solid share price performance. Critically our focus on these quality factors results in a portfolio that has significantly lower volatility than benchmark indices. A recent study compared the Appian Equity Fund with close to 800 global equity funds and demonstrates how Appian can generate above average returns while taking on a lower level of risk. The fund sits comfortably in the North West quadrant – lower volatility/higher return.

This means a superior outcome for our investors.


 

The fund invests, as always, in a spread of high quality highly liquid stocks around the world. Typically we look to hold between 40 and 45 individual stocks across a good range of sectors. We are not driven by benchmarks but by opportunity. Our funds display a high “active share” which underlines how we are conviction stock pickers and not just “hugging” some benchmark.

Some of the stock ideas which have worked well for us in the past 12 months include Humana in the US, the managed healthcare company, which has risen close to 50%  and Unilever, the Dutch based giant which brings us amongst others Magnums, Comfort Fabric Conditioner and Dove, and has grown in value by one third.

We believe our combination of rigorous stock screens and investment judgement makes for a process that is robust and repeatable and while no doubt financial markets over the next twelve months will serve up bouts of volatility, the Appian approach will continue to deliver solid risk adjusted returns over meaningful time periods.

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WARNING: The value of your investment may go down as well as up. Past performance is not a reliable guide to future performance. These investments may be affected by changes in currency exchange rates.

Appian Asset Management is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. No part of this document is to be reproduced without our written permission. This document has been prepared and issued by Appian Asset Management on the basis of publicly available information, internally developed data and other sources believed to be reliable. It does not constitute an offer or an invitation to invest, or the provision of investment advice. No party should treat any of the contents herein as advice in relation to any investment. While all reasonable care has been given to the preparation of the information, no warranties or representation express or implied are given or liability accepted by Appian Asset Management or its affiliates or any directors or employees in relation to the accuracy fairness or completeness of the information contained herein. Any opinion expressed (including estimates and forecasts) may be subject to change without notice. 

Appian Unit Fund Prices  
2 March 2015 

Appian Value Fund 140.24 

Appian Equity Fund 162.23 

Appian Small Companies Opportunities Fund 161.19 

Appian Liquidity Fund 106.46


For more detailed information on each of our funds click here
 


 
John Mattimoe
Head of Equity Analysis
 
Patrick J Lawless
Managing Director
Pat Kilduff
Head of Economic Analysis
Eugene Kiernan
Head of Investment Strategy
Frank O’Brien
Non-Executive Director
Click here for more information about our Investment Team
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