Michael Barnard, manager of Marlborough UK Equity Growth, has reduced the fund's cash weighting to ...
Michael Barnard, manager of Marlborough UK Equity Growth, has reduced the fund's cash weighting to 2%, the lowest it has been since he took over the fund in 1995.
Barnard held 30% in cash as late as April and the fund has averaged around a 20% cash weighting in his seven years at the helm.
He said: 'I'm not saying the market is necessarily at the bottom. All I'm concerned about is buying at levels I am comfortable with and, at these levels, I am quite optimistic.'
Barnard has been buying into the market lows, predominantly targeting beaten-down large caps. If the market does fall lower, he will see it as a further buying opportunity.
For the market to climb back to its December 1999 peak of 6930, he said, it would take a 70.7% increase in the FTSE from current levels.
Barnard noted: 'I am sure the market will reach a new high within 10 years but it would not surprise me if it did it in five.'
In his seven years running the fund, UK Equity Growth is the top performing UK All Companies vehicle, up 227.5%, offer to bid to 26 July, compared to a sector average of 43.03%.
Barnard also took over Marlborough UK Equity Income two months ago. He has concentrated the portfolio to 30 holdings, buying 14 new stocks and selling or lightening 23 of the positions he inherited.
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