Fund Manager’s Diary

Friday Arrive in the office at 7.45am to news of falling markets. With the extended bull market a correction was to be expected but I am surprised at the speed of the fall. Next Friday is the Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust AGM, one of the most important days in the calendar for me. I decide to start work on my speech to 300 private shareholders.

This afternoon I have a meeting scheduled with Richard Wilson, head of equities at F&C, to discuss strategy – namely the level of risk we are taking in the stock selection across individual portfolios.

Talking to Phil Doel, manager of the F&C UK Opportunities fund, I find out he is in the gym several times a week in preparation for a triathlon. Feeling pangs of guilt about my own fitness, I decide a training session at the gym might help me unwind after an eventful day in the markets, as well as burn off some of the steak I had at lunch.

Saturday I decide to take the stress of falling stockmarkets out on my garden and spend the day digging up dead plants and weeds. In the evening, my wife Ruth and I are invited to dinner with some friends. One of the other guests finds out I am a fund manager for F&C and says she has invested her Child Trust Fund with us. She admits she knows very little about investment but her sister told her to do it.

Sunday With more gardening to do, I am debating the benefits of a patio. I get caught up in traffic on the way to the garden centre and spend an hour perfecting my clutch control as cars move at snail’s pace due to the Chelsea FC victory parade.

Monday I arrive at work to find markets have dropped by another 2%. I have a press lunch. It is always good to have interesting questions thrown at you. It makes you think and is great practice for when I am communicating key messages to investors.

After lunch, I have an important meeting with an external Latin American fund manager from the US, to discuss his views on the current investment climate in the region. He is very optimistic, which is reassuring since Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust has a large exposure to the region.

Tuesday Today is definitely the highlight of the week. I am out of the office the whole day accompanying a school trip to Buckingham Palace with my four-year old son David. As the only dad on the trip I am expertly coaxed by the teachers to don a Queen’s coachman’s outfit to entertain the kids. Dressed up to the nines in a three-cornered hat, wig and red and gold tunic with large, solid gold buttons, I breathe a sigh of relief that I was not made to wear the pink tights.

Wednesday A momentous day…I get my first Blackberry. I spend some time trying to get to grips with how it works. I have a handover meeting in the morning with Sophie Horsfall, manager of the Stewardship International fund, who is going on holiday to Mauritius. I admit to feeling very jealous. As markets continue to fall I am forced to reword my AGM speech for the third time and work late into the evening tweaking it to ensure it is as relevant as possible.

Thursday Early morning, I attend an asset allocation meeting chaired by Fernando Ribeiro, head of investment for F&C. This is a high-level meeting where we decide the company’s overall investment policies. The message is clear: we continue to be more cautious on equities this year but our belief that inflation is going up means we are even more cautious on bonds.

Jeremy Tigue is manager of the Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust and head of global equities for F&C. His diary runs from May 12-18.