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Jupiter's Chatfeild-Roberts sticks with US but stays shy of Europe

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by Alison Warner on May 22, 2012 at 11:08

John Chatfeild-Roberts (pictured) is taking the long view with Jupiter’s Merlin range of multi-manager funds, keeping exposure to Europe and emerging markets low in favour of gold and US equities.

John Chatfeild-Roberts, head of Jupiter’s Merlin range of multi-manager funds, has argued the US economy will not go back into recession for the moment, after US companies’ earnings exceeded expectations in the last quarter. The Merlin portfolios probably had more in US equities than many funds, he said.

‘The only slight downside is arguably that American shares on a long-term basis are not particularly cheap, whereas on a long-term basis European shares do look quite cheap. But one has to be worried about what their earnings are,’ he said.

On Europe, Chatfeild-Roberts is less optimistic, and the funds have low exposure to European ex-UK equities. ‘We have very little money in Europe and that’s been the case for four years,’ he said.

He said the Merlin portfolios have had ‘reasonable’ exposure to Asia ex-Japan for a while, almost entirely through First State Asia Pacific Leaders B fund or the First State Asian Equity Plus fund, managed by Angus Tulloch and his team.

Tulloch is a value investor and Chatfeild-Roberts said his holdings in Tulloch’s funds represented a ‘defensive way of playing Asian equities’.

‘We want exposure to that region but we prefer to do it in a controlled way rather than in a too-aggressive manner. That’s served us well over the years.’

The Merlin portfolios currently have no exposure to China, however.

Waiting for China’s moment

‘In the near term it’s very difficult to predict what will happen in China,’ said Chatfeild-Roberts. ‘In the longer term, it is obvious China is a world power and it will grow economically considerably faster than the developed world. The trick is to try to make money out of that.’

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  • Jupiter Merlin Worldwide Portfolio Inc
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  • CF Morant Wright Japan A Acc
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  • John Chatfeild-Roberts
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  • Angus Tulloch
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  • Simon Somerville
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