Guinness Global Energy fund named worst of the year

STOCKS TO WATCH: Why fund boss Guinness may need a stiff drink…

Founder Tim Guinness may have reached for a stiff drink over the Christmas table after seeing his Guinness Global Energy Fund top analyst Morningstar’s worst performing funds list this year.

However, the funds veteran could be forgiven for not predicting that oil prices would turn negative and the fund’s top holding Shell would cut its dividend for the first time since the Second World War.

Yeovil boy and tennis fan Jamie Seaton may also look away after serving up declines in London outfit GVQ’s two main funds. Key holdings included aerospace and defence firm Babcock and advertising giant WPP.

Tim Guinness, the founder of Guinness Global Energy Fund

And the best performer? Baillie Gifford’s American Fund. It holds a cluster of tech stocks including video conferencer Zoom.

A wise choice in housebound 2020. 

On The Beach 

Simon Cooper started out in the travel business selling ski holidays in the Alps in his university days through his cheekily-named business On The Piste.

These days he runs On The Beach, the holiday specialist he founded in 2004 selling trips through Teletext via Red Button.

Britons may be putting off the traditional January rush to book expensive summer trips, but Cooper himself appears well set to splash out. He recently sold £14million of stock in On The Beach after a rally in its share price.

Sources said investor demand prompted the chunky sale, his first since 2016.

He still holds a 5 per cent stake, so it’s not time to snooze on the sun lounger just yet.

WH Smith

WH Smith was once a darling of the City, reliably churning out profits based on its booming travel division and offsetting the woes of the high street.

But the puncture in the travel market has meant the shares are still down 43 per cent on the start of the year despite a vaccine-induced partial recovery.

Brokers at Peel Hunt are urging brave investors to buy into the stock.

 In a note entitled ‘It’s time to get Funky’ they argue its online greetings card arm, Funky Pigeon, bought a decade ago, is undervalued. 

They say if its rival Moonpig floats successfully next year, investors will realise its potential.

There’s logic to this. As Covid keeps loved ones apart for the time being, posting a little cheer should remain popular.

We tap small-cap king Andrew Monk for a share tip for 2021…

The VSA Capital chief executive reckons that precision engineer Pressure Technologies is worth a punt.

The company, worth just £28million, has suffered in 2020 as a supplier to the struggling oil and gas sector. 

But Monk reckons a global green push from governments will help its hydrogen energy arm land a string of new orders, as the fuel needs specialist cylinders to store.

‘A tripling of the share price is quite achievable,’ says Monk boldly.