Some time has passed since we published a complete performance table for our Wealth Preserver portfolio, an omission we put right today.
As a reminder, we set this portfolio in motion at the beginning of last year, although we did not recommend our first assets until April.
The earlier columns were spent discussing the nature of the challenge of keeping up with inflation, the fact that the perceived rate of inflation differs from one person to the next and, consequently, the appropriate target return for our basket of investments if we were to maintain their “real”, inflation-adjusted value.
In the end we settled for a target of the annual rise in the consumer prices index plus 2 percentage points.
How naive that will sound to readers now! It would of course equate to 11.9pc if we use the most recent official rate of the CPI. But we must remember that our target was set well before inflation had started to take off, when the idea that it would soon be in double digits after decades of slumber spent largely at or below the official 2pc target would have seemed far fetched indeed.
That said, the performance of the portfolio so far, a loss of 4.1pc in nominal terms, never mind taking into account the effects of inflation, is a profound disappointment.
As we have written before, we will resist the temptation to tinker with the investments in the belief that none has so far definitively failed and all our laggards retain at least the potential for recovery.
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