John Monaghan, of fund research group Square Mile, said the strong performance of both funds during this year’s crisis was not surprising as they both owned well-established companies with good reputations, strong financials and resilient franchises.
Andrew Hardy, of Momentum Global Investment Management, said while there were other managers with a similar stock-picking style, as well as more aggressive growth-focused strategies that performed better in the early stages of the crisis, Mr Train and Mr Smith were undoubtedly among the leading managers.
Looking ahead, a resurgence in “value” stocks, such as oil or banking companies, which are out of favour and therefore cheap compared to their earnings, could hold both managers back. Mr Smith and Mr Train shun such companies in favour of faster-growing names.
However this will be of little concern to the managers, said Charlie Parker, of investment manager Albemarle Street Partners, as low interest rates for the foreseeable future will support their investment strategies.
“The much hoped for (including by us) longer-term rally in ‘value’ stocks looks to have evaporated as the virus took hold,” he said.