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  • Writer's pictureStephen Walters

Holding myself to account

For eight weeks I've side-stepped this blog. I've not kept my pledge to write fortnightly. Maybe some of you have wondered about my absence, and perhaps have lost a bit of trust in me. I'd like to explain: I lost some trust in me. When the Dexterity portfolio fell 10% in mid-Feb, and I couldn't discern a strong reason; when it stayed down through March... April... May... I began to doubt my judgment. "What if I've got this global, thematic, mostly ESG approach wrong?" I asked myself. My sense of guilt at letting clients down was painful, and I was feeling a sense of dread that numbed my ability to communicate. For two clients and myself, I bought some ETF just before the fall...ouch!

Slowly I cottoned onto factors affecting performance. There are concerns around the world lest rising inflation not fall again. Also; our star ETF - Clean Energy - became too popular for its own good; suffered for that; expanded its holdings and is recovering. At last, the portfolio seems to be on the move upwards. It's now 1.5% below its peak value on 15 Feb, and I feel my confidence beginning to return. Looking at all the client-portfolios to which I have access, all look healthy compared to the benchmarks (MSCI World and FTSE 100).

The experience has been unpleasantly valuable for me. My request to myself is, when I'm feeling insecure, to show up in my vulnerability.

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