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Taking Stock

Our quarterly investment trust magazine.

Looking to the future?

December sees two years since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (the Paris Agreement) was adopted and almost six months since Donald Trump subsequently announced that the US would withdraw from it.

While political positions may differ, facing up to and managing the potential implications of climate change are an inescapable reality of our times. But how does this affect investors? What are the threats and opportunities? And is it possible to invest in a way that makes a positive difference to our planet?

From the rise of electric cars and coal fired power stations facing up to their own mortality, through to Japanese companies developing environmentally friendly air conditioning technology, our contributors look at how the future is already influencing the investment decisions we make today.


  • Shaping all our tomorrows - Baillie Gifford sees businesses seeking to effect positive social and environmental change as natural growth companies.
  • Regulated risks: opportunities in UK utilities - Ciaran Mallon of Invesco Perpetual takes a look at how the decline of coal and the rise of regulatory intervention is impacting the UK utilities sector.
  • Investing for environmental impact - Investing in line with your principles has become more mainstream in recent years. Alliance Trust Savings’ Sara Wilson looks at the emergence of impact investing.
  • Oil: the contrarian case - Alasdair McKinnon of the Scottish Investment Trust PLC believes fears for the future of the world’s largest oil companies are overstated and is backing the oil sector with confidence.
  • UK smaller companies offer overseas exposure - Despite a backdrop of uncertainty in the UK, Mike Prentis, from BlackRock UK small and medium capitalised companies, is confident that his sector presents opportunities with a significant proportion of its revenues coming from overseas.
  • A different view of Japan: finding the companies of tomorrow in a changing world - Nicholas Price of Fidelity International outlines the growth prospects for two companies in Japan with products likely to make a positive difference to the future of the planet.
  • A green light on sustainable property - Dan Grandage, Head of Responsible Property Investment for Aberdeen Asset Management, explains why consideration of environmental, social and governance issues is now a key part of modern property management.
  • AIMing at the future - The Alternative Investment Market is home to emerging companies, many of which are focused on the future needs of our fast-changing world. Harry Nimmo of the Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Trust looks at the pros and cons of investing in these ‘companies of tomorrow’.
  • Doing the right thing... and keeping Merchants Trust portfolio on track - With investors increasingly interested in the social and ethical impact of what they do with their money, Simon Gergel of The Merchants Trust PLC outlines how a commitment to sustainability can add value.
  • Energy: fossil fuels at tipping point? - When the US withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, the voices of opposition included global fossil fuel giants. Alliance Trust Savings’ James McCafferty asks why, and considers the potential implications for investors.

Please remember the value of your investments and any income from them can go down as well as up and you may get back less than the amount you originally invested.

All investments carry an element of risk which may differ significantly. If you are unsure as to the suitability of any particular investment or product, you should seek professional financial advice.

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Alliance Trust Savings Limited is a subsidiary of Alliance Trust PLC and is registered in Scotland No. SC 98767, registered office, PO Box 164, 8 West Marketgait, Dundee DD1 9YP; is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, firm reference number 116115. Alliance Trust Savings gives no financial or investment advice.