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Liontrust Balanced Fund

Q1 2024 review

Past performance does not predict future returns. You may get back less than you originally invested. Reference to specific securities is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any investment.

The Liontrust Balanced Fund returned 7.6% over the quarter, outperforming its average peer in the IA Mixed Investment 40-85% Sector, which returned 4.2%*.

Global equities posted a positive return in Q1, driven by strong contributions from IT companies as enthusiasm around artificial intelligence (AI) drove the technology sector higher. In addition, expectations of interest rate cuts also boosted shares, though the pace of these cuts is likely to be slower than the market had hoped for at the beginning of the year.

Positive stock attribution

The most significant contributor to performance over Q1 2024 was Nvidia, the global chipmaker specialising in AI. The company saw its shares more than double in 2023 as it delivered rapid earnings growth. Despite significant subsequent upgrades to analysts’ earnings expectations, Nvidia continues to benefit from the bullish sentiment around AI. It still managed to exceed consensus with Q4 revenues of $22.1billion and EPS of $4.93, beating forecasts of $20.4 billion and $4.59 respectively. The shares continue to ride a wave of AI excitement, with incremental data points from early AI adopters such as Klarna showing strong productivity gains.

Installed Building Products was once again among the top contributors to portfolio performance, also rising on the back of Q4 results. The company recorded a 5% increase in net revenues to $721 million, with adjusted gross profit margins expanding to 34.1%, up from 31.7% a year earlier.

Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk was another strong performer over the quarter after announcing that sales and profit are likely to surge following the success of its anti-obesity drug Wegovy and diabetes drug Ozempic. The company announced that full-year operating profit increased by 37% to DKK103 billion, while the company also said it expects sales growth this year of between 18-26%, driven by increased demand in Wegovy and Ozempic.

Negative stock attribution

The stock that weighed the most on performance in Q1 was WuXi Biologics, the Chinese biotechnology company. WuXi has been hit over the past six months, first by a reduction in biotech funding and secondly this quarter by the proposal of a bill by US lawmakers that aims to block certain Chinese biotech companies from accessing federal contracts. They contend that these companies pose a national security risk, but Wuxi have pushed back stating that, as a pharmaceutical manufacturer, they have no ties with the Chinese military. The stock is now trading at a valuation that implies that it will lose complete access to the US market. We believe this represents an overly pessimistic outcome.

Adobe was another to finish the quarter in negative territory as competition concerns were revived after it abandoned the Figma deal. It is also suffering somewhat from a shift in perceptions from AI winner to AI loser after the release of OpenAI’s Sora for AI generated video.


Central banks on both sides of the Atlantic hinted in March at rate cuts this year, to which equity and bond markets reacted positively. However, the signals will likely change if the inflation trend inflects. We stated last month that we were pivoting from our previous expectations of lower inflation and interest rates, thanks largely to economic data.

While we had expected the tailwind from lower shelter inflation to come through in the US, inflation has proven to be sticky the last few months. If anything, inflation on a month-on-month basis has started to accelerate. If inflation continues to be stubborn, then this will weaken the Federal Reserve’s wish to cut interest rates in 2024. US and global economic data point to strengthening growth, which will add further upside pressure to inflation and reduce the likelihood of rate cuts. 

Given this change in our outlook, we have trimmed our positions in interest rate sensitive sectors such as housing. These stocks have performed very well, so are now pricing in positive outcomes, while the macro interest rate environment may begin to deteriorate for them. Instead, we are reallocating capital to more later cycle sectors such as cybersecurity, that may benefit as accelerating growth comes through. The valuation of some of these stocks are also much less demanding relative to their history.

Making macro forecasts is a hazardous pursuit. Instead, we prefer to diversify our portfolio broadly, focusing more on idiosyncratic risks and opportunities. However, we must also remain aware of what scenarios are priced into the stocks, which drives our risk/reward framework. This has helped inform some of the recent rotations in our holdings.

Discrete years' performance (%) to previous quarter-end:







Liontrust Balanced C Acc






IA Mixed Investment 40-85% Shares












Source: FE Analytics, as at 31.03.24, total return, net of fees and income reinvested

** Source: FE Analytics, as at 31.03.24, primary share class, total return, net of fees and income reinvested

Understand common financial words and terms See our glossary

Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income generated from it can fall as well as rise and is not guaranteed. You may get back less than you originally invested.

The issue of units/shares in Liontrust Funds may be subject to an initial charge, which will have an impact on the realisable value of the investment, particularly in the short term. Investments should always be considered as long term.

Investment in the Fund involves foreign currencies and may be subject to fluctuations in value due to movements in exchange rates. The value of fixed income securities will fall if the issuer is unable to repay its debt or has its credit rating reduced. Generally, the higher the perceived credit risk of the issuer, the higher the rate of interest. Bond markets may be subject to reduced liquidity. The Fund may invest in emerging markets/soft currencies or in financial derivative instruments, both of which may have the effect of increasing volatility.


This is a marketing communication. Before making an investment, you should read the relevant Prospectus and the Key Investor Information Document (KIID), which provide full product details including investment charges and risks. These documents can be obtained, free of charge, from www.liontrust.co.uk or direct from Liontrust. Always research your own investments. If you are not a professional investor please consult a regulated financial adviser regarding the suitability of such an investment for you and your personal circumstances.

This should not be construed as advice for investment in any product or security mentioned, an offer to buy or sell units/shares of Funds mentioned, or a solicitation to purchase securities in any company or investment product. Examples of stocks are provided for general information only to demonstrate our investment philosophy. The investment being promoted is for units in a fund, not directly in the underlying assets. It contains information and analysis that is believed to be accurate at the time of publication, but is subject to change without notice. Whilst care has been taken in compiling the content of this document, no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made by Liontrust as to its accuracy or completeness, including for external sources (which may have been used) which have not been verified. It should not be copied, forwarded, reproduced, divulged or otherwise distributed in any form whether by way of fax, email, oral or otherwise, in whole or in part without the express and prior written consent of Liontrust.

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