Keep in mind that our commentary on the fund, as well as its past performance, is not a guarantee of what will happen in the future. The value of investments, unlike cash, will go up and down over time. Depending on the value of your investments when you sell, you may not get back as much as you invested.
We’ve tried to explain any technical terms where possible. For further explanation, view our A–Z of Impact Investing (PDF download).
Current economic outlook
These are still uncertain times, both in the financial markets and beyond. And that has an impact on the Triodos investment funds.
We are still dealing with war on our continent, high inflation, and rising interest rates. In the third quarter of the year, stock markets continued to fall as most major central banks tightened monetary policies, and inflation continued to surge across advanced economies. As a result, fears of a financial recession grew during this quarter.
As this fund invests in companies from across the globe, it will be impacted by the markets in areas such as the US, the UK, Europe and Japan.
Inflation in the US has peaked and has started to gradually fall. However, we think it will remain above the Federal Reserve’s target for the next year or so.
For the UK and the Eurozone, it’s a different story. The energy crisis and gas supply cuts could mean inflation will continue to rise and won’t peak until the final quarter of the year. Again, this could have a negative impact on how much people can spend, and therefore the economy as a whole.
On top of that, the UK may experience additional inflationary pressure because of Brexit and the new fiscal plans. Japanese inflation may also peak towards the end of the year, but due to factors specific to their economic situation.
What we think might happen in the future
We think that if things continue as they are, the eurozone and UK may tip over into a full-scale recession. But we’re also planning for a scenario in which things could get worse. This could see the US and Japan also enter a recession, although we think that a global recession will still be avoided.
That being said, it’s not impossible that inflation could come down faster than expected if supply constraints ease. In which case, the eurozone would in that case narrowly avoid a recession.
Keep in mind that these are our speculations of what we think might happen based on the current economic outlook. Planning for multiple scenarios helps us inform our investment decisions but is in no way a guarantee of what may happen in the future.
How the fund has performed
The Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund invests in small and medium sized (mid-cap) companies, so compares its performance to the MSCI World Small & Mid Cap Index. We’ll refer to this as the benchmark for this fund.
As the table shows, the fund provided a slightly positive return in the third quarter (that is, the period from June to September) with a return of 2.2%. But it did lag slightly behind its benchmark of 3.03%
The investment strategy of this fund, and performance of some of the investments chosen to try and achieve this goal, had a positive effect. However currency movements had a negative impact due to the strengthening of the US Dollar and the weakening of the Yen.
The value of the Sterling compared to the Euro also fell during the last quarter, reaching an average of 1.14 in September. This would have had a negative impact on the fund’s returns as it’s quoted in Sterling. When you buy or sell units in this fund, your Sterling is converted into Euros or vice versa. Your total return is therefore subject to the Euro-Sterling exchange rate.
As of 30/09/22
|1 month||3 months||Year-to-date||1 Year|
|Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund KR-dis||-6.83%||2.20%||-12.33%||-15.37%|
Calendar year return
|Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund KR-dis||0.57%||28.77%||28.31%||-10.33%||15.48%|
Stocks in focus
Here, we look at the performance of some of the companies the fund invests in, and what we think will happen in the future. Keep in mind that this is our investment analyst's view but is not a guarantee. Investments go up and down in value over time. Depending on the price when you sell, you may not get back as much as you’ve invested.
Companies that had a positive impact on the fund’s performance:
- First Solar is a leading American solar technology company. Lately, it has benefited from the US government’s plans to continue supporting the renewables sector, as well as several broker upgrades. As a result, many analysts expect that the company will make more revenue in the future, which may have positively affected the share price.
- Wolfspeed is the biggest commercial supplier of Silicon Carbide in the world. It aligns well with our sustainability theme, as its innovative silicon alternatives are used in electric vehicles and solar energy. This company reported strong results with both earnings and revenues above what was expected. The company also has a strong design for a new product in the pipeline, which management think will increase revenue in the future.
Companies that had a negative impact on the fund’s performance:
- GN Store Nord is a Danish company that produces audio devices, both for medical and recreational use. It aims to improve people’s quality of life and protect their hearing, especially for those with hearing loss. It has been a disappointing performer as recreational audio products are affected by the difficult economy. However, its hearing aid business is still doing well as a new model is rolled out. Also, its headphones business and equipment for online communications (like Microsoft Teams and Zoom) are still performing strongly. We believe shares in this company are now trading at a price which is lower than what they’re worth, so represent good value.
- Chr. Hansen are a pioneering microbial science company which aims to improve food, health and productivity for a sustainable future. This company has seen pressure on its profit margins due to cost increases, but it is able to pass most of this on to its customers by raising the prices of its products. Organic growth remains positive, but the company is now trading at a reduced share price due to its longer-term valuation. We’re continuing to hold shares in this company, in the hope of it returning this returning to normal levels.
Find out more about the Triodos Pioneer Impact Fund
Like all investments, your capital is at risk – investments can go down as well as up, currency fluctuations can affect the value of your investment and you may not get back what you put in.
You should ask an independent financial advisor if you're unsure which investment is right for you. Triodos Bank doesn’t offer financial advice.
Find out more about the Pioneer Impact Fund.