MTTM Podcast Episode 402 – Investment funds with conviction, self assessment tips & EU mobile roaming

2 min Read Published: 29 Jan 2023

Episode 402 - On this week's podcast I talk about more ways to find active funds that back their convictions. Andy provides tips for those who are completing a self assessment and highlights some allowances you may not be aware of that you can claim. Finally, Lauren reveals the mobile phone operators that are now charging you to use your phone while holidaying in the EU and those operators that don't.

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Abridged transcript - Episode 402

How to find active investment funds run with conviction

Following last week's episode where I looked at key statistics to help find active funds that are run with conviction, this week I provide further tips to find active funds where the manager is backing their convictions.

Key takeaways:

  • Funds can be either active or passive, with active funds having a fund manager who attempts to beat the market
  • Investing in funds with a different approach (e.g technology stocks) can provide exposure to particular sectors and therefore allow you to outperform or underperform the wider market but also passive funds that track stock market indices
  • Past performance tracking, active share, and correlations can all help find fund managers that are backing their convictions (listen to episode 401)
  • Equity funds typically invest in a range of companies to diversify and reduce risk. The number of holdings that a fund has is a one simple way to gauge the level of concentration in a fund, with a low number of holdings indicating a more concentrated portfolio
  • For each unit trust sector we calculated the median number of companies equity funds invest in as shown below.
  • If a fund you are researching has a smaller number of funds than its peer group median (shown below) it could suggest that the manager is running a concentrated stock picking strategy. It is often difficult to find information on an individual funds total number of holdings. However, potential sources include the fund's factsheet, Morningstar or even fund platforms such as Hargreaves Lansdown.
Unit trust sector Median number companies a fund invests in
Asia ex Japan 60
Europe ex UK 32
Global 47
Global Equity Income 67
North America 55
UK All Companies 30
UK Equity Income 54

Self assessment tips

Deadline for online self assessment tax return is 31st January 2023 (midnight). Reasons to submit a self assessment tax return include:

  • you earned more than £100,000 taxable income in the 2021/22 tax year
  • you were self-employed and earned more than £1,000 in the 2021/22 tax year
  • you claimed COVID-19 grant or support payments in the 2021/22 tax year
  • you were employed in the 2021/22 tax year and claimed business expenses in excess of £2,500
  • you earned over £50,000 and received child benefit
  • you were a higher rate taxpayer or additional rate taxpayer wanting to claim full tax relief on pension contributions

To speed up the process of completing your self assessment:

  • make sure you allow enough time to gather necessary information
  • make sure you know your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) ahead of time
  • online accounting software can help manage your business accounts and make completing your self assessment tax return easier.

See Self assessment tax return tips for full information.

EU roaming charges - which mobile providers charge & which don't

The state of EU roaming for mobile phone operators has changed following the Brexit trade deal in December 2020, allowing providers to reintroduce EU roaming charges. Providers such as Sky Mobile, Vodafone, and Voxi now charge for EU roaming and Tesco Mobile will join them from late spring 2023. Providers that still offer free EU roaming include BT Mobile, Giffgaff, ID Mobile, Plusnet, Talk Mobile, and Virgin Mobile (until the transfer to O2 network in 2023 which allows for free EU roaming up to 25 GB of data). Read our article "EU data roaming: Which providers charge extra to use your phone abroad?" for more information.