SCOTTISH Mortgage Investment Trust makes no bones about the boldness of its investment approach in its annual results statement.

The £6.44 billion trust has for a long, long time been about as far away from a quasi-index-tracker as you can get.

This is an investment trust which forms its own views of the big global picture and the major technological themes, whether it be IT or driverless cars or healthcare, and makes big calls based on its analysis.

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Scottish Mortgage, which has big holdings in technology-focused Chinese companies such as Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu and in high-profile US players such as online retail giant Amazon and electric vehicle pioneer Tesla, has done very well in recent years.

It has in some cases made good gains by acquiring stakes in companies ahead of their flotation, as was the case with online marketplace operator Alibaba.

While the trust’s total return on net asset value over 10 years is, at 287.8%, well ahead of 159.4% for its All-World Index benchmark in sterling terms, chairman Fiona McBain emphasises “progress is almost always bumpy”.

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She adds: “There will be times when share prices diverge from company fundamentals and during such periods the companies in Scottish Mortgage’s portfolio may fall out of favour. No attempt will be made to mitigate short-term volatility and the board will continue to stand resolutely behind the managers during such times.”

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It absolutely should be the case that, given the board is celebrating the success of managers James Anderson and Tom Slater’s bold approach, it should stand behind them during any such volatility, It is also good to see Scottish Mortgage set out its stall so clearly to investors.