Fund Profile

CC Japan Income & Growth 07 September 2022


Disclosure – Non-Independent Marketing Communication

This is a non-independent marketing communication commissioned by CC Japan Income & Growth. The report has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on the dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

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The CC Japan Income & Growth Trust plc (CCJI) portfolio contains what its manager Richard Aston believes are Japan’s premier corporate leaders. These reflect a range of companies across all valuations and market caps, though the majority of them are amongst Japan’s largest and most long-standing companies. While CCJI has a mandate to produce both capital and income growth, Richard’s investment process is one which overwhelmingly focusses on a company’s ability to generate shareholder returns, with a company’s dividend payouts and sustainability being his preferred metrics for identifying a high-quality business. We describe his process in more detail, and give examples of these corporate leaders, in the Portfolio section.

Richard’s valuation-conscious approach to stock selection has led CCJI to become the leading Japanese equity trust in the large- or small-cap sectors over both a 12-month and a five-year period, while it has also substantially outperformed the TOPIX Total Return Index over these time periods (as of 30/06/2022). In fact, CCJI’s strong performance makes it the only Japanese equity trust to have generated a positive NAV return over the last year. CCJI also has leading risk–return statistics, thanks not only to its impressive Performance but also its lower volatility.,

CCJI also offers one of the highest yields in its sector, currently 3.4%. Part of Richard’s investment process is to focus on companies which exemplify Japan’s ever-improving corporate governance, with his holdings so far continuing to increase their dividend payouts even in the face of today’s more challenging environment. Despite its strong performance and high yield, CCJI trades on an 10.4% discount which is slightly narrower than its AIC Japan Sector peer group average but wider than its own five-year average.

Analyst's View

We believe CCJI’s strong performance demonstrates the benefits of Richard’s disciplined approach to equity valuations, and also his understanding of the Japanese equity market. Despite his focus on dividends and shareholder returns, he has generated good returns with his flexible approach across both dominant mega caps and smaller, more nimble growth companies. Importantly, CCJI’s balanced approach to stock selection has also led to it having lower historical volatility than its peers, allowing it to also be held by more cautious investors.

Even if you don’t have a strong view on the Japanese economy, Richard has shown that Japan’s corporate leaders can demonstrate high-quality characteristics that can perform well in difficult environments. In fact, we believe the performance of CCJI over the past 12 months has shown that Japanese companies – and specifically those with resilient balance sheets and decades of experience – may be amongst the best placed to weather periods of economic hardship. This is reflected in CCJI’s positive 12-month Performance, which not many listed equity trusts have achieved in a tumultuous period. We also believe that CCJI’s discount offers an attractive entry point, as it has been caught up in the wider sell-off despite its impressive performance.

CCJI is also characterised by its attractive yield, even though at 3.5% it does lag the average of both the global and UK equity income sectors. However, we believe that the diversification CCJI offers is attractive, as is the strong underlying Dividend growth which supports the trust’s yield.


  • Has generated sector-leading performance over both the short and long term
  • Offers the highest yield in the sector
  • Discount offers an attractive entry point


  • Can offer fewer diversification benefits than stylistically biased peers
  • Can underperform in heavily style-driven markets
  • Gearing can enhance losses on the downside
Continue to Portfolio
2024 Kepler Income & Growth Rated Fund

This trust has been awarded a rating by Kepler Trust Intelligence for income & growth... Find out more

Fund History

06 Jul 2024 America for growth, Japan for value
Different investment styles are needed for different regions…
01 May 2024 From riches to rags to riches, is this time really different for Japan?
Japan’s decade-long corporate governance push is finally leading to significant improvements to underlying Japanese businesses…
17 Apr 2024 Fund Analysis
CCJI’s differentiated investment approach has led to sector-leading performance…
09 Apr 2024 The opportunity in Japan, with CCJI's Richard Aston - Podcast: Trust Issues #28
We discuss policy changes, small and mid-caps, and Richard's approach to valuations...
08 Mar 2024 Investing in Japan with investment trusts
Closed-ended funds offer an attractive way to access the Japanese stock market…
17 Jan 2024 Top of the Pops
We reveal the winners of our investment trust ratings for 2024…
03 Jan 2024 Probably better asking an octopus
Our investment trust experts uncurl a tentacle each and choose their ‘top picks’ for 2024…
05 Oct 2023 Fund Analysis
CCJI leads the performance tables in Japan over one, three and five years…
27 Sep 2023 Ohayō Japan!
Our analysts discuss what they think may be a new dawn for the Land of the Rising Sun...
14 Jul 2023 Japan’s value shift
Global equity funds are upping exposure to Japan…
06 Apr 2023 Interview with CC Japan Income & Growth's manager Richard Aston
We discuss why Japan has so many opportunities for income investors...
15 Feb 2023 Fund Analysis
CCJI is an attractive ‘buy and hold’ strategy…
15 Feb 2023 Lost in translation
We argue Japanese equities look attractive on both a short and long-term view…
11 Jan 2023 Solving the Rubik’s Cube
We reveal the winners of our investment trust ratings for 2023…
12 Oct 2022 The Buck stops where?
The US dollar has surged in 2022, but many are questioning whether this can be sustained...
07 Sep 2022 Fund Analysis
By focussing on Japan’s corporate leaders, CCJI’s performance has led the AIC Japan sector over both one and five years…
19 Aug 2022 Every silver lining has a cloud
A recent bounce back in equities may be hiding wider problems for investors…
06 May 2022 The Land of the Falling Yen
A cheaper currency is unlikely to change long-term trends in Japan…
20 Apr 2022 On the hunt
We review discounts in the investment trust space against a backdrop of harsh conditions...
02 Mar 2022 Fund Analysis
CCJI has outperformed its peers and the TOPIX index over the last 12 months, while offering a consistent source of income…
03 Nov 2021 Don't fear the reaper
With market direction hard to call, we consider the case for taking a long-term view in the investment trust sector…
15 Sep 2021 Bargains galore
We review our discounted opportunities portfolio, with one constituent rallying more than 30% in just two months…
18 Aug 2021 Fund Analysis
CCJI has recently outperformed its peers and benchmark, while still being the highest-yielding trust in its sector…
14 Jul 2021 Grade inflation
We look at how our discounted opportunities portfolio has done in the first half of the year and update on the performance of our long-term rated funds…
02 Jun 2021 Fortune favours the brave (sometimes)
Our research suggests wide discounts often herald high NAV returns too…
05 May 2021 Vive la revolution
For thirty years quality has had a structural tailwind; but revolt is in the air and value is on the barricades…
14 Apr 2021 Wide Boys
We review our portfolio of chonky discounts as one star performer hits its target…
24 Mar 2021 Shoot to Thrill: ISA targets for long term growth
We all intend to invest for the long-term but can often be distracted by the news...
16 Mar 2021 Fund Analysis
Offering the highest yield in the sector, CCJI focusses on quality Japanese companies capitalising on corporate reforms...
02 Dec 2020 Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
Cheap companies in Japan are drowning in what cheap companies elsewhere would kill for: buckets of cash…
01 Oct 2020 Alternatives for Income Investors
Slides and audio from our event focused on alternative routes to a reliable income…
30 Sep 2020 Slides and Audio: CC Japan Income & Growth
View the presentation and listen to the audio from our 'Alternatives for Income Investors' event on 29 September...
20 Aug 2020 Alternatives for income investors
In a world where dividend are under unprecedented pressure, our income focused online event in September should provide serious food for thought…
13 Aug 2020 Underground bangers
We look for hidden gems in the smaller end of the investment trust universe...
29 Jul 2020 To be, or not to be (geared), that is the question
Gearing is part of the toolkit that trusts use to outperform OEICs. But how is it best implemented?...
30 Jun 2020 Fund Analysis
With the highest yield in its sector, CCJI aims to take advantage of long-term shifts in the way Japanese companies are managed...
05 Sep 2018 Fund Analysis
The strategy aims to take advantage of a secular shift towards shareholder-friendly policies, including dividends and buybacks, in corporate Japan...
05 Sep 2018 Bullseye
The third arrow of Shinzo Abe's grand plan, corporate reform, could have significant implications for undervalued Japanese equities...
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