Fund legend Bolton chalks up £1m loss backing himself

The legendary fund manager Anthony Bolton lost £1m of his own fortune last year by backing his struggling Fidelity China Special Situations trust, according to the broker Collins Stewart.

The £570m trust – which was launched in November 2009 – had a torrid 2011 during which its share price fell 36 per cent. With 2.5 million shares, Mr Bolton's holding slumped in value from £2.95m in December 2010 to just £1.85m 12 months later.

His decision to come out of retirement to run the fund has tarnished a reputation built up over 28 years during which he averaged consistent average annual returns of about 20 per cent while managing the Fidelity UK Special Situations fund.

But he is not alone in backing his own investment performance with big stakes. Collins Stewart note that some 37 investment trust managers have gambled £500,000 or more in their own trust. Other high-profile managers to do so include Alex Darwall at Jupiter and Jeremy Tigue at Foreign & Colonial.