Money: 'Sell in May' not only way

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The Independent Online
A new fund based on the stock market adage of 'sell in May, and go away' is being launched by a firm of independent retirement advisers, writes Sue Fieldman.

It invests in M&G equity bond funds. When the adviser Wentworth-Rose Independent's research indicates that the time is right the firm switches investors into cash via the M&G Life Deposit Bond fund.

According to the promotional bumf, Wentworth's research has revealed 'some astonishing facts' such as 'January's performance is often indicative of the rest of the year' and 'June is traditionally bad'.

If you followed the adage to the letter - selling in May and buying back in September - in the past you would not always have made the right decision.

From 1988 to 1993, if you sold on 1 May and bought back on 1 September you would have got it wrong three times, right twice and the other year was virtually unchanged.

Buying on 1 September and selling on 1 May is more profitable with four right, one wrong and this year looking good.

Wentworth varies the theme and expects to switch between equities and cash six times during the year.

There are no switching charges, but Wentworth charges a 1 per cent annual management fee.

There is another investment adage that last year's worst performers are next year's stars. On the back of this Johnson Fry launched a worst performing fund.

In 1992 it invested in extra yield funds, in 1993 the investment was Japanese smaller companies and this year the fund is in deposits.

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