Personal Equity Plans: In need of a buzz?
Sunday 31 January 1999
But the notion of theme-based investments is less popular. These funds choose stocks on the grounds that a particular industrial sector will benefit from a powerful global trend - an ageing population, technological developments or privatisation, for instance. Recent strong-performing thematic funds have been based on technology, financial services and utilities.
If you are looking for a way to bring a little excitement into an already substantial portfolio then they could provide the buzz. But be warned - these funds are narrow-focused, specialist and volatile investments.
Take the clutch of technology funds now clustered at the top of the one-year performance tables. Aberdeen Prolific Technology grew by more than 200 per cent over the five years to 1 January 1999. Reuters Hindsight says that in the 12 months before that date it increased in value by 37 per cent and was ranked fifth in the International Growth sector, closely followed by Henderson's Technology fund in sixth place.
Both were beaten by Scottish Equitable's technology fund, which put on 39 per cent and ranked third, while SocGen's new Technology launch has also performed strongly in its first few months.
Paul Kleiser, who manages the Scottish Equitable fund, agrees that technology funds are inherently volatile. "They tend to be either right at the top or right at the bottom of the sector," he says but adds that if you can live with that the outlook is good in the long term.
The telecoms industry's success has just spawned a new launch from Johnson Fry - the first fund manager to introduce a fund focusing on telecoms stocks around the world. The joint manager, Andrew Whalley, also runs JF's specialist utilities fund; he considers that although telecoms share prices have already seen considerable growth, it remains a key growth area.
But the tables can turn, even on chart-toppers. Framlington's Healthcare fund, which invests in small healthcare and biotechnology stocks with a bias to the US, has grown by 581 per cent over the last 10 years but lost almost 13 per cent in the 12 months to the end of 1999.
Another area to attract the attention of fund managers looking for global potential is financial services. The sector has had some pretty rocky periods over the last 12 months as world markets have been through the mill, but managers still point to strong underlying fundamentals.
One important factor is the west's ageing population which, coupled with a decline in state support, is pushing us all towards pensions, insurance and investments to see us through old age. Spotting trends in merger activity and new technology is also important.
Philip Gibbs, at Jupiter Financial Opportunities, views Ireland as one of the fastest-growing areas; Bank of Ireland is among his largest holdings.
The Jupiter fund has performed impressively over the last 12 months, with growth of over 33 per cent. It ranks 10th in the international growth sector. But some rivals have fared less well: S&P Financial Securities lost investors' money over the 12 month period; Edinburgh Financial just about broke even, while Framlington Financial gained less than 10 per cent.
- 1 Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
- 2 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 3 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Edgar Froese dead: Tangerine Dream founder dies aged 70
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Syrian refugee child beaten by Istanbul Burger King manager for eating customer’s leftover food
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...