Personal Finance: Cash points - Amex portfolios

American Express is launching a choice of five investment portfolios, graded according to the amount of risk involved and aimed at private investors in Europe and the UK. Next month investors in France, Germany and Italy will be offered investments quoted in euros. From next April UK investors will be offered an identical range quoted in sterling, which will qualify for inclusion in tax-exempt Individual Savings Accounts.

The five portfolios are conservative, semi-conservative, balanced, growth and "aggressive" and will all invest in a mixture of eight different investment packages.

Equity-based investments will be chosen to track market movements rather than actively managed ones. Investors can switch investments between portfolios without charge. The units will be sold both direct and through a range of banks and independent financial advisers and in all cases there will be an initial charge of not more than 3 per cent, plus annual fees ranging from 0.5 per cent a year on the most conservative portfolio, rising by stages to 2 per cent on the most aggressive portfolio. The minimum investment is 15 euros (about pounds 10). There is no exit charge and a regular savings option will be available. Income will roll up in the funds

Swiss-based Bank von Ernst has launched a Global Portfolio Management Service for UK residents, including an active management service and a Swiss bank account. The minimum investment is pounds 20,000. Details from 0171- 917 1880.

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