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Adviser Fund Index

The Aggressive Adviser Fund Index has performed well since inception on November 1, 2004 with a total return of 54.4 per cent to February 5, 2007. This corresponds to an annualised return of 21.2 per cent, according to Financial Express.

This puts it ahead of the Balanced and Cautious indices and also in front of the FTSE All Share and MSCI World ex UK indices. The Aggressive index has achieved its return with a higher level of volatility than the Balanced and Cautious AFIs but has managed to outperform the FTSE All Share with a lower volatility. The annualised volatility of the Aggressive AFI was 10.05 per cent, based on data over November 1, 2004 to January 31, 2007.

The panellists’ allocations to international equities explains part of the outperformance of the Aggressive AFI over the FTSE All Share index.

The Aggressive AFI has also outperformed the average IMA active managed fund (up by 44 per cent) and the Apcims growth index (up by 41.8 per cent) since November 2004.

However, some panellists are looking to position their portfolios more defensively. Ben Willis, head of research at Whitechurch Securities, says: “We have shifted our portfolios towards North America. US equity markets have underperformed for the last few years but we anticipate a slowdown in global growth and believe the North American markets have all the right defensive characteristics to perform.”

Willis still favours equities as an asset class. The Whitechurch portfolio recommendations are overweight in equities and underweight in property and fixed interest.

Of the five best-backed funds in the Aggressive AFI, Artemis European growth, Schroder UK alpha plus and Axa Framlington UK select opportunities have outperformed the overall index since November 2004. The other two portfolios, Lazard UK alpha and Legg Mason US equity, fall short of the index return.

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