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Alpha Isa aiming for the top

Lazard Asset Management is packaging two of its flagship funds inside the Lazard alpha Isa. The Isa aims to achieve capital growth through two funds, Lazard UK alpha and Lazard European alpha. Investments can be made in either of the funds or a combination.

The Lazard UK alpha fund invests in 40 to 50 UK stocks. The Lazard European alpha fund invests in 45 to 50 stocks.

Both funds follow a bottom-up approach to stockpicking which assesses individual stocks rather than stockmarket trends. A computer system initially provides the fund managers with a list of stocks which is narrowed to the most attractive companies through in-depth research.

Some investors may feel that a choice of two funds is limited compared with new arrivals such as Fidelity&#39s triple Isa, which also includes a US fund.

The funds available within Lazard&#39s Isa are a step above general UK and European funds in terms of investment risk because they contain fewer stocks, so the impact of poor performers will be greater. However, this can work in investors&#39 favour if the fund managers hold the right stocks at the right time.

According to Standard & Poor&#39s, the Lazard UK alpha fund is ranked 28th out of 287 funds and the Lazard European alpha fund is ranked 17th out of 100 funds based on £1,000 invested on a bid-to-bid basis with net income reinvested over three years to January 21, 2002.

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