World Opportunities Fund
Aim: Growth by investing in 40 worldwide equity stocks with the potential for high growth.
Minimum investment: Lump sum £1,000, monthly £50.
Investment split: 100 per cent in 40 worldwide equity stocks with the potential for high growth.
Isa link: Yes.
Pep transfers: No.
Charges: Initial 3.5 per cent, annual 1.5 per cent.
Commission: Initial 3 per cent, renewal 0.5 per cent.
Tel: 01179 890808.
Paul Daly – Senior adviser, JN Financial Services
Andrew Hosking – Manager, Eggar Forrester.
Stephen Mills – Senior consultant, Brooks Macdonald Gayer & Co.
Keith Phillips – Adviser, Pritechett Financial Planning
Broker Ratings (ave. marks out of 10):-
Suitability to market: 7.0
Investment strategy: 6.6
Past performance: 5.1
Company's reputation: 6.5
Product literature: 6.8
The Axa world opportunities fund is an Oeic that invests in around 40 worldwide equity stocks with the potential for high growth, and can be used for Isa investments and Pep transfers.
Looking at how the fund fits into the market, Phillips and Mills have similar opinions. Phillips says: “In line with many other providers, this is becoming a popular choice. In practice, not many are performing that well yet.”
Mills feels that the product is similar to those offered by other insurance companies.
Hosking makes a general comment: “The fund is part of a portfolio of funds available through an Isa investment.”
Daly feels that the fund has its place in the market despite the emergence of Super Isa markets.
Turning to the type of client that the fund is suitable for, Hosking points to clients that look for a broad investment strategy aiming for capital growth over the medium to long-term.
Mills says it would be suitable for someone who already has a range of investments, but would not recommend it as a fund for a new investor.
Daly adds: “I would think either older or more cautious investors.”
Phillips continues: “People with a balanced view, who may not want to decide for themselves which sector or geographical location they wish to invest in.”
The panel are unenthusiastic when considering the marketing opportunities that the product will provide.
Mills says: “Not a great deal of new opportunities. Dependent upon underlying fund performance, there could be some new activitiy.”
Phillips feels that the quality of the literature and the lack of information within will not aid the marketing of the product.
Daly says: “The fund offers a complimentary product to Sun Life/Axa onshore and offshore insurance bonds. If clients have previously been invested in these, this fund is a natural extension for them.”
Hosking does not feel that the fund will provide many marketing opportunities, unless clients were positive about the investment range offered.
Moving on to the main useful features and strong points of the product, the panel pick up on different aspects of the fund.
Phillips likes the managed, balanced aspect. Hosking says: “Part of a broad range of Isa funds within portfolio. Low minimum investment.”
Daly goes into more depth: “The fact that there is free switching currently is a good feature for clients wishing to graduate towards higher income yields at a later stage – especially if they need to augment retirement income.”
Mills is positive about the product literature and the switching options available. He also feels that the fund is in line with the the market in relation to charges.
Considering the investment strategy of the fund, Daly says: “Excellent for income provision and defensive investments for conservative clients – fairly average for direct equity investment opportunities.”
Hosking calls it a basic strategy, concentrating on companies rather than countries or sectors.
Mills simply says: “Offers a global facility.”