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Buckles gets snowed under

Buckles Investment Services

Snowdonia Balanced Fund

Type: Oeic fund of funds

Aim: Growth by investing in UK and overseas equities, fixed interest and cash

Minimum investment: Lump sum 3,000, monthly 50
Investment split: 46% UK equities, 25% overseas
equities, 25% fixed interest, 4% cash

Isa link: Yes

Pep transfers: Yes

Charges: Initial 5.27%, annual 1.5%

Commission: Initial 3%, renewal 0.5%

Tel: 01745 345 131

IFA firm Buckles Investment Management has established a fund of funds range for other IFAs and their clients. The Snowdonia balanced fund is one of these funds and is managed for Buckles by Premier Portfolio Managers.

Michael Philips proprietor Michael Both says: “I can certainly see why Buckles Investment Services might want to launch a range of funds of funds for their own clients. It enables them to differentiate themselves and build a brand, and all credit to them. What is less obvious to me is why any other IFA should want to support their Snowdonia brand, at least based on the evidence I have seen to date.”

Both points out that his clients generally like a degree of brand awareness and a track record, which Buckles does not have. He also feels that as the management is outsourced to Premier Portfolio Managers, clients will wonder why the IFA does not simply recommend a Premier fund. He adds: “Buckles may be an investment house with an independent brief but this hardly unique. The charges on this fund are not particularly low and will be difficult without economies of scale.”

Identifying competing funds of funds in the balanced sectors Both says: “Id have to consider Miton strategic growth, Jupiter merlin growth and Credit Suisse multi manager balanced strategy, but there are other leading managers you could happily entrust funds to as an alternative.”

Both concludes: “Although I live in hope, I have yet to find anyone who can convince me that if a professional fund manger is an indifferent stock-picker they will magically construct a winning portfolio of other peoples funds just because they have a subscription to Morning Stars X-ray service. If one compares the returns of investing with the established “champions” against fund of fund contenders, can you justify risking your clients hard earned on a new bandwagon? I know the theory of the taper relief benefits of holding a fund of fund against individual funds, but in practice it is rarely an overwhelming argument.”

Suitability to market Average
Investment strategy Average
Charges Poor
Adviser remuneration Average

Overall 5/10


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