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Chartwell takes chocolate box approach

Chartwell Investment Management is offering investors the chance to simplify their portfolios through its managed portfolio service.

This discretionary portfolio management service has a choice of three growth strategies — cautious growth, core growth and enhanced growth — and an income strategy. Core growth is the medium-risk portfolio, while cautious growth is lower risk and enhanced growth is higher risk.

All strategies, including income, are made up of a set number of funds within a range of 10 chosen by Chartwell. The strategies take a chocolate box approach to investing in that they span an assortment of investment trusts, unit trusts and Oeics. But Chartwell does not disclose which funds are available until the client invests in the service.

The service has a 1 per cent initial charge and 1 per cent annual management charge, which is low compared to products like ABN Amro&#39s premier funds service which has an initial charge of 4 per cent and an annual management charge of 1.25 per cent. Chartwell&#39s low charges are the result of its ability to negotiate competitive charges on the underlying funds through electronic transfer and bulk deals.

Chartwell&#39s managed portfolio service is likely to appeal to investors who do not want to get involved in investment decisions and who do not want to be swamped with the paperwork that a diverse investment portfolio often involves. However, the drawback compared to the ABN Amro product and similar portfolio management services is that investors do not know what funds they are investing in until they have already invested in the service. ABN Amro&#39s product provides this information at the outset and also has a strategy for ethical investors.

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By Rob Burnett, Neptune European Opportunities Fund

In recent months, investors have become more pessimistic about both the European and the US economic outlook and yet stockmarkets have pushed on to new highs. Some would argue that this is a worrying divergence. We would take the opposite view. This appears to be classic bull market behaviour. A wall of worry has been rebuilt, and stockmarket resilience should be taken as a sign of strength. The market is discounting an improving economic outlook ahead, particularly in the south of Europe.

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