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Commodity concerns

Some advisers have expressed concerns that Schroders is going a little bit commodity-crazy.

In the last few months, we have seen a spate of launches into the area and advisers have begun to ask whether the fund firm is chasing a boom or indeed whether it has the resources to cover all this ground.

Schroders is a big company with plenty of resources.

Concerns over commodities and the extent to which it is a bubble depend first on what commodity you are talking about. Taking one rather painful example at the moment, oil, trying to get an idea of how much of the price is the result of speculation and how much the result a global shift in demand would appear to vary by economist or analyst.

What is clear is the British investing public may be taking some collective risks by not investing aggressively enough in some emerging and recently emerged markets, at least in the long term. Such an argument has been advanced by Fidelity and appears to hold water. But investors need access to the funds and the markets concerned to do so.

Getting the calls and the allocations right is all that more difficult at times of big fundamental economic shifts and, of course, bear markets. But it does not mean that such decisions can be neglected.

That is why it is good that advisers ask managers difficult questions.

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