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Friends increase ethical access



Unit-linked fund

Aim: Growth linked to the performance of the Isis Stewardship Growth Fund and the Barclays Global Investors Liquidity Plus Fund

Minimum investment:
Lump sum £5,000

Investment split:
70% Isis Stewardship Growth Fund, 30% Barclays Global Investors Liquidity Plus Fund

Annual 0.6% plus
annual 1.25% for Investment Portfolio Bond

Initial up to 5.25% or
initial 3.25,
renewal 0.5%,
extra 0.25% initial for online applications

Tel: 0845 7573036

Friends Provident&#39s stewardship safeguard optimiser fund is an ethical unit-linked fund available to investors in the Friends Provident investment bond. It invests in the Isis stewardship growth fund and the Barclays Global Investors liquidity plus fund and will protect 80 per cent of the highest ever unit price if the market falls.

Investing Ethically director Alan Kirkham says the safeguard feature of the product is something many of his clients, especially older clients, will appreciate. He says: “This product has good market suitability as the percentage of cash holdings is much higher than with conventional equity funds. The literature is good and it points out that the cash fund is not ethical. The adviser remuneration is the market average while the charges are acceptable and should not deter people who want the extra features the fund offers.”

On the downside Kirkham says: “It can be complicated to explain to clients how the fund works and how the safeguard price feature work.”

Norwich Union is regarded by Kirkham as a potential competitor due to the wider socially responsible fund range for its unit-linked bond. However, Norwich Union does not offer a fund which switches between two underlying funds &#45 advisers would need to switch between cash and equities themselves.

Suitability to market: Good
Investment strategy: Good
Charges: Average
Adviser remuneration: Average

Overall 9/10


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