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Gartmore does balancing act

GARTMORE

Gartmore Portfolio: Balanced Strategy

Type:
Oeic fund of funds

Aim:
Growth by investing in a managed portfolio of investment funds

Minimum investment:
Lump sum £1,000,
monthly £50

Investment split:
55.6% UK equities, 12.4% bonds, 8.9% Europe ex UK,
9.3% US equities, 6% Asia ex Japan equities, 4.5% Japanese equitie, 1.5% emerging markets, 1.8% cash

Isa link:
Yes

Pap transfers:
Yes

Charges:
Initial 5%,
annual 1.2% plus underlying fund charges of between 0.5% and
2% a year

Commission:
Initial 3%,
Isa renewal 0.5%

Tel: 0800 212433

Gartmore Portfolio: Balanced Strategy is a fund of funds that combines lower-risk core funds and with high-risk satellite funds.
WBS Granville Wealth Management certified financial planner John Holian sees the fund of funds market as a growing area which suits IFAs who want to delegate investment decision making. He says: “Bambos Hambi and his team at Gartmore are very experienced in this area. There would be no reason to doubt they would work differently to before. For clients, an unfettered fund of funds gives them a chance to invest in a broad portfolio of funds.

“This is particularly beneficial for investors with small amounts but also for those with larger amounts who want to contain all holdings within a unit trust wrapper to simplify capital gains tax.”
Although the name Gartmore is well known, Holian thinks there could be problems getting across the point that this fund does not invest in Gartmore funds.

Holian also raises a number of issues relating to the charges. He thinks the 1.5 per cent annual charge Gartmore makes on top of the underlying funds can be steep. He adds: “The literature states discounts are negotiated and I would hope at least the renewal commission is rebated. Discounts are not quantified, so the charges are a little unclear.”

Holian also has a complaint about the investment split of the fund. He says: “Balanced strategy only has 12.6 per cent in bonds, with the rest in equities. But the title implies a greater balance between bonds and equities.”

Holian concludes by suggesting Gartmore could face competition from the likes of Skandia, Isis and Cazenove.

BROKER RATINGS:

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

Overall 6/10

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