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Judging the turn

The Resolution Argonaut European alpha fund managed by Barry Norris has an outstanding record. Norris started his career with Baillie Gifford and spent some time with Neptune where he ran the European opportunities fund. He then decided to start Argonaut Capital Partners in 2005 with Oliver Russ.

The Argonaut European Alpha fund was ranked second in its peer group of 94 European focus funds for the three years to May 12, 2008.

It has since dropped back due to the fall in commodity prices including energy and basic materials and the rise of the laggard sectors such as media and technology.

Norris believes that while the global economic outlook is incredibly uncertain, equities are largely priced for bad news.

He points out that the market will usually turn when the yield on equities is equal to or higher than the yield on bonds. It looks as though this situation may well happen shortly.

It is very difficult to forecast the bottom of the market but I believe that it is worth investing now rather than missing out when the market recovers again, especially using experienced fund managers with good past records.

There are many good stockpicking opportunities in Europe to be found. This fund is heavily invested in telecommunication stocks where sustainable dividend yields of 6 to 7 per cent are very common.

Norris is currently investing more in Sanofi, a French pharmaceutical company. Although he believes that the coming weeks are likely to be exceptionally volatile, he also thinks they are likely to throw up once- in-a decade investment opportunities.

I recommend exposure to this fund for all growth investors, especially for those investing for the longer term.

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