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Julian Gibbs

ABN Amro has just launched a North American growth fund. The timing is quite right in my opinion because it is always sensible to launch funds when the market is low. North America has been one of the worst performing sectors over the past year, being down by around 36 per cent. But it is still about the best performer over 10 years, with a rise of 230 per cent.

The new ABN Amro fund is managed by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Montag & Coldwell, based in Atlanta, Georgia. Montag & Coldwell has an outstanding record and a team which has been working together for many years.

The new fund will invest in 30 to 40 blue-chip companies. Montag & Coldwell&#39s portfolios have outperformed the S&P 500 index in nine out of the past 11 years and marginally underperformed in the other two years.

It quite rightly points out that, in last 10 years, UK equities outperformed US equities only twice, in 1993 and 1996, and that UK investors have been missing out.

David Watson, its lead fund manager, is highly experienced and consults with 14 other portfolio managers on every investment decision, whether buying or selling, and then he acts on the majority view. This system has worked very well in practice.

Only once since the Second World War has the US market suffered two negative years in succession, which was during and following the oil crisis in the early 1970s. The recession in the US is likely to be over by mid-2002 and it is worth remembering that stockmarkets usually anticipate market recovery by between three and six months.

ABN Amro has a high reputation to keep up, with brilliant fund managers such as Nigel Thomas and George Luckraft, and I believe that this new fund will be another winner, too.


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