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Julian Gibbs

In a recent survey of all the funds ranked AAA, AA or A by Standard & Poor&#39s and by Feri Trust, the well-known German rating agency, 87.5 per cent of Fidelity&#39s funds were shown to have one of the top three ratings.

Threadneedle came next, with 71 per cent of its funds being rated AAA, AA or A, followed by Britannic, Baring, Newton, Invesco Perpetual, HSBC, Lazard, Royal & Sun Alliance and Schroders. The poorest performers in the survey were Lloyds TSB and Axa.

Certainly, I agree that both Fidelity and Threadneedle are brilliant overall fund management companies but even Fidelity has the odd dog, such as Fidelity Asean.

There are several smaller groups which have some outstanding funds among them.

I particularly like BWD UK smaller companies, Liontrust first income, all the new trusts from New Star and four outstanding trusts from ABN Amro – its UK growth,

UK special opportunities, UK equity income and high income trusts.

On the income side, congratulations must also go to Bill Mott of Credit Suisse and to Hugh Priestly and his colleagues for Rathbone income.

In the smaller companies sector, in addition to BWD&#39s fund, Rathbone UK smaller companies should prove to be a winner, while Artemis and Premier have also made very good starts.

Jupiter still has some excellent funds and it undervalued assets trust should perform well.

Overall, I expect world stockmarkets to continue to be volatile in the first half of this year but to move ahead again by the autumn.

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