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Julian Gibbs

Exeter, the investment trust specialist, has a unit trust which has hardly ever been publicised and has excellent past performance.

Richard Scott, the outstanding manager of the Exeter global opportunities fund, has produced a return of over 96 per cent over the five years to February 1, 2002 – more than 20 per cent better than the top-performing global growth investment trust.

The unit trust invests in a wide spread of investment trusts including some run by Invesco Perpetual, Merrill Lynch, Martin Currie, Henderson Global Investors and Fleming.

Over the past year, the trust has fallen by 26 per cent – slightly more than the sector average – because discounts on investment trusts widened during the bear market and because of the gearing. These facts, however, mean that the fund should outperform its sector generally when the markets recover, which will surely be either later this year or early next year.

By selecting the right international sectors and trusts where the discounts have become too high, and then selling either when another sector is better value or the trust becomes overvalued, Scott has managed to outperform all except one trust in the global growth sector over five years. He has also outperformed all except four of the 205 trusts in the UK all companies sector, all except one in the UK equity income sector and all except two in the UK smaller companies sector.

The trust has also outperformed all European, Far Eastern and Japanese unit trusts and all except nine unit trusts in the North American sector.

This is a trust undiscovered by most advisers. It is strongly recommended for all growth investors wishing to invest for periods or three to five years or more, especially as a long term investment for children.

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