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Jupiter waves wand for Merlin fund


Jupiter Merlin Balanced Fund

Type: Unit trust fund of funds

Aim: Income and growth by investing globally in equities and in bonds through investment funds

Minimum investment: Lump sum 500, monthly 100, Isa lump sum 1,000, monthly 50

Investment split: 70% equities, 30% bonds

Isa link: Yes

Pep transfers: Yes

Charges: Initial 5.25%, annual 1.5%

Commission: Initial 3%, renewal 0.5%

Special offer: Initial commission increased to 4.25% on lump sum investments

Offer period: Until October 31, 2005

Tel: 020 7314 7699

Jupiter has added the Jupiter Merlin Balanced Fund to its fund of funds range managed by John Chatfeild-Roberts, Algy Smith-Maxwell and Peter Lawery.

Hargreaves Lansdown senior analyst Meera Patel points out that one of the most difficult tasks many IFAs face is asset allocating clients money and into the right proportions.

She says: “This fund was originally a vehicle for Jupiters staff and by re-launching it and making it available to the retail market, it now has greater freedom to invest in the entire funds market rather than Jupiters own funds. I believe this should ensure the fund can maximise its growth potential by having the choice of a greater number of funds to invest in. It invests in both equities and bonds and allows both the IFA and the investor to leave the asset allocation decision to the experts.”

Patel notes the fund has a bias towards the UK although there is some global diversification. She feels it would be more suitable for someone looking for greater exposure to the domestic market.

In Patels view the fund provides an alternative to traditional balanced managed funds, but the attraction is that it is run by a superb team with a proven track record in running fund of funds. She says: “With over 1,800 funds in the market, I suspect more investors will choose the fund of fund route to invest their money and this fund provides an excellent starting point for novice investors.”

One of the attractions of this product according to Patel is that it also offers a net yield of around 2 per cent, making it more appealing in terms of total return.

“There is little I dont like about this product,” says Patel. “There is an experienced team at the helm and they have an excellent track record. If one had to point out a down side, it would be that when equities rally, this fund may lag as it is restricted to investing a minimum of 15 per cent in fixed interest. However, as long as this is pointed out to the investors at the outset, I do not necessarily see this as a disadvantage.”

Identifying possible competitors Patel says: “There are many fund of fund providers around these days and both clients and IFAs should be choosy as to who they pick as the majority fail to outperform their peers. However alongside Jupiter, the other main competitors are have some good fund of funds to offer are Credit Suisse and New Star.”


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

Overall 8.5/10


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