Aim: Growth by investing in developed Asia
Minimum investment: Lump sum 1,000
Investment split: 65% Australia, 12% Hong Kong, 10% Singapore, 8% New Zealand, 2% India, 1% China, 2% cash
Isa link: Yes
Pep transfers: Yes
Charges: Initial 3.5%, annual 1.5%
Commission: Initial 3%, renewal 0.5%
Tel: 020 7495 8688
Lloyd Georges developed Asia fund focuses on Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore. It will contain around 50 stocks.
Michael Philips proprietor Michael Both thinks it makes a change to have an Asia Pacific fund which is not concentrating on China, Japan or the smaller Tiger economies.
He says: “Perhaps from a portfolio balance perspective this one could justify a place in many portfolios. The actual blend of the Lloyd George developed Asia seems to be rather unusual, at least to Northern hemisphere investors. But it is logical given the relative importance of the Australian and New Zealand markets, both of which are well used to prospering against stiff global competition.”
Both reveals that a search for UK-registered funds investing in Australia produces surprisingly few results, which he feels is a pity because while the UK market has fallen 28 per cent since January 1, 2000 and the US market is down 18 per cent in local currency, the Australian market rose 32 per cent again in local currency.
He says: “Although not well known to retail investors, Lloyd George is clearly both experienced and competent in this region and its fund has extremely competitive charges. Over 70 per cent of the portfolio will be invested in Australia and New Zealand, with the majority of the balance in Hong Kong and Singapore and currently under 5 per cent in China and India combined.”
Both notes that the fund will be heavily weighted towards the financials and consumer discretionary sectors, and to a lesser extent industrials. He says: “The Lloyd George logic appears to be that as the region prospers, its consumers will spend and therefore that is the focus of much of their investment research.”
Drawing attention to the negative features of the fund, Both says: “The literature currently available is somewhat sparse, especially since the Lloyd George brand has low recognition. Considering how well the region has performed over the last five years, it could be that this fund is being launched rather late in the day, but it certainly cannot be accused of jumping on any bandwagon.”
Both believes the main competition for the fund will be provided by the New Zealand investment trust and two offshore Oeics the Fidelity Pacific and Fidelity country select Australia funds.
Suitability to market: Good
Investment strategy: Good
Adviser remuneration: Good