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Matrix wraps up hedge fund

MATRIX MONEY MANAGEMENT

MATRIX ASCENSION PLAN

Type:
Capital-protected hedge fund

Aim:
Growth linked to the performance of the Winton Trading Strategies Fund

Minimum investment:
Lump sum £5,000

Investment split:
100% in futures

Place of registration:
Bermuda

Term:
Seven years

Return:
100% growth in the performance of the Winton Trading Strategies Fund

Guarantee:
96% of original capital returned at end of term regardless of performance of underlying fund

Closing date:
June 30, 2004

Charges:
Initial 4%

Commission:
Initial 3%

Tel: 020 7292 0825

The Matrix ascension plan is a capital-protected hedge fund that invests in futures via the Winton trading strategies fund. It has a seven-year term and investors will get 100 per cent of the growth in the underlying fund and a 96 per cent capital return after the initial 4 per cent charge is deducted.

Michael Philips proprietor Michael Both says: “As IFAs, I believe our job is to find the best of breed as well as alternative strategies for clients. The ascension plan probably falls mostly into the second category, as it offers something with allegedly low correlation to both equities and bonds. It has reputedly done this as a hedge fund into a spread of financial, agricultural and commodity markets.”

Looking in detail at the product&#39s useful features Both says: “The minimum investment is only £5,000 so a very adventurous investor could take a relatively small punt in the fund. It is eligible for inclusion in Pep transfers, Isas and pension funds.”

However, Both has mixed feelings about the past performance figures quoted in the product literature. He says: “The past performance figures published by the promoter are awesome, but I was unable to independently verify them using any of my existing data services, which concerns me greatly.” He is also unhappy that there doesn&#39t appear to be many obligations or targets for the manager.

Both says: “The manager is surprisingly unfettered on borrowing or conflicts of interest. He may do brilliantly, but investors can only cross their fingers after crossing their cheques.”

Both points out the fund is based in Bermuda and administered from Dublin. He says: “This must benefit someone, although I missed why that might be investors. It would appear to be an unregulated product which means there is no recourse to the Financial Services compensation scheme, so whether your PI insurer would cover claims for misselling is worth checking.”

Both adds: “I wouldn&#39t invest my savings in this. The charges seem quite high, but if the indicated returns are achieved then the manager will have earned them.”

The Close Man hedge fund is regarded by Both as a potential competitor to this product. He says: “Although the Close Man product has a minimum investment of £10,000 it seems to include the clarity and visible track record the ascension prospectus lacks.” He also suggests various offshore GAM and Man hedge funds which are not Isa-able, require higher minimum investments but do have published, independently verified track records.

BROKER RATINGS:

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

Overall 6/10

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