London-based Merrill Lynch Investment Managers Merrill Lynch defined returns fund is a split capital investment trust that is aimed at cautious investors. It is designed for those who want to invest in the stockmarket but who want a degree of protection from any sharp falls in the stockmarkets.
Available for both income and growth the fund will invest in a basket of 30 companies in different sectors that are spread all over the world. These will include companies such as Lloyds TSB, BP Amoco, Proctor & Gamble and General Motors.
If over the three year term none of the 30 companies fall in value by more than 20 per cent from their starting levels then the investor will get back all of their original investment plus any returns in the form of income or growth. If however the companies fall in value by more than 20 per cent then the returns will diminish by one per cent for each one per cent fall in value.
The product is similar to the platinum income fund from Canada Life, which also has a growth or income option and which invests in the Nasdaq 100 index over a three-year term. However unlike the Merrill Lynch product any fall of more than 20 per cent leads to a fall of 3.3 per cent in value.
According to Moneyfacts the Merrill lynch defined income and growth fund is ranked 21 out of 42 funds, based on £1,000 invested on a mid to mid basis with net income reinvested over one year to May 7, 2001.