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Product matters

In these times of investors fleeing to defensive assets and the industry catering for that need with a plethora of bond/ guaranteed fund launches, the Framlington biotech offering is a bold move.

It is a specialist fund but Anthony Milford and his team have proven ability.

I applaud Framlington&#39s openness in not offering an Isa option on the fund, acknowledging that it is a higher-risk product.

They are correct and risks abound here but we must not lose sight of the tremendous opportunities that biotechnology could offer for the longer-term investor.

The demographic arguments are compelling and, with continued increases in Government healthcare spending and huge scientific advances, most notably those based on genomic research, there are major battles to be faced against cancer, diabetes,arthritis, etc.

After the decline in biotech shares, there is now good value emerging in the sector and at least Framlington is not launching a fund at the top of the market.

There is a case to consider healthcaretype funds, including more mainstream offerings from the likes of Schroder, Britannic and Framlington&#39s Health Fund, but for the more sophisticated investors there is a case to consider biotech exposure for a small part of their portfolio.

The rewards could be impressive for those who are brave enough. However, Framlington should have rewarded IFAs with trail commission out of the generous 1.75 per cent annual charge.

Michael Owen is joint managing director of Plan Invest Group

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