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Product matters

In terms of new unit trust/Oeic launches this year, they have been few and far between. In fact, most groups have been concentrating on merging or closing down funds rather than launch new ones.

But not Threadneedle. On September 15, it is launching a UK mid 250 fund.

You might ask why on earth launch a mid-cap fund now when the FTSE 250 index has grown by more than 30 per cent since the start of this year?

The company&#39s argument is that mid-cap valuations have further to go.

Furthermore, as medium-sized companies are typically domestically oriented, these will be held up by a robust consumer and Government spending and will not have to suffer the vagaries of the global economy.

The investment philosophy is driven by top-down analysis using macroeconomic views and themes to overweight and underweight sectors.

This is not a bottom-up fund and is very different compared with its two biggest competitors, namely Schroders and Old Mutual, whose mid-cap funds are very much focused on stockpicking, with only some emphasis to themes.

This will be a 50 to 80-stock portfolio, with the aim of achieving 2-3 per cent outperformance a year.

If stocks enter the FTSE 100 or fall into the small-cap index, they are sold immediately.

I have no doubt that Threadneedle, with the support of its structured process and team, will do a good job in the long term but would I rush out to buy a pure mid-cap fund right now? The answer would have to be no.

Meera Patel is senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown

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