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Product matters

America remains the key market.

If America falls further, everywhere else is bound to follow.

Many investors are still light in American shares, despite the market holding up remarkably well compared with most other world markets.

GAM is in the process of launching a Star American Focus fund under the stewardship of James Abate, formerly of Credit Suisse Transatlantic.

I am sure many of you will be familiar with his record at Credit Suisse and, while it was never a No 1 fund, looked at it in risk-adjusted terms it was second to none.

This new fund could carry on his good work at Credit Suisse as he is doing nothing fundamentally different. He has handpicked a team of professionals and academics who provide both analytical and quantitative input into the process.

The fund will have a strong bottom-up approach focusing on the large caps. with a concentrated portfolio of between 35 and 50 stocks. James&#39 approach differs from many others in that he spends little time looking at price/earnings or peg ratios.

The emphasis is on economic profit-based measures, with an emphasis on return on capital versus the cost of capital. I believe this approach has enabled him to avoid the worst of the technology hangover and his pragmatic style means he is looking at many other opportunities outside technology.

Indeed, he believes that investors&#39 fixation on technology is making them blind to other opportunities. This looks to be an excellent core holding fund.

Mark Dampier is head of research at Hargreaves Lansdown


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