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Small can still be beautiful

There are still some excellent opportunities in the smaller company sector if a fund manager with excellent stockpicking expertise is chosen.

Roger Whiteoak, manager of Framlington UK Smaller Companies, is my choice out of all the specialist managers in this sector. Over the past one and two years his performance is the best and over three years his fund is second in the sector. He is also the top performer out of all UK growth funds over one and two years.

He believes high growth rates will remain attractive in some sectors where there are high margin growth stocks. The sectors he particularly likes are IT, healthcare and biotech, aerospace, resources and some finance companies and in the main he avoids most retail, house building, car retail, property, leisure and hotel companies as well as some support services companies due to the UK’s domestic economic weakness. Nearly 40 per cent of his investments are in Aim companies and around another 30 per cent in FTSE small cap companies.

His top ten holdings include Umeco, Cambrian Mining, Gyrus Group, Paragon Group, Headlam Group, DANA Petroleum and Fenner. Recently, he has been adding to his holdings in companies with international earnings, high margins and growth, such as ITE, the exhibition company MTL which makes industrial controls systems and Griffin which mines zinc. I believe he will continue to outperform nearly all larger company portfolios. This fund is certainly among my top five choices over the next few years.

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