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Turning point

In today’s volatile stockmarkets, it is very difficult for the average investor without a huge portfolio to diversify sufficiently into each region. The UK stockmarket still looks good despite the heavy falls in oil shares and the variable results from retailers but it is important to diversify globally and to choose funds where the manager has considerable experience.

One such fund is the Investec global free enterprise fund managed by Mark Breedon. He has had more than 25 years experience of international markets and has won many performance awards.

This fund is one of the very few global equity funds which have had first-quartile performers over one, two, three and five years. Over the latter period to December 1, 2006, it ranked second out of 137 funds.

Breedon chooses opportunities focused on companies undergoing positive transformation. He particularly likes companies which have been turned around by new management and those which have been privatised where increased competition in a liberalised environment and the need to survive without public funding has encouraged them to hire better management and become more efficient. His investments have to meet the strict criteria with histories of value creation, attractive valuations and improving earnings’ outlooks. These factors should lead to an upward movement in share prices.

The fund has an AA rating from both Standard & Poor’s and Forsyth OBSR. At present, investments are divided geographically, with 35 per cent in North America, 32 per cent in Europe ex UK, 12 per cent in UK, 6 per cent in Japan, 5 per cent in Asia Pacific and the balance mainly in emerging markets.

He has very little in the oil and gas sector which should bode well for the next few months.

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