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BLOG: Three ‘Christmas voucher’ funds for the stumped investor

Written by: Darius McDermott
Like Christmas vouchers, multi-asset funds could be a good option for those who are stumped as to what to buy.

While it is indeed the season to be merry, that doesn’t mean to say that Christmas is without its stresses. Not only are fears about burning the turkey or the eruption of a family feud commonplace,  the prospect of buying appropriate and appreciated presents for everyone is enough to leave most in a cold sweat.

The saving grace for those who are stuck tends to be the gift voucher – a catch-all and versatile present, invented to minimise disappointment.

In the world of investing, the same can perhaps be said for multi-asset funds. Boasting well-diversified portfolios and often focusing on returns on an absolute basis, they can present themselves as a good option for investors who are either cautious or undecided as to where to put their money.

Here are three examples of FundCalibre Elite-Rated multi-asset funds that I have particularly high conviction in, and why they could present themselves as good options for the stumped investor.

Jupiter Distribution

Headed up by Alastair Gunn and Rhys Petheram, Jupiter Distribution fund resides in the IA Mixed Investment 0%-35% Shares sector. It has a well-diversified portfolio of 179 holdings, which tend to be a combination of UK-listed equities, government bonds and high-quality corporates.

The managers both meet each individual company before investing in them and, based on each meeting, will decide whether they opt to buy its debt or its shares.

Gunn, who manages the equity portion of the fund, prefers undervalued large-caps with significant barriers to entry. On the fixed income side, Petheram focuses on high-quality companies which are actively reducing their debt levels.

Jupiter Distribution, which is £1.1b in size, has a clean ongoing charges figure (OCF) of 0.63% and yields 2.6%.

M&G Episode Income

M&G Episode Income, which is headed up by Steven Andrew, invests in a combination of stocks, bonds and property funds in a bid to provide a growing level of income over any three-year period.

The fund’s process revolves around the exploitation of irrational market behaviour. The team has a keen focus on macroeconomic data in order to decipher which events have been either over- or under-priced into markets and will then use market volatility to buy the dips.

In terms of asset class allocation, the fund currently holds 49% in global equities, 37% in global government bonds and smaller weightings in property funds and investment-grade bonds.

M&G Episode Income, which is a constituent of the IA Mixed Investment 20%-60% Shares sector, has a clean OCF of 0.82% and yields 2.51%.

Premier Multi-Asset Growth & Income

Premier Multi-Asset Growth & Income resides in the IA Mixed Investment 40%-85% Shares sector, which is often considered the highest-risk area of the multi-asset space.

Managers David Hambidge, Simon Evan-Cook, Ian Rees and David Thornton aim to provide capital growth and some income over the long-term while minimising volatility.

They do this with a highly-diversified portfolio of funds which currently consists of 45 holdings. These are spread across various asset classes and regions, with the likes of Schroder Income, Jupiter Absolute Return and Baillie Gifford Corporate Bond accounting for some of its largest holdings.

Premier Multi-Asset Growth & Income has a clean OCF of 1.6%t and yields 2.08%.

All figures compiled by FE Analytics, company fund fact sheets as at 30 November 2017.

Darius McDermott is managing director of FundCalibre

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