Phoenix Financial PR

Phoenix Financial PR

July 20, 2005 11:48 ET

Investing In The Greenback - Will it See You in the Red or the Black? Moneyspider Urges Caution Over US Fund Launches

LONDON, ENGLAND--(CCNMatthews - Jul. 20, 2005) - The investment funds marketplace is set to welcome a crop of new US funds. With M&G having launched, and Britannic, Henderson and J O Hambro all understood to be launching in the months ahead, the sector thought by many to be the least attractive could well dominate the media spotlight. The question on everyone's lips however is whether these new funds will prove to be any better than those that have gone before?

Bill Ross, Managing Director of online funds research, valuation and ratings service, Moneyspider - www.moneyspider.com - is urging caution on the part of investors. "Greenspan's most recent attempt to reassure the markets may well boost the dollar. That in turn could be good news for those considering an investment in North American equities, but we're talking about the World's most efficient market", says Ross, "the market in which it is most difficult to outperform in a consistent fashion."

Moneyspider awards ratings, updated daily, to some 2,000 Unit Trusts and OEICs, an A representing the most highly rated funds, an E the most poorly rated, and its analysis of North American funds - those with a five year track record (see table) - shows not one fund carrying an A rating, with some of the biggest names in the industry responsible for the five biggest 'dogs' in the sector.



Fund name 1 3 5 MS MS Rating
year years years Rat- Percent-
Perf' Perf' Perf' ing age
TOP FIVE

GAM North American
Growth 19.1225 28.8248 23.1576 B 74.4938
Fidelity American 17.7835 15.1134 16.7802 C 59.6580
Baillie Gifford
American B 22.7997 26.3454 -7.8850 C 58.5914
S&W Nucleus American
Trust 21.7343 30.3202 -8.9238 C 57.3715
Old Mutual North
American Eq 26.3492 31.9191 -21.0338 C 56.7651

BOTTOM FIVE

Scot Life American
(Columbus) 15.5740 8.2944 -45.7614 E 15.8796
F&C North American 1 14.4113 6.8900 -43.9695 E 15.5081
Royal London North
American Growth 15.6696 8.2032 -55.0282 E 14.2827
Allianz RCM North
American A 13.7384 8.2545 -47.4763 E 14.1558
AEGON American Euro 11.7685 3.0095 -42.9457 E 13.9585


Source: Moneyspider/Financial Express. Figures at 18 July, 2005.


"Fund managers", says Ross, "aren't going to disclose that to their fund-holders or tell them how their funds compare with others in the sector. They daren't. But Moneyspider will and does."

How can Moneyspider help?
Moneyspider monitors an investor's funds 24 hours a day and analyses performance against every other fund on the market, in a totally objective manner. Unlike other ratings services, there is no subjective input with Moneyspider, so an investor really does know, at any time, what their funds are worth, and how they compare with their peers.

Investors simply register their fund holdings at www.moneyspider.com - the Service has been greatly enhanced over the past year - and receive a range of benefits. Registration is simple, free of charge and takes just five minutes.

As part of the Service, investors receive a Moneyspider Report. This:
- Is personalised with the investor's own funds
- Awards a unique and easy-to-understand Moneyspider Rating(r) to each fund
- Is updated daily
- Shows the current value of each of those funds
- Shows the top five funds in the relevant sectors and the top ten in all sectors
- Is e-mailed monthly, each Report archived for future reference (new feature)

The seemingly simplistic Moneyspider Rating(r) has a great deal of science behind it and assesses the performance of each fund over 1, 3 and 5 years, comparing it with:
- All other funds in the same sector, (the 'Sector ranking')
- All 2,000 funds available to UK investors (the 'All Funds ranking')
- The FTSE 100 Index, (providing a consistent benchmark for each fund) and
- Cash, (comparing a fund's performance with the return from an equivalent amount deposited in a 90 day access account)

Moneyspider's unique system calculates the results, with specific weightings allocated to each of the aforementioned four categories, each one analysed and compared over 1, 3 and 5 years. Although the Rating is generated from a highly complex, computer-based performance analysis, involving 34 separate computations, it produces a simple and straightforward result, scoring each fund from A to E.

Behind these easy-to-understand ratings is a percentage score which is calculated to four decimal points (see table). Each day Moneyspider's system calculates this percentage score for every single one of the 2000 or so funds on its database, thus providing a comprehensive ranking for all funds. The 'Rank in Sector' for each fund on the Moneyspider Report, is based on the ranking of these percentage scores.

ISAs and PEPs in distress
More than 4.5 million individuals* are invested in equity-based PEPs and ISAs, those investments valued in the region of GBP76,000,000,000*. It's a staggering thought, but of that sum, some GBP30 billion sits in Unit Trusts and OEICs where capital is simply draining away. (* Source: IMA/Inland Revenue).

Could inertia explain this seemingly carefree attitude to money? Could it be that the IFA finds the monitoring and management of their smaller client's portfolio no longer viable? After all, the trail commission paid on the average UK investor portfolio - the value of which is approximately GBP17,000 - is just GBP75 a year. Could it be that the IFA simply doesn't care? Either way, Moneyspider can help.

"What's more, the service is provided to the investor at no additional charge, being funded by the annual renewal commission paid to Moneyspider when investors register their funds. This commission is deducted from investor's funds whether they like it or not. For anyone with ISAs, PEPs and Unit Trusts who isn't getting a good ongoing service from their IFA, or who isn't getting impartial information on the performance of their funds, Moneyspider is a no brainer."

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors

Moneyspider Limited

Moneyspider provides investment research and funds information to private investors, helping them to make independent and informed decisions. Moneyspider operates independent of any fund management group.

The Moneyspider service was launched in April 2004, with a choice of paper based and online registration. Over the last year, the registration process has been streamlined and simplified and is now available only online.

The seemingly simple Moneyspider Rating(r) is produced by converting a sophisticated proprietary algorithm of 34 computations into a % score, calculated to four decimal points, which is then ranked into one of 5 easy-to-understand ratings - from A (highly rated) to E (very poorly rated). The Rating is calculated against a daily information feed, provided by financial services data collector and solutions provider, Financial Express.

Moneyspider neither advises on nor sells investments. Moneyspider does assist with switches or purchases on an execution only basis, and rebates 50% of all introductory commissions to the investor, the other 50% retained to cover administrative costs.

Moneyspider Limited is an appointed representative of Anthony, Bryant and Company (Investment Consultants) Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

www.moneyspider.com

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