Investments 

Plain English fund launches

Plain English fund launches

A global multi-asset fund which claims to make life easy for advisers has been launched by the author of a best selling personal finance book.

The Plain English Finance (PEF) Global Multi-Asset fund has been brought to market by Andrew Craig, author of the best-selling personal finance book, “How to Own The World.”

The fund has launched with £7m of assets just from investments from people who have read the book. 

The fund provider said It will use a simple trend following methodology and in order to minimise dealing costs, the fund only trades in one of two scenarios.

The first scenario is once a month on one specific (and fixed) trading day. The other is if the value of assets in the fund increases or decreases by 5 per cent or more.

The fund will invest in 24 asset classes, including the various developed market equity regions, bonds, gold agriculture, energy real estate and infrastructure.

Mr Craig said he launched the fund in response to reader demand. 

He said: "“I started Plain English Finance in January 2011 with one over-arching goal - to improve the financial affairs of as many people as possible. 

"Our aim was to provide people with as much useful information about finance and investment as possible – to that end, I wrote my book, which was first published at the end of 2012.

“It wasn’t long before people started contacting me asking if I could invest their money for them “like in the book”. People wanted a way of investing in all the main asset classes and geographical regions – as per the message in the book – but in one place and as inexpensively and tax efficiently as possible."

Jason Hollands, managing director at Tilney said the fund is launching into a multi-asset market is that is already crowded with low cost options, principally focused on investing through passives or smart beta products which have low ongoing charges.

"This fund's proposed annual management charge of 0.9 per cent is quite high compared to many existing products which levy a 0.75 per cent fee or lower.”

Darius McDermott, managing director at Chelsea Financial Services, said the fund is “not stand out cheap”, and uses back-tested performance numbers to ascertain the merits of the strategy.

Mr McDermott said the firm’s own publicity highlights that many market participants are skeptical about the value of back testing.

Both the firm Mr McDermott, and the firm Mr Hollands works for run multi-asset funds.

David.Thorpe@ft.com

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