What’s in a name? Misleading titles in Managed-fund Sector Names

NOTE: This post is more than 12 months old, and the information contained within may no longer be accurate.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) announced a little over a month ago that they would be renaming some of the sectors for managed funds to be less misleading. This change now seems to have been reflected throughout several of the major fund research tools. The ABI is the voice of Pension and Life Insurance fund managers, but they have no influence over non-life collective investments, for example Unit Trusts and Open-ended Investment Companies (OEICs), which can be held on their own or in other ‘wrappers’, for example ISAs.

The Investment Management Association (IMA), which perform a comparable function within the world of non-life collectives have currently stuck to the more misleading titles; for example “cautious managed” or “balanced managed”. In the case of the latter, it is acceptable to hold up to 85% in stocks and shares (equities); where a cautious fund can be 60% in these risky assets!

The practice of the IMA is quite concerning when you consider that many of my clients are in, at or near retirement I would strongly question that anything over 50% in stocks and shares could be considered balanced, or ‘average’ risk. These clients could conceivably, without advice, be buying something they consider to be ‘cautious’ yet have an exposure to stockmarkets on over half their money…

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