What to buy, what to sell: Latin American funds and the best managers on the market

MoneyWeek article: A pick of the Latin American funds still worth the risk. And a new fund based on the ideas of the best fund managers on the market.

Latin American funds: still worth the risk

While investors reeled from the 7% fall in the FTSE last month, spare a thought for those playing the Latin American market. The benchmark index there dropped 11%. But that doesn't mean the region should be ignored completely, says Investors Chronicle.

Indeed, Neil Gregson, head of emerging markets at Credit Suisse, believes that the recent turmoil could be seen as an opportunity and says "the valuation discount to developed markets, which was narrowing this year, now looks more attractive". Rupert Brand, manager of F&C Latin American Equity, is slightly more wary. He is worried both about the Argentinian government's failure to handle either inflation or reform, and also the possibility of political instability in Mexico. Will Landers of Merrill Lynch disagrees and says that he thinks neither of the three main contenders in Mexico's presidential race "would change the country's course significantly".

Juliet Schooling of independent financial adviser Chelsea Financial Services points out that, although "the easy money has been made it's still a good place to be for the long term". For those investors willing to take on a relatively high degree of volatility, she suggests Threadneedle Latin America, managed by Jules Fort. And for those wishing to get diversified exposure to emerging markets, she recommends Lazard Emerging Markets Growth.

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The ten best managers in the market today

Skandia Investment Managers is to launch the Skandia Global Best Ideas Fund on 13 June, which will select what it thinks is the ten "best stock ideas" of ten highly rated managers, and combine them into a single fund, reports The Sunday Telegraph. And according to Mark Dampier of Hargreaves Landsdown, competition among managers to get into the fund was so fierce that they were "clamouring to be involved". He believes that this will boost its performance, and says that he "will certainly" be investing some of his own money in the fund.

Mark Duffield, the maverick boss of New Star, agrees. "There's no guarantee, of course, but it should have a good shot at being an excellent fund." The ten managers chosen are Stephen Whittaker (NewStar), Mark Tyndall (Artemis), Richard Plackett (MLIM), Ashley Willing (Gartmore), Roger Whiteoak (Axa Framlington), Tom Walker (Martin Currie), Crispin Odey (Odey), Angus Tulloch (First State) Nathan Gibbs (Schroders) and Hugh Young (Aberdeen).