AJ Bell launches fund research service for advisers

Billy Mackay
9 September 2020

AJ Bell Investcentre has launched Fundamentals, a new service designed to help financial advisers complete investment research and due diligence on funds and ETFs. Fundamentals gives advisers free access to AJ Bell’s investment research expertise and detailed analysis of the funds and ETFs, both active and passive, that the team believes have the potential to achieve their stated investment objective.

The service currently covers 77 funds and ETFs (57 active, 20 passive) that have been selected by AJ Bell’s investment team using the same research process that is used for the AJ Bell Funds and Managed Portfolio Service that are already used by many advisers. The selections benefit from impartial scrutiny and oversight provided by AJ Bell’s Investment Committee that has two independent directors, including the chairman.

There is an easy-to-use filtering tool that enables advisers to quickly search for funds meeting specific criteria aligned with their clients’ needs. Filter options include sector, active v passive, fund size and Ongoing Charges Figure (OCF). The selected funds are then displayed with their OCF and investment performance over year to date, three years and five years.

Each fund has a short summary of why the AJ Bell investment team rates the fund as well as a full AJ Bell report, alongside the fund’s factsheet and Key Investor Information Document. The full AJ Bell report can be downloaded by advisers to facilitate their own due diligence process. The two page document explains how the fund operates, its investment style, performance, split of assets and portfolio holdings as well as a snapshot view of key metrics such as its ISIN, sector, Morningstar rating, dividend yield and history, number of holdings and size.

It also includes a summary of the latest meeting and discussion AJ Bell has had with the fund manager, something advisers may not be able to do directly with fund managers. 

The Fundamentals list is monitored and updated on an ongoing basis with the AJ Bell report updated at least quarterly or more often when the AJ Bell team meets with a fund manager, to help advisers keep on top of changes in fund management industry.

Billy Mackay, marketing director at AJ Bell Investcentre, comments:

“Investment research is a core activity for many financial advisers and they will all have their own process and methodology ingrained within their businesses. But we know that they are always on the lookout for simple tools to help enhance their own approach or to reduce the time spent trawling through investment material. We’ve developed the Fundamentals tool to provide access to the investment research expertise we have within our business, so that advisers can benefit from the knowledge and information gathered from the many hours of meetings that the AJ Bell investment team hold with fund managers.”

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