Barclays Wealth has launched a series of risk-profiled portfolios investing in ETFs to provide cost efficient access to multiple asset classes globally.
The new Global Markets series comprises five portfolios designed to suit different investor profiles, from the risk averse to those seeking higher returns by taking on greater volatility.
The portfolios will invest in assets including equities, bonds, cash, commercial property, commodities and alternative trading strategies.
Although ETFs will serve as the underlying investment vehicles providing exposure to these asset classes, Barclays says the portfolios should not be dubbed as purely "passive" holdings.
The portfolios are constructed using strategic asset allocation, driven by the Barclays Wealth investment team. The firm also conducts a monthly assessed tactical asset allocation which alters asset holdings dependent on market conditions.
Barclays says its Global Markets range is therefore a hybrid of pure index funds and conventional actively managed vehicles, providing ready made portfolios for IFAs.
Barclays Wealth director Tony Lanser says: "We have seen demand from our existing intermediary relationships for this type of product and we anticipate this to grow as intermediaries are faced with increasing challenges, in particular the impact of RDR and the requirement on firms to comply.
"IFAs are seeking ways to manage these issues through lower cost, higher value investment vehicles and we believe that Global Markets will meet these needs."
The funds carry a 4% initial charge, available as initial commission, and a 1% annual charge including 0.5% trail. Barclays says this pricing places Global Markets around 0.7% per annum lower than the cost of a typical multi-asset multi-manager solution.
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