The funds that time forgot.


We’ve all got guilty secrets at the back of the cupboard, those packets of flour purchased at college that you could never throw away (knowing the beer sacrificed to buy them); I even have guilty secrets glued to the back of my fridge waiting for the next electricity cut (to defrost).

But ,aided by Robin Powell have gone a stage further and explored the dark recesses of L&G’s fund range to find this!


L&G (A&L) Capital Growth


Weighing in at 16 times more expensive than the cheapest alternative, this monstrous beast is still available for new investors despite consistently delivering way below the market return.

What are L&G thinking? Can’t they rid their cupboard of this little monster? How many more of these rogue unit trusts are still lurking – awaiting the hapless hunter of money for value?

Even a hardened fan of the LGIM way finds this a little hard to digest – and I haven’t even opened the tin!


 Making sure no fund gets left at the back of the cupboard!

On a brighter note, our campaign to get a proper way to compare workplace pension funds has already descended into statistical anarchy . My inbox is now full of emails complaining that neither the numbers published by defaqto of the numbers I published from my correspondent are correct. My brave attempt to do a “logform” , has met with proper analysis from experts in this field and I have rightly been sent back to the spreadsheet board to have another go.

I hope that my attempts to get somewhere near a statistical resolution will lead to a consensus.

The problem is quite simply – resource. The proper analysis of these numbers is a professional’s game and I am not a pro. Even my band of trusted colleagues are not pros, we are whistling in the wind with imperfect data sources.

But we are not messing around for the sake of exercising the tips of our fingers. What lies behind this work is a wish to provide people with a proper set of returns and risk adjusted returns which can reliably inform those choosing workplace pensions and those with workplace pensions who want to test how they are getting on.

So the brightness on the horizon is from a fund manager who is prepared to go the extra mile to get me the right numbers and the right method of calculating returns in future.


Thanks for your help Martin

Transparency Task Force?

It strikes me the TTF might be able to help getting hold of satisfactory data and ensuring that it is properly managed on a monthly basis.

The primary data sources are of course the fund managers and those organisations with resource to properly collect and analyse the data need – ultimately – to be independent of the asset managers – who have marketing departments wanting things done their way.

I know that the TTF is looking for a next step (after what it has done in helping the FCA produce its Asset Management Survey).

Funds that time forgot?

I’m not suggesting that the funds that are used to manage our workplace savings , will fall into the degree of destitution that has befallen the hapless L&G (A&L) Capital Growth Fund . But we can’t let any of the funds that employers and employees are ploughing hard-worked-for money into, should be left to sit at the back of the cupboard.

The best place for flour is in the baking, the best place for fund governance is in the scrutinising and we cannot let the funds into which we invest other people’s savings get left behind!




About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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2 Responses to The funds that time forgot.

  1. Nick Reeve says:

    The (A&L) suggests, to the best of my knowledge, that this is a legacy Alliance & Leicester savings product. There are a lot of these still floating around – I can’t see anything on Fund Strategy’s website but perhaps they’ve unearthed more? These funds tend to be linked to building societies and can in some cases be massive. They’re often passive, or close to it, and usually unnecessarily expensive. The FCA’s work on asset management should ideally crack down on these. There might even be a case for compensation if it can be proven customers could have been invested in a much cheaper fund to get the same result…

  2. henry tapper says:

    It’s a really interesting area Nick and one I’ve not looked at. Just who I wonder is making the money here? The insurer, the asset manager or the bank?

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