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Managed funds move into the online sphere

ONLINE investment services are becoming an increasingly popular way of buying and selling managed investments.

About 65,000 people have used the Internet to invest in

managed funds, according to ACNielsen.consult senior analyst Mark Johnston.

The key attractions include instant access to information on dozens of different managed investments, and the ability to avoid paying entry and exit fees.

Eleven Australian brokerage web sites offer managed funds, with the latest being Sanford Securities.

Sanford offers a selection of 280 Australian and international funds. It is one of only a handful of web sites to provide a completely paperless service – investors can complete all forms and make their payment via the Internet.

netwealth.com.au also offers a paperless service and has a selection of 400 managed funds.

Sites like Sanford’s and netwealth.com.au include research on managed funds, to help people select the most appropriate products and managers.

Research groups like Morningstar and Assirt also issue star ratings on a scale of one to five, which are a useful guide.

Only two Australian fund managers, Perpetual Investments and Colonial First State, have Morningstar’s highest possible five-star rating.

Morningstar also has its annual Fund Manager of the Year awards.

It recently named Perpetual Investments as winner of the top award, for the second year running.

Runners-up in the Fund Manager of the Year award were IOOF/Perennial and MLC.

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