Consumer comparison site launched by IMA

The Investment Management Association (IMA) is setting up a fund comparison website for consumers and is considering developing risk ratings for funds in the managed sectors.

The site, set for launch in March, will enable investors to compare funds using searches based on minimum investment, minimum monthly savings and IMA sectors. A spokeswoman says the IMA is considering developing risk ratings for managed sector funds.

She says: “The team is looking at ways you can measure risk for funds in the managed sectors.”

She says if the IMA does not develop a suitable risk-rating process for the managed sector, it will rely on the European Securities and Markets Authority’s synthetic risk reward indicators (SRRIs), which will be added to the website in the summer. SRRIs are based on volatility using weekly or monthly returns covering the previous five years. All funds will be required to publish these on their key investor information documents by July 2012.

An IMA spokeswoman says: “The site will be where investors go to work out whether funds are a suitable option.”

Stuart Fowler, the founder and director of investment management at Fowler Drew, says: “It would be extremely difficult for first-time investors to select a suitable balanced or managed fund without an adviser.”