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Tuesday, January 16, 2001

Three Slices of Pie

Reported by Tamiko Toland

Fidelity has added its Advisor Funds offerings with its newest trio of funds: Biotechnology, Developing Communications, and Electronics Funds. The additions bring the number of industry-focused funds to ten, over a fifth of the firm's forty-eight Advisor Funds.

These industry-pinpointed funds reflect the firm's observation that sector funds constitute a popular and fast-growing trends among advisors. According to Strategic Insight, as of the end of October, net sales of sector funds from advisors had grown 124 percent since the beginning of 2000, totaling $108 billion.

The Fidelity Sector Focus Funds are designed to serve increasingly savvy investors who still seek the services of advisors.

"What we see is that the general investor is doing more research on their own yet they still feel a need to work with a financial advisor to make sure that they're making the right decision," said Fidelity spokesman Dan Flaherty. "These funds are appropriate for investors who feel strongly about a certain industry and want to use Fidelity's research or want to invest in the industry broadly. They're also for investors who are employed within the given industry."

Fidelity's seven existing Advisor Focus Funds are in consumer industries, cyclical industries, financial services, health care, natural resources, technology, and telecomm and utilitites. Flaherty asserted that the release of its new tech-heavy additions was not timed but merely intended to fill out the product lineup.

"We don't time the market," said Flaherty. "We're just expanding our product line to investors who invest through a financial advisor, giving them a broader selection of funds that target the specific sectors or industries within the market."


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