Investors who want to give their fund managers the widest possible discretion should consider the flexible fund category. They can invest anything from zero to 100% in cash in these funds. And while there is an unwritten understanding that high-equity funds will never go below 50% in equities, flexible funds can choose their exposure. The five funds chosen this month definitely fall among the equitycentric. In theory asset allocation is the greatest single source of differential performance, but in all these funds stock selection is king. None of them makes extensive use of bonds, which should be a significant building block in these funds.The Association for Savings & Investment SA has two main flexible-fund categories. The first is domestic — funds that may invest up to 30% abroad (and with a sprinkling of rand hedges the effective offshore exposure can be increased to 50% plus). The second category is worldwide flexible. These funds may move from 100% domestic to 100% global. Thi...

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