Toronto-based Franklin Templeton Investments Corp. has launched a mutual fund that focuses on North American equities. Franklin Bissett Canada Plus Equity Fund can invest up to 49% of its portfolio in foreign securities, with an emphasis on U.S. equities. As well, the fund's portfolio managers may use equity-based put options to reduce the overall volatility of the fund. The fund will be co-managed by Garey Aitken, chief investment officer and portfolio manager with Franklin Bissett Investment Management Ltd., along with Tim Caulfield, director of equity research and portfolio manager with Franklin Bissett. Advisor commissions are 0%-6% for front-end sales, 5% for deferred sales or 2.5% for the low-load option. Redemption fees begin at 6% in Year 1 and end at zero after Year 6 for the regular DSC schedule, or begin at 3% in Year 1 and end at zero after Year 3 of the low-load schedule. Trailing commissions are 1% for front-end sales; 0.5% for the first six years of deferred sales, and 1% thereafter; and 0.5% for the first three years of low-load sales, and 1% thereafter. Management fees are 1.9% for A-class units and 0.9% for F-class units. Minimum investment is $500.

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