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What are “Core” Funds and “Specialty” Funds?
What are “Core” Funds and “Specialty” Funds?
Caitlyn Parker avatar
Written by Caitlyn Parker
Updated over a week ago

To help you differentiate between our funds, we have grouped them into two main types of funds, inspired by a core-satellite investing approach (we’re big fans of this approach at Kernel!).

Kernel’s speciality funds include the S&P Global Clean Energy Fund, S&P Kensho Moonshots Innovation Fund and S&P Kensho Electric Vehicle Innovation Funds.

All other funds we consider to be core funds.

What is a core-satellite investing approach?

At Kernel we’re big advocates for the core-satellite investing approach. In fact, we base our investment approach at Kernel around it.

A core satellite investing strategy is where 80-90% of your portfolio is invested in broadly diversified low-cost index funds – the “core”.

While the other 10-20% is invested in “satellites” which can be more speculative investments, such as individual stocks, thematic funds, sector funds and more.

You can read more about core satellite investing in our blog: How can Kernel funds fit together.


Grouping Kernel’s Funds into “Core” and “Specialty

We consider the following Kernel funds as ”core” when referring to these throughout our website, in particular with relation to our fees:


Core Funds

  • NZ 20 Fund

  • NZ Commercial Property Fund

  • NZ Small & Mid Cap Opportunities Fund

  • Global 100 Fund

  • Global Infrastructure Fund

  • S&P Global Dividend Aristocrats Fund

  • S&P 500 Fund

  • Hedged Global Infrastructure Fund

  • Hedged Global 100 Fund

  • Kernel High Growth Fund

  • Kernel Balanced Fund

  • Kernel Cash Plus Fund

  • NZ 50 ESG Tilted Fund

  • Global Green Property Fund

  • Kernel Global ESG Fund

  • Hedged Global ESG Fund

    Note: All core funds have a management fee of 0.25% p.a.

Specialty Funds

  • S&P Global Clean Energy Fund

  • S&P Kensho Moonshots Innovation Fund

  • S&P Kensho Electric Vehicle Innovation Fund


    Note: all the specialty funds have a management fee of 0.45% p.a.

Are “Specialty” and “Thematic” funds the same?

You might notice that throughout our website and blogs we sometimes refer to ‘thematic’ funds. Thematic funds are those which follow a particular theme; usually related to an economic trend. For example, innovation or electric vehicles. These are considered satellites, as part of a core-satellite investing approach, as mentioned above.

We have grouped Kernel’s thematic funds into our specialty fund grouping, so the thematic fund is the type of fund whereas specialty funds is the grouping label we have given them.

To read more about thematic funds specifically, be sure to check out our blogs outlining the 101 of investing in thematic funds:

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