A Capital idea with a Carolina twist

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It wasn’t the greatest week to launch a new investment product given the stock market’s volatility, but Capital Investment Cos. persevered with its new Carolinas Leaders Index. It’s a unit-investment trust made up of 71 Carolinas-based companies, each equally weighted. That means Bank of America, with a market cap of $321 billion, makes up the same percentage as e-commerce company ChannelAdvisor, with $241 million in valuation.

Capital leaders Ben Brooks and Richard Bryant originally wanted 75 companies in the trust, but four smaller firms did not meet listing requirements. Their concept is that the growing Carolinas economy should produce better-than-average gains  for investors. They also hope the trust will raise the profile of the companies, many of which are not closely tracked by securities analysts.

The trust started trading at $10 per unit and is only available through Capital’s roster of 200 financial advisers. The window for investing is six months, then the trust will trade for another 12 months. After a total of 18 months, the fund will expire with assets redistributed to investors.

Business North Carolina has published a similar index produced by Capital for the last year and it has mostly tracked the S&P 500 index. About 27% of the companies in the Carolinas Leaders Index are in financial services, which exceeds the overall market’s weighting, Brooks says. Another 10% is in technology-oriented stocks. Capital hopes to raise several million dollars, officials say.

Bryant and Bobby Edgerton formed Capital in 1984 and built a company that now oversees $3 billion in client assets. Brooks, who is president, joined the company in 2001.

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