John Hancock Funds says a study it sponsored suggests that investors who invest in lifestyle funds do better than investors who try to pick their own funds.[@@]

Hancock, Boston, a unit of Manulife Financial Corp., Toronto, now manages $24 billion in assets in lifestyle funds, or professionally managed funds aimed at investors with specific levels of tolerance for financial risk.

A research firm that Hancock hired found that average investment returns for clients who chose lifestyle funds were 3.15 percentage points to 4.24 percentage points higher than average returns for investors who picked their own funds, Hancock says.

Only 9% of the investors who picked their own funds beat the performance of the lifestyle funds, Hancock says.

In related news Hancock has introduced 2 new funds of funds, the John Hancock Allocation Growth plus Value Portfolio and the John Hancock Allocation Core Portfolio fund.

The Allocation Growth plus Value Portfolio will invest half of its assets in a Hancock global growth fund and half in a Hancock classic value fund, Hancock says.

The value fund will be managed by Sustainable Growth Advisers L.P., New York, and the value fund will be managed by Pzena Investment Management L.L.C., New York, Hancock says.

The Allocation Core Portfolio fund will invest its assets in the Hancock global growth fund, the Hancock classic value fund and a Hancock strategic income fund.

Sustainable will manage the growth fund, Pzena will manage the value fund and Hancock will manage the strategic income fund.

The maximum front-end sales charge for Class A shares is 5%, and the maximum deferred sales charge for Class B shares with no front-end sales charge is also 5%, Hancock says.

Class C shares come with no front-end sales charge and a maximum deferred sales charge of 1%.

The minimum initial investment is $1,000 for regular accounts or $500 for retirement accounts.