HARTFORD, Conn. - Aeltus Investment Management Inc., investment adviser to Aetna Funds, has started its fifth mutual fund with a five-year guarantee of principal.

The Aetna Index Plus Protection Fund is being offered to investors from Oct. 2 through Nov. 29, with the guarantee good from Dec. 1, 2000, through Nov. 30, 2005. It guarantees investors that their account value on the last day of the guarantee period will be no lower than their initial investment, less any sales charges, redemptions, or cash distributions.

The portfolio differs from previous Aetna Principal Protection funds in that, after the guarantee period, an enhanced index strategy is to be used. Also, investors do not have to liquidate their holdings at the end of the guarantee period as with other guaranteed funds.

The minimum investment in the fund is $5,000.

Aeltus is an independently managed subsidiary of the insurer Aetna Inc. Aeltus has more than $56 billion of assets under management.

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