Fidelity Investments

will launch its

Growth & Income II

portfolio Tuesday.

Why not? The fund's now-closed older sibling was one of the Boston-based firm's most popular. With equity-fund asset growth at Fidelity trailing that of rival

Vanguard's

, the world's largest mutual-fund company could use a little flypaper.

Assets in Fidelity's equity mutual funds grew from $383.7 billion in January of last year to $452.5 billion through November, or 17.9% according to

Lipper

. By comparison, Vanguard equity-fund assets grew from $224.8 billion to $292.7 billion, or 30.2%, in the same period. Cloning attractive funds that are no longer available to new investors is one way for Fidelity to reverse the trend.

The new fund will share many of the features of Fidelity's

(FGRIX) - Get Report

Growth & Income portfolio -- including its investment objective, according to the fund firm. One it won't share is the older fund's manager since 1993, Steven Kaye. Growth & Income II will be managed by Louis Salemy, Kaye's assistant on the older portfolio from 1995 to 1997.

In addition to assisting Kaye, Salemy has managed several sector funds at Fidelity as well as the

(FAFBX)

Fidelity Advisor Financial Services fund from 1996 to 1998. He's been with Fidelity since 1992.

The new fund, which carries a minimum investment of $2,500, will be sold directly from Fidelity beginning Jan. 5.