Putting your money in a range of different investment funds

Investment bonds are designed to produce medium- to long-term capital growth, but can also be used to give you an income. They also include some life cover. There are other types of investment that have ‘bond’ in their name (such as guaranteed bonds, offshore bonds and corporate bonds), but these are very different. You pay a lump sum to a life assurance company and this is invested for you until you cash it in or die.

Reflecting popularity in the market

An investment trust is a company with a set number of shares. It is allowed to borrow money to invest (called gearing). Unlike an open-ended investment fund, an investment trust is closed ended. This means there are a set number of shares available, and this will remain the same no matter how many investors there are. This can have an impact on the price of the shares and the level of risk of the investment trust. Open-ended investment funds create and cancel units depending on the number of investors.

When you should review your life assurance requirements

Life assurance helps your dependants to cope financially in the event of your premature death. When you take out life assurance you set the amount you want the policy to pay out should you die, this is called the ‘sum assured.’ Even if you consider that currently you have sufficient life assurance, you’ll probably need more later on if your circumstances change. If you don’t update your policy as key events happen throughout your life, you may risk being seriously under-insured.

Investing in a variety of assets to generate a return for investors

Open-ended investment companies (OEICs) are stock market-quoted collective investment schemes. Like unit trusts and investment trusts they invest in a variety of assets to generate a return for investors.

Mitigating the impact of the forthcoming rate increase

An increase in the top rate of personal income tax for all income above £150,000 was announced in the 2009 Budget. The new 50 per cent rate will come into force from 6 April 2010. This is a significant increase (and an increase in the original figure announced in the Pre-Budget Report in November 2008, which stated that the rate would be 45 per cent as of April 2011) and also represents a structural change to the tax planning landscape.

Providing the potential for capital growth or income, or a combination of both

If you require your money to provide the potential for capital growth or income, or a combination of both, provided you are willing to accept an element of risk pooled investments could just be the solution you are looking for. A pooled investment allows you to invest in a large, professionally managed portfolio of assets with many other investors. As a result of this, the risk is reduced due to the wider spread of investments in the portfolio.

Solutions for the diverse needs of both our wealthy clients and those who aspire to become wealthy

We provide solutions for the diverse needs of both our wealthy clients and those who aspire to become wealthy, enabling each individual to structure their finances as efficiently as possible.

Whose wealth is it anyway?

Helping you protect your wealth is an important part of what we do, and one thing is certain, you need to plan to protect your wealth from a potential Inheritance Tax (IHT) liability. Once only the domain of the very wealthy, the wide-scale increase in home ownership and rising property values over the past decade have pushed many estates over the IHT threshold.

Record amounts paid into investment funds last year

Many savers turned their back on high street deposit accounts last year as new figures show a record year for investments.

What you can do to reduce tax?

With further tax increases on the horizon, there really is no time like the present to consider your tax position carefully and explore what planning can be effectively put in place to help mitigate or defer the upcoming increased income tax liabilities. There are a number of areas that you may like to consider prior to the end of the current fiscal year. Specific matters may be relevant to you or this may be an appropriate moment to review your affairs generally, especially following the announcements in the 2009 Pre-Budget Report.

Have you taken advantage of the increased ISA allowance?

If you have not already talked to us about using your 2009/10 Individual Savings Account (ISA) allowance, time is running out. Any unused ISA allowance from this current tax year cannot be rolled over to the next tax year and will be lost forever.

Are you relying on the state pension to fund your retirement?

Around 18 per cent of people who intend to give up work during 2010 admit they will be relying on the state pension and income from savings to fund their retirement, according to insurer Prudential.

Greater flexibility and control over your savings

A Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) is an investment savings vehicle aimed specifically at producing income, or a tax-free lump sum with a reduced income, in retirement.

A SIPP is a pension that gives you greater flexibility and control over your savings and where they are invested. It is your personal tax-efficient wrapper enclosing investments chosen by you to meet your own needs.

Passing assets to beneficiaries using a trust

You may decide to use a trust to pass assets to beneficiaries, particularly those who aren’t immediately able to look after their own affairs. If you do use a trust to give something away, this removes it from your estate provided you don’t use it or get any benefit from it. But bear in mind that gifts into trust may be liable to Inheritance Tax (IHT).

Deciding on your options

There are three types of non-State pensions. Some are offered by employers and some you can start yourself. They are: