During these difficult economic times, one of the tools available to the Bank of England to stimulate the economy is interest rates. Lower interest rates mean that it is cheaper to borrow money and people have more to spend, hopefully stimulating the economy and reducing the risk of deflation. This is why the Bank of England has aggressively cut them. With interest rates at their lowest levels in history, those relying on the interest from bank or building society accounts to supplement their income potentially face a problem. Indeed, once tax and inflation are taken into account, for many their capital on deposit is at risk of losing money in real terms.

Distribution bonds are intended to provide income with minimal affects on your original investment. They attempt to ensure that any tax-free returns, up to 5 per cent and usually in the form of dividends, do not greatly reduce your original investment, thereby providing the opportunity for future long-term growth. They also combine two different asset classes, equities and bonds, inside one investment wrapper.

An investment bond is a single premium life insurance policy and is a potentially tax-efficient way of holding a range of investment funds in one place. They can be a good way of allowing you to invest in a mixture of investment funds that are managed by professional investment managers.

An Individual Savings Account (ISA) is a tax-efficient ‘wrapper’ designed to go around an investment. You’ve got until 5 April 2014 to use your current 2013/14 tax year annual ISA allowance before you lose it forever.

Investment trusts are based upon fixed amounts of capital divided into shares. This makes them closed ended, unlike the open-ended structure of unit trusts. They can be one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to invest in the stock market. Once the capital has been divided into shares, you can purchase the shares. When an investment trust sells shares, it is not taxed on any capital gains it has made. By contrast, private investors are subject to capital gains tax when they sell shares in their own portfolio.

Have you given full consideration to your long-term pension investment strategy?

Reviewing your 
retirement planning

Having a pension today is recognised as just one important step along the path to achieving your dreams once you have stopped working. Now, not only must you carefully consider where you actually invest your pension money and how you are going to use your pension, but if appropriate you should also review other forms of retirement savings. Reviewing your retirement planning is critical, and probably the single most important decision you can make to help you realise your long-term goals.

Don’t miss out, start reviewing your options now

An Individual Savings Account (ISA) is a tax-efficient ‘wrapper’ designed to go around an investment. You’ve got until 5 April 2014 to use your current 2013/14 tax year annual ISA allowance before you lose it forever.

Increasing the long-term value of your investments

In the light of more recent market volatility, it's perhaps natural to be looking for ways to smooth out your portfolio's returns going forward. Investing regularly can smooth out market highs and lows over time. In a fluctuating market, a strategy known as pound-cost averaging can help smooth out the effect of market changes on the value of your investment and is one way to achieve some peace of mind through this simple, time-tested method for controlling risk over time.

Remember your reasons for investing in the first place

Stock markets can be unpredictable. They move frequently – and sometimes sharply – in both directions. It is important to take a long-term view (typically ten years or more) and remember your reasons for investing in the first place.

Protecting your money from adverse market conditions

Today's markets are as uncertain as ever. But there is one certainty ñ the future is coming. It may no longer be enough to simply preserve what you have today; you also have to build what you will need for tomorrow. When deciding whether to invest, it is important that any investment vehicle matches your feelings and preferences in relation to investment risk and return.

Resisting the temptation to make short-term adjustments

Some investors may have had a roller-coaster ride in recent years. A market fall can happen at any time. In years past, they've been triggered by natural disasters, oil price spikes, wars, bank collapses ñ and now there's the eurozone debt crisis. The reality is that market swings happen often, and when they do, it can be unsettling for many investors.

What do you want to achieve from your investments?

Whatever your needs, we can help. You may wish to entrust the entire wealth management process to us, or make the investment decisions yourself and still leverage our extensive services and expertise.

Utilising tax deferral benefits to minimise tax liabilities

Finding the right offshore investments can be a key factor in making the most of your wealth, and it's not only for the wealthiest of investors. With a few well-advised decisions you could broaden your investment portfolio.

If appropriate, offshore bonds may provide an opportunity for your assets to grow in a tax-free environment. They also allow you to choose when any tax liability becomes payable. There are a number of other tax benefits with offshore bonds, especially if you have spent time living abroad. But they are complex structures that require professional financial advice.

A tax-efficient wrapper for your fund choices

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) were introduced in April 1999 by the Government to replace Personal Equity Plans (PEPs) and Tax Exempt Special Savings Accounts (TESSAs). During this current tax year you can shelter up to £11,520 from tax by investing in an ISA.

A range of funds for the medium- to long-term

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. With an investment bond, you pay a lump sum to a life assurance company and this is invested for you until you cash it in or die.