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.

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.

The New Individual Savings Account (NISA) rules were introduced in July 2014 designed to help and encourage people to save more for their future and give savers and investors more flexibility and a larger tax-efficient allowance than ever before. This tax efficient ‘wrapper’ can hold investments such as unit trusts, other collectives such as OEIC’s, shares and cash.

Unit trusts are a collective investment that allows you to participate in a wider range of investments than can normally be achieved on your own with smaller sums of money. Pooling your money with others also reduces the risk.

If you require your money to provide the potential for capital growth or income, or a combination of both, and 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.

The volatility experienced in global markets over the past six years has tested the nerves of even the most experienced investors, making it a difficult time for individuals who rely on income from investments for some or all of their needs.

When putting together an investment portfolio there are a number of asset classes, or types of investments, that can be combined in different ways. The starting point is cash – and the aim of employing the other asset classes is to achieve a better return than could be achieved by leaving all of the investment on deposit.

The first step to building wealth starts with a disciplined decision to pay yourself first, then compounds with a disciplined investment approach.

During 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.

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.

Why more people are retaining exposure to stocks and shares

New research[1] suggests that UK adults are planning to use equity investments to help them outstrip inflation and manage the rising cost of living. Over half (53%) of UK adults rate the rising cost of living as their number one fear for retirement, and almost a third (32%) of pre-retirees[2] say they would retain some exposure to stocks and shares to offset the negative effects of inflation on their retirement income.

The figures show that the rising cost of living is UK adults’ number one fear for retirement, above keeping fit and healthy (45%) or even losing a spouse or partner (32%). When asked about how they planned to offset the declining purchasing power of their pension pots and the negative impact of inflation, almost a third (32%) of non-retired respondents aged 55 and over said they would retain some exposure to stocks and shares.

Source:
[1] MGM Advantage research among 2,028 UK adults aged 18+, conducted online by Research Plus Ltd, fieldwork 17–22 October 2013.
[2] Source: MGM Advantage research among 2,060 UK adults aged 55+, of which 663 were non-retired, conducted online by Research Plus Ltd, fieldwork 4–11 October 2013.

INFORMATION IS BASED ON OUR CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF TAXATION LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS. ANY LEVELS AND BASES OF, AND RELIEFS FROM, TAXATION ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

THE VALUE OF INVESTMENTS AND INCOME FROM THEM MAY GO DOWN. YOU MAY NOT GET BACK THE ORIGINAL AMOUNT INVESTED.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT A RELIABLE INDICATOR OF FUTURE PERFORMANCE.

Six years after the start of the financial crisis, what lessons should we have learnt?

1 Plan for the unexpected

Many believe that markets are much safer today than they were six years ago, thanks in large part to the numerous regulations and safeguards put in place to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis.

Why planning for your future retirement requires answers

We all look forward to stopping work, embarking on a new path and making the most of our new-found freedom. But with all the talk and concern about dwindling retirement funds and our shaky economy, many retirees and soon-to-be-retired boomers need to consider three very important questions, sooner rather than later.

What’s positive for one investment can be negative for another

Different types of investments are affected in different ways by factors such as economics, interest rates, politics, conflicts, even weather events. What’s positive for one investment can be negative for another, and when one rises another may fall. This interlinked movement between assets is known as ‘correlation’.

The financial pressure on parents providing board to their adult offspring

Parents with adult children living under their roof are spending £1,200* more than their Empty Nester counterparts each year on everyday household expenditure, bringing the total annual cost of ‘Full Nest Syndrome’ in the UK to £3.2 billion[1].