A tax-efficient investment offering capital gains tax deferral

Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs) are tax-efficient vehicles set up to encourage investment into small, unquoted trading companies. The EIS is the only tax-efficient investment offering a capital gains tax (CGT) deferral. CGT on the disposal of other assets can be deferred by reinvesting the proceeds in EIS shares.

Wealthier investors taking a long-term view

A Venture Capital Trust (VCT) is a company whose shares trade on the London stock market. A VCT aims to make money by investing in other companies. These are typically very small companies which are looking for further investment to help develop their business.

Not sacrificing your life principles in exchange for chasing the best financial returns

For investors concerned about global warming and other environmental issues, there are a plethora of ethical investments that cover a multitude of different strategies. The terms ‘ethical investment’ and ‘socially responsible investment’ (SRI) are often used interchangeably to mean an approach to selecting investments whereby the usual investment criteria are overlaid with an additional set of ethical or socially responsible criteria.

Safeguarding your money at a time of low interest rates

How do you generate a reliable income when interest rates are stuck at all-time lows and the Bank of England’s quantitative easing policy of ‘printing’ money is squeezing yields on government bonds (gilts) and other investments? Investors today can still rely on a well-balanced portfolio to meet their needs for income. However, they must be open-minded about the sources of that income and recognise that low-risk income generation is a thing of the past.

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.

Providing you with increased simplicity and greater flexibility

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) have been around since 1999, providing a tax-efficient wrapper for savings and investments. However, in the recent Budget, the Chancellor, George Osborne, promised to increase the simplicity and flexibility of ISAs. As of 1 July 2014, there is now a single ISA which has been named the new ISA, or ‘NISA’, which provides a bigger tax break than ever before and more flexibility about how it can be used.

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.

Reflecting popularity in the market

An investment trust is a company with a set number of shares. Unlike an open-ended investment fund, an investment trust is closed ended. This means there are a set number of shares available, which 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.

Participating in a wider range of investments

Unit trusts are collective investments that allow 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.

Reviving consumer spending and economic growth

Since the global financial crisis, both the Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve have used the policy of quantitative easing (QE) to try to revive consumer spending and economic growth.

Providing you with increased simplicity and greater flexibility

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) have been around since 1999, providing a tax-efficient wrapper for savings and investments. However, in the recent Budget, the Chancellor, George Osborne, promised to increase the simplicity and flexibility of ISAs. As of 1 July 2014, there is now a single ISA which has been named the new ISA, or ‘NISA’, which provides a bigger tax break than ever before and more flexibility about how it can be used.

Achieving the right balance of cash, fixed income and equities

How you choose to allocate your wealth between different asset classes will be one of the most important investment decisions you ever make. Asset allocation can account for the majority of your portfolio returns over the long term, so it’s essential that you achieve the right balance of cash, fixed income and equities in your portfolio.

Withdrawing income without prematurely depleting your portfolio

Investing for income is not simply about establishing a portfolio of income-generating investments. It is also about the strategies you use to withdraw income from this portfolio.

Review our financial fitness checklist to see how we can help you make more of your money

Utilise personal pension tax relief

When you contribute to a registered pension scheme, you automatically receive basic rate tax relief on your contributions. Your personal pension tax relief depends on your circumstances. These are the current UK pension tax relief rules for the 2014/15 tax year, so don’t miss out.

Animal spirits are finally stirring again to you

It has been a long wait, but animal spirits are finally stirring again. Not just in financial markets, where the bull market has been underway for more than five years now, but in the real world of corporate activity.