Pension confusion

Are most people unprepared for retirement?

People are still being left confused by pensions, with almost two thirds not understanding their key features, according to new research by Wesleyan.

Are millennial investors facing a perfect strom?

Looking at the mismatches between expectation and reality

Depressed wages, escalating living costs and a struggling global economy – millennials have a lot on their plates. They need investment income to support short and long-term financial aspirations. Does something have to give and is the perfect investment storm brewing?

Why now is the time to review your pension

Taking an active interest in your retirement savings

Millions of savers currently spend very little time reviewing their pensions, with more than a quarter of savers (28%) admitting to never reviewing their retirement savings, while almost a fifth (19%) of those with a pension said they review it less than once every five years[1] according to figures released by Aviva.

Socially responsible investing

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.

Investing for income

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.

Offshore bonds

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.

Individual Savings Accounts

Tax-efficient investment wrapper holding a range of investments

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) have been around since 1999 and are tax-efficient investment wrappers in which you can hold a range of investments, including bonds, equities, property shares, multi-asset funds and even cash, giving you control over where your money is invested.

Investment bonds

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.

Investment trusts

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.

Unit trusts

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.