Investment funds vary greatly in terms of where the money is invested and what they aim to achieve, with options to suit most people’s objectives. Whether you want to save for school fees, a deposit for a house or an extravagant holiday, it is essential that you hold investments that match your personal attitude to risk and take advantage of your taxation status.
At Alan Boswell Financial Planners we offer:
Many investment funds have managers to invest money on your behalf, based upon the objective of the fund and your attitude to investment risk. You are therefore benefitting from exposure to a variety of assets, with the decisions about where to invest and in what proportion being made by an expert in that field.
Our qualified independent financial advisers will take the time to get to know you and can help establish the most appropriate investment solution. After investing your money we are able to review your portfolio to ensure it remains suitable, particularly if your circumstances change.
Deciding where to invest your money will depend on your specific goals and your attitude to investment risk. There are numerous options available but the main routes are:
Collective investments – These include unit trusts and Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs) and can invest in numerous assets, including shares, bonds, government gilts or property. You usually have the option of making lump sum payments and/or regular contributions. Your money will be invested with the money of other investors, making the costs associated with investing in these assets considerably lower than they would be if you bought them directly. Spreading your money across different investments can reduce the risk your money will be exposed to.
Stocks & shares ISAs – In a lot of cases, stocks & shares ISAs invest into collective investments like a unit trust or Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs) but the money will benefit from the tax advantages that are not available if you invest into them directly. As a result, there is a maximum amount that can be contributed each year.
Investment bonds – These are life insurance policies where you invest a lump sum in a variety of assets. Despite having a small life insurance element, they are essentially investment products rather than insurance. There are similarities to collective investments like a unit trust or Open-Ended Investment Companies (OEICs), but the returns are taxed differently. Our financial advisers can look at your tax situation to establish which option is most suitable.
Other investments – For people comfortable with taking higher levels of risk for a potentially greater return, there are a number of investment solutions available. Some are designed to encourage investment into smaller companies and, due to the increased risk, they have tax incentives that are not available with other types of investment. Whatever options you are considering, it is essential that you get advice to make sure the solution is suitable.
The value of an investment and any income from it can go down as well as up and you might not get back the original amount invested. The past is not a guide to the future.
The value of tax benefits depends on your individual circumstances and the laws concerning these can change.
This will depend on who you hold the investments with. Some funds may have exit penalties if money is withdrawn within a certain timescale. However, even if you are able to access your money easily, if you are considering investing, it should be with money that you don’t have any plans for over the next few years, as most investments should be viewed as medium- to long-term.
The level of risk will differ depending on which assets your funds invest into and in what proportion. Over the longer term, investments have the potential to outperform the returns from other deposit-based accounts, but the money you invest will also be at risk of dropping in value. Our advisers will take the time to understand your attitude to investment risk, so that investment solutions recommended are suitable.
This is where getting advice is essential. Our financial advisers can look at your entire financial situation, taking into account the plans you have for your money, how much is needed for emergencies and the level of risk you are prepared to take. Money needed for emergencies should be held in an account that is easily accessible and any funds you are planning to spend in the short term would not be appropriate for longer term investments.
The returns from most investments are usually subject to tax unless you invest via tax efficient vehicle like a stocks & shares ISA. The amount of tax to be paid will vary depending on the type of investment product, the assets it invests into and how much tax you pay on your earnings. Our financial advisers will take your taxation status into account when making recommendations.
Yes, a lot of investment funds will have the option of receiving an income.
Tony is a Director in our Wealth team who joined Alan Boswell from the national accountancy firm Grant Thornton in 2003. The Norwich office of…
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