Protection is designed to protect you, your family or your business financially from the effects of unexpected and unpleasant life events, for example illness or death. Protection polices tend to have a relatively long term and insure a person’s life or health, not their possessions. Products include
Personal protection is protection that individuals take out to cover themselves and their family. The personal protection category includes products such as income protection, life insurance, private medical insurance and critical illness cover.
Group protection is usually taken out by companies to protect their employees, either for the benefit of the employer, such as death in service or group income protection, or the benefit of the company, such as key person insurance.
Long Term Care Insurance aims to ensure care fees are paid for as long as needed. There are a number of ways to fund long term-care, specialist care fee advisers understand the issues you will need to consider and can talk you through the best options for you or your loved ones.
General insurance protects your property or other interests against the financial impact of adverse events. Typically the policies last for terms of a year or less. Products include buildings, contents, travel, car or commercial insurance.
Personal insurance is taken out by individuals and families rather than organisations or businesses, in order to protect themselves from the financial impact of adverse events. Examples include home, motor or travel insurance.
Commercial insurance is taken out by businesses and other organisations to protect their interests from unexpected events. Examples include buildings, motor or liability insurance.
In its most basic form, investing is buying things such as shares or property with the aim of making gains higher than those achieved with savings. Investments tend to be taken out for the medium to long term and because of this aim to beat inflation. There are lots of different ways to invest and your adviser will recommend the most suitable for your needs.
Life assurance investments are usually referred to as endowment policies and tend to be longer term investments used to save for a specific goal or event. Money is regularly invested, either monthly or yearly over the term. Part of the payment is used to buy life insurance; the remaining amount is then invested, either on a unit linked or with-profits basis. Endowment policies were historically taken out with the aim of providing life insurance to cover an interest only mortgage and a lump sum to repay the capital at the end of the term.
Investment bonds are a type of investment that contains a small life assurance element. Money is typically invested in lump sums and there is usually a choice of with-profit or unit linked funds. Some Investment bonds have a fixed term, but the majority have no minimum or maximum time frame but may have surrender penalties in the early years. Investment bonds can be used to provide income or growth.
Unit trusts are a type of collective investment; money is invested either via lump sum or regular payments and buys units in the fund. A fund manager manages the fund and invests everyone’s money collectively in the fund’s assets. There are lots of different funds available, all with different aims and investment mixes, some unit trusts allow the choice between income or accumulation units.
An investment trust is a company that invests in various different assets. Unlike unit trusts or OEICs investment trusts are able to borrow money to invest, this is known as “gearing” which can lead to the potential for increased returns but at the expense of greater risk. Investors buy shares in the trust to sell, usually on the stock market, and if they wish to cash in their investments they will receive the current market value. Because there are a stable number of shares, investment trust managers do not have to worry about sudden in or out flows of capital when investors buy or sell.
Tax Efficient Investment
Management of Investments
This is a type of investing is usually aimed at people with significant amounts to invest, a bespoke portfolio is set up based on the investor’s aims and objectives and the manager is given discretion to manage this in their client’s best interests. This means they will monitor the investments buying and selling assets without necessarily checking with the client first. This allows the manager to easily react to situations, take advantage of opportunities and avoid difficulties.
Corporate finance deals with funding businesses
ISA stands for Individual Savings Account, there are many different types of ISA and a range of different investments, including cash and shares, can be held in them. ISAs are a tax efficient way of savings as they are exempt from income and capital gains tax.
When planning for retirement most people automatically think of taking out of a pension, but there are lots of different ways of saying, an adviser who understands retirement planning can help their client form the most appropriate plan considering all the different options.
A traded endowment is an endowment policy that is sold by the original policy holder to another investor before the end of its term. The policy holder is often likely to get more by selling the policy than they would if they surrendered it. The new owner pays the original owner and then assumes responsibility for the remaining regular payments; in return they will receive the maturity value of the policy.
A lot of people think that the only way to invest in property is to buy it directly; however there are lots of different options. There are collective property investments such as Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), insurance company property funds or investors can buy shares in property investment companies.
Venture Capital Trusts invest in smaller companies that are not quoted on stock exchanges. They offer the potential for higher returns and tax advantages to encourage people to invest in smaller companies. Investments that give opportunities for higher returns generally have a larger element of risk than less speculative options.
The Enterprise Investment Scheme is a series of tax reliefs offered to people who make qualifying investments buying shares in small unquoted companies. The scheme is designed to encourage investment in small companies and the tax relief is intended to compensate for the higher risk associated with these kinds of investments.
Annuities offer a guaranteed income, either for life or a set period of time, they are provided by insurance companies in return for a lump sum. The amount of income provided by an annuity depends on the size of the initial lump sum, the age and health of the buyer and what additional options are selected. Traditionally annuities were purchased on retirement with the proceeds of the retiree’s pension fund as taking an annuity used to be compulsory, but there are now more options for income in retirement.
Investment funds buy shares in businesses, this helps these businesses to succeed. Some people are uncomfortable with investing in companies that they feel are in opposition to their personal ethics and so choose funds that align with their views. There are many different types of ethical investments with various different emphasises. Funds can choose to apply negative screens that eliminate firms that engage in objectionable activities (arms manufacturers for example) or they may apply positive filters to favour businesses with positive aspects, such as those with good corporate social responsibility or environmental credentials. When looking at funds investors need to look at other aspects such as the asset make up and risk profile of the fund as well as the ethical elements.
Offshore investments are based outside of the UK; there may be benefits to holding investments this way, but there are also more complications. Offshore investments are not subject to UK regulations; they are regulated in their home country.
Structured products are a kind of fixed-term investment; the performance is based on something other than the underlying investments, such as a stock market index. They are often issued by insurance companies or banks and can have various different features. Some structured products offer guarantees, others may not, and there are often penalties for early withdrawal.
The term pension refers to an income received in retirement; generally these are funded by people or their employers whilst they are still working. Registered pension schemes in the UK have special tax advantages to encourage people to save for their old age.
Group pensions are plans that employers take out for their employees, with the employer choosing the provider. People and firms who advise on group pensions are often referred to as employee benefits advisers.
Personal pensions are plans that individuals take out to save for their own retirement.
SIPP stands for Self-Invested Personal Pension; it is a type of personal pension that allows the holder to make and manage their own choice of investments.
A mortgage is a loan secured on property, representing a legal agreement with a bank, building society etc. It is usually used to purchase the property, but this is not required. If the borrower defaults on the loan the mortgage lender can repossess the property and sell it to get its money back.
Commercial mortgages are loans secured on business property, such as offices, shops or warehouses. Buy to let mortgages, used to buy a residential property with the intention of renting it out, are also a type of commercial mortgage.
Residential mortgages are loans secured on residential property. Most residential mortgages are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Equity release allows people over age 55 to release some of the value of their home, either as a lump sum of income. There are a two different options; a life time mortgage or home reversion, there are many different factors to take into account before choosing equity release, which your adviser can help you to consider.