Investments We Advise On
With the strength and depth of expertise we have, we’re able to advise on an extensive range of different types of investment. This means we can help you make the most appropriate choices to suit your personal circumstances.
Below is further detail on the investment types we deal with. It’s not an exhaustive list but it does cover the vehicles we use most regularly:
Collective Investment Funds
A collective investment is where lots of people to pool their money into a fund, which is then invested in one or more types of asset by a fund manager. Collective investments allow you to access a wider range of investment opportunities normally reserved for larger investors. Pooling your money with others also reduces your personal risk. Collective investments often underpin many types of investment plan, such as a stocks and shares ISA, or a pension for instance. Outside the protection of a plan, they are normally subject to more tax, but the treatment of capital gains remains attractive in comparison to income, particularly if you’re a higher or additional rate taxpayer.
Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs)
You can invest up to £15,240 in a cash or stocks and shares ISAs in 2016/17. This limit increases to £20,000 for the 2017/18 tax year.
ISAs are free of UK tax on interest, investment income and capital gains. There is a wide choice choice of investments, including equities and fixed-interest securities.
Parents and others can contribute to a junior ISA for children of any age who do not have a child trust fund. The overall contribution limit is £4,080 a year. Funds are locked in until the child reaches 18.
Investing in a pension plan, whether it’s a personal or occupational scheme, is generally worthwhile because of the tax privileges. Tax relief on a pension contribution is at least 20%. Relief can be as high as 60% where the personal allowance is being withdrawn, or even higher where tax credits are being withdrawn.
The simplest and most popular way of converting a pension into an income. We can help advise on choosing the right annuity options for your personal circumstances and navigate the market to find the best annuity and the right level of income to meet your retirement aspirations.
Income withdrawal ‘drawdown’
Just like an annuity, you can take the tax-free cash from the pension, but rather than buying a fixed income with the remaining funds, you just withdraw money from the contract.
The arrangement allows complete flexibility on the amount that may be withdrawn, and any funds remaining upon death may be paid out to family members free of inheritance tax.
There are two types of UK life policy which can provide a useful tax shelter once other opportunities, such as ISAs, have been exhausted:
These are lump-sum investments, which enjoy the same internal tax regime as MIPs. Any profits, are subject to a personal higher additional rate tax charge, but there is scope for tax-deferred withdrawals.
Maximum Investment Plans (MIPs)
MIPs are regular investment plans, where the funds are currently subject to a special life company tax rate of no more than 20% on income and inflation-adjusted capital gains. You have no personal tax liability on any MIP profits at maturity, typically after ten years.
Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs)
You can get income tax relief of 30% by subscribing up to £200,000 for shares in VCTs in 2016/17. Gains are generally exempt from capital gains tax (CGT). VCTs are investment trusts that invest in a range of relatively small trading companies. It is important to remember that VCTs are high-risk investments and so may be difficult to sell. It is important to remember that VCT shares are high-risk investments as they involve investing in smaller companies and can be complex. A minimum holding period of 5 years applies to keep the tax relief.
Enterprise Investment Schemes (EISs)
An EIS gives tax relief for investing in new shares in relatively small qualifying trading companies not listed on any stock exchange. Benefits include:
- Income tax relief at 30% on up to £1,000,000 invested in 2016/17.
- Exemption from CGT on share gains after three years.
- The possibility of deferring CGT on any size gain on the disposal of any asset, by reinvesting in shares that qualify under the EIS. Any gain must be reinvested. You can use an EIS investment to defer gains made up to three years earlier.
It is important to remember that EIS shares are high-risk investments as they involve investing in smaller companies and can be complex.
Tax relief depends on your individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. The availability of tax relief, VCTs and EIS’s depends on the companies invested maintaining their qualifying status.
All investments carry an element of risk. You may not get back the full amount of your original investment.