Closely aligned to the Ready-made portfolios offered by some of the direct platforms (which we look at elsewhere) are the lists of recommended funds selected by platforms. These are the funds that the platforms and their in-house experts consider to have a good fund manager, a reliable track record and are likely to do well for their investors over time. Without such guidance, and with over 2,000 funds to choose from, it is easy to be influenced by whichever fund is top of the league tables at the time or is being tipped by commentators, who may receive a commission for doing so.
The star ratings applied to funds by platforms, who variously brand them as ‘Premier’, ‘Calibre’, ‘Best Buy’ or ‘Wealth 150′ lists can therefore offer a more objective approach to selecting funds for your portfolio. If you cross reference the lists to see which funds appear in more than one list you can be reasonably sure of finding a fund that has a better than average reputation – however, research in 2014 by The Platforum, a fund consultancy, found that not a single fund out of nearly 400 listed on the ‘buy’ lists of eight of the biggest brokers appears on every one. Just five funds appeared on seven out of eight lists, and only 16 managed to get onto five lists. (more…)
When we started the UK Pensions Blog, our research into the new Pension freedoms indicated two pretty clear routes for those seeking to manage their own pensions in retirement. If you know a little about investment and are confident in your own knowledge and ability to manage your own Pension there are a multitude of DIY investment platforms out there – all ready and willing to take your money and provide you with the online functionality to manage it as you desire. Platform charges vary widely depending on which features you consider most important but we have included best buy tables to help you sort the wheat from the chaff.
Conversely, if you are new to investing and need more detailed guidance, there is also what should now be a well established route – start with a call to Pension Wise to arrange a detailed telephone or face to face discussion about your options and to learn about the pooh traps you need to avoid. Then go and see an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). They will be able to review your situation in detail and provide the regulated advice and investment support that you will need to manage your Pension effectively throughout your retirement. If you don’t know an IFA personally, (and let’s face it, few of us do) we review the comprehensive web sites that point you towards a local IFA. Several of the sites even have detailed consumer reviews of the IFAs, rather like TripAdvisor.
But the simplicity of such a twin track approach has been skewed by the market and recent regulation, such that for many new retirees, advice from an IFA is either not available or is just too expensive. So how has this happened, and what can be done about it? (more…)
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