LAST issue I outlined the difficulties when investing in volatile markets and the importance of having a diversified portfolio, with a tongue-in-cheek reference to ‘Time Nice-but-Dim’ a comedy character from Harry Enfield’s stable.
However, investing for your financial future can often be no laughing matter as many who have invested in ‘offshore’ financial products can testify.
In most cases clients are using mutual funds to spread the risk in each asset class, managed by professional investment houses.
Each of these can experience very different fortunes depending on the selection of the individual stocks and shares sitting within the funds.
However, as well as their performance the charges levied – not only by the funds but also by the financial products they are using to access the various asset classes – can have a huge impact on the future value of their investments.
I speak to many clients day to day who have existing investments, often in the EEA or international market, who are investing with one of the major insurance linked providers such as Utmost Worldwide or Utmost PanEurope (Formerly Generali International, Generali Pan Europe or Generali Worldwide), RL360 (previously Royal London 360), Old Mutual International (originally Royal Skandia or Skandia International) , Hansard, Prudential, Investors Trust and Friends Provident International.
Again it can be very confusing and difficult to track investments when companies are constantly changing their names, through merger or acquisition.
They may also hold these platforms or products through their QROPS or SIPP pension investments with companies such as Momentum Pensions or Sovereign Pensions.
Many advisers in the offshore market sell these platforms to clients using their ‘insurance licence’ with no real understanding of how to actually manage the assets within the portfolio. The clients also have no knowledge of the charges or commissions they are paying which are often hidden in the small print of their policy documents.
I help many of these clients by firstly reviewing the asset allocation, fund choice and investment products within their portfolios, to ensure they are appropriate to their long term goals, their attitude to risk and their current financial, tax and/or residency position.
I find many clients who have been sold these investments are often then left to make their own decisions or are confused about how their policies actually work or where they are invested. They will then be managed professionally and reviewed constantly to ensure they continue to be ‘fit for purpose’ and changed if necessary.
The key to successful financial planning is to constantly review your approach to the management of your wealth and ask how, why, where and how much you are investing.
The investment plans with some of the providers mentioned above can be a useful tool for clients but sometimes can lead to missed opportunities or be totally unsuitable or expensive.
I offer potential clients a free review of their investment portfolio and underlying costs of their products.
This will show you the current geographical spread of the investments, the asset class spread and overall risk grading of the current portfolio along with detailing any specific issues with individual fund holdings or overweight/underweight concerns – the kind of information that I provide to my clients on a regular basis.
I can also provide advice on alternative investment platforms or products that may be cheaper or better suited to your needs if required.
As we come to the end of the year it is the perfect time to ensure you are positioned correctly. See how your portfolio’s current holdings fit with your needs and financial goals.
Contact me for a no obligation investment product and/or portfolio review and at my expense on +34 654 898 303/+44 77230 27864 or email me at [email protected]
I’ll even buy the coffee.
Jonathan now has an office Malaga, which can be found here:
Alameda Colón, 9, 1, 7
29001 Málaga, Spain
Phone: +34 951 579226