Investments & Savings

Investments and SavingsThe value of pensions and investments and the income they produce can fall as well as rise. You may get back less than you invested.

Tax treatment varies according to individual circumstances and is subject to change.

Tax Planning is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Investors do not pay any personal tax on income or gains, but ISAs do pay unrecoverable tax on income from stocks and shares received by the ISA managers.

The recent volatility of stock markets is likely to continue in the short-term partly because markets don’t like uncertainty and partly because no-one really knows how the political decisions surrounding Brexit are going to impact on investment returns.

We recommend that you contact us and talk to one of our fully qualified Financial Advisers, who provide financial advice local to Sutton Coldfield and across the region. They will be able to help you understand your attitude to risk and review your portfolio to include strategies to reduce risk. Although risk cannot be eliminated altogether, we believe you need to keep focused on your long-term goals and, as an investor, you need to decide how much risk is right for you.

Investment Planning, ISAs And Other Ways To Save and Invest

 

On this page we give an overview of the basics of investment planning, we give information about tax-free savings with ISAs and look at other ways to invest and save your money.

However, no matter what information you have this is no substitute for working with one of our local Financial Advisers because they will discuss your financial goals and give you advice on appropriate ways to invest which is specifically tailored to your personal circumstances and financial goals.

Our Advisers provide financial advice in Lichfield and financial advice in Sutton Coldfield and across the region. They use all their experience and knowhow to maximise your return on the funds you invest via Four Oaks Financial Services and, through our practice our clients also have access to the expertise of a Chartered Financial Planner and Fellow of the Personal Finance Society.

Talk to us about how our financial advice and lifestyle financial planning skills can help your savings and investments grow.

Investments and savings and how to invest tax-efficiently, can become an important part of your retirement planning in addition to pensions. To see how we can advise you on your pension take a look at our pensions advice page.

Investment Planning – The Basics

 

Savings and investments are about balancing the risks you are comfortable with alongside the potential rewards. As a general rule, the higher the risk, the bigger the potential rewards – but also the potential losses. When we start working with you as a client we will find out your attitude to financial risk. We refer to this as a client’s risk profile. Whatever your investment objectives for the long-term, we always recommend that our clients set aside short-term savings of at least three months take-home income to meet emergencies and unexpected expenses. This should be easily accessible and penalty free. However, it is important not to hold too much money in these low interest rate accounts for too long, see Alternative Ways to Save below.

Your investment goals and attitude to risk are personal and will change over time, particularly as you near retirement. You may find you need to review your approach to investing as time goes on, with a financial adviser local to Sutton Coldfield or near where you live. Then, depending upon our clients’ individual needs we will meet on a regular basis to review how their investments are performing and recommend when changes need to be made. Gone are the days when you can leave your savings and investments untouched and unmanaged year after year – if you want your savings and investments to grow. Here is some basic information to help you understand more about the types of investments and savings that are available.

Basic Savings

 

Banks and building societies are normally safe homes for your money where you can usually expect to get back the money you’ve saved £1 for £1. In return for that security, your money may not grow very much and inflation could even reduce the value of your savings.

Tax Free Savings – ISAs for Adults

 

Each year the government gives each person an ISA allowance. This is the amount of cash you can put into an Individual Savings Account (ISA) each tax year. You don’t have to pay personal income tax or capital gains tax on any interest your cash savings earn in an ISA making this a very tax efficient way of saving.

ISAs do attract unrecoverable tax on income from stocks and shares received by the ISA managers and your Financial Adviser will explain this in more detail, but for you as an individual with an ISA you don’t pay any tax on the interest that is generated for you by the ISA.

For the tax year 2019/2020 the tax free ISA allowance for an adult remains at £20,000. You have until 5th April 2020 to use this allowance. Otherwise you lose it. You cannot carry ISA allowances over into another tax year. If you are unsure whether you have used your allowances for the current tax year, speak to one of our Financial Advisers in Lichfield and throughout the Midlands.

If you have existing ISAs our Financial Advisers can review these to make sure they are working hard for you and you are getting the appropriate return on investment. Sometimes ISAs have attractive introductory rates, but can revert to lower interest rates after a period of time so it is wise, as with any investment, to review it from time to time. You may get a higher return on your investment if you were to transfer your existing ISA to a different ISA, but this will be discussed with you and any advice given will be appropriate to your personal circumstances and financial goals.

Tax Free Savings – ISAs for Children

 

This kind of ISA is called a Junior ISA. This is a tax-free account for children under the age of 18. For the tax year 2019/2020 the annual allowance for Junior ISAs was increased to £4,368. So that means that no more than £4,368 can be invested in a Junior ISA in this tax year. However, this allowance cannot be carried over, you have to use all or part of this allowance by 5th April 2020.

We believe it is never too early to start a child’s financial education and a Junior ISA is a great way to get youngsters used to saving and being savvy with their money, because a Junior ISA is a tax-free way to save, unlike a standard savings account. Over the years’ youngsters will be able to see their investment grow and get them into the habit of saving.

A Junior ISA will be converted to an adult ISA when the child reaches the age of 18.

Different Kinds Of ISA Each Designed For A Specific Purpose

 

Cash ISAs, and Stocks & Shares ISAs

 

These are options for savers and investors. Cash ISAs are a safer option for money that you want to save tax-free but may need to access in the short-term.  Stocks & Shares ISAs are an alternative for money you want to invest for the longer term and for investors who are prepared to take an element of risk.

Junior ISAs

 

Junior ISAs are for children under the age of 18 who are living in the UK. The ISA allowance for junior ISAs for the tax year ending 5th April 2019 is £4,260.  Cash and Stocks & Shares ISAs are available, you can invest in one or both types.

Help To Buy ISAs

 

These are designed for people saving to buy a home.

Lifetime ISAs

 

These are designed for people who ae saving to buy a home or who wish to save until age 60.

Alternative Ways To Save – Investment Funds

 

Many of our investment clients say they want a balanced approach to savings. This means that they want to see their money grow by more than inflation but still want the peace of mind of having their money invested in a relatively cautious way. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Investment funds are available and over the longer term they’ve shown that they can provide investors with a return that beats inflation, sometimes by a significant amount. However, these funds are suitable for people who are prepared to take an element of risk with their longer-term savings and want to invest for five years or more.

As an example, we looked at one of the most popular types of balanced investments*. Of 146 funds, 113 of them had been running for more than five years. Over the last five years all of the 113 funds had made a return for their investors. The best performing fund had grown 59.3% over the five years and the worst performing fund in this sector had grown by 10.3%, which is well above the current level of inflation at around 3%. Note that investor charges will reduce the growth enjoyed.

*Source: Trustnet 6.6.18 – IA Mixed Investment 20-60% Shares sector

Other Investments & Savings

 

  • Corporate and government bonds – these are ‘loans’ to the government or companies that pay you interest in return. Government bonds are also referred to as gilts
  • Investment bonds – these are products from life assurance companies which invest your money in other funds and assets to provide you with returns over the medium to long-term
  • Open-ended investment companies (OEICs) – these also invest your money in other funds and assets to provide a return
  • Stocks and shares ISA – here your money may be invested in funds which invest across several assets including stocks and shares. This type of ISA also has tax benefits in that you don’t pay any personal income tax or capital gains tax on any profit you may make
  • National Savings & Investments – these are a range of savings and investments that are backed by the Treasury, which promises to guarantee your capital
  • Property – this may involve investing in residential properties or a holiday home to rent out
  • Shares – direct investment in individual companies. Here you take a stake in the company and if it does well you may get a dividend, which is a share in the profits. The value of your share may rise or fall depending on many things including how well the company has performed

Why not put our Advisers to the test and see what they could achieve for you by making your savings and investments work harder. Contact us to book a no obligation meeting with one of our financial advisers.

Our Financial Advisers provide savings and investments advice as part of our holistic approach to financial planning for Lichfield and financial planning for Sutton Coldfield based individuals and businesses.