U3A, the University of the Third Age, is a fantastic national organisation formed of local groups across multiple subject interests.
Martin and I have both presented a number of times now for the U3A personal finance groups in Cranleigh and Camberley, to discuss investments, inheritance tax and care fees planning.
Investing has come a long way since the times when people would invest directly ion shares or funds, often selected in the newspaper and then executed over the telephone or through the post with a stockbroker.
These days, it’s all about choosing the right investment platform on which to invest in order to achieve your financial goals.
An investment platform is a service which allows investors and financial advisers to check on their portfolios and make investment instructions.
From the adviser’s perspective, we can see the transaction history, valuations and dealings. This information allows us to make sure that your financial goals remain on track.
Most modern investment platforms offer access to the full range of tax wrappers, including Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) and personal pensions. Some also offer access to onshore and offshore Investment Bonds.
It’s important to get the best possible value for money when choosing a suitable investment platform.
To make sure you are not paying over the odds, you need to be able to understand all the fees and charges attached to financial products.
Other fees which you need to assess are adviser fees, fund management fees and product fees, all of which can be deducted from your investments on the chosen platform.
I would never recommend to constantly check on your investment portfolios. Doing this will simply just raise your blood pressure.
The most important thing to remember is when it comes to investing, make sure you align that investment with your financial plan.
If your plan tells you that you don’t need to invest then don’t!