Our affiliation with Raymond James Investment Services gives access to leading investment services, technology, research and operational support.
    Offering exemplary service for all customers is core to our service proposition and includes:
    • Local community based office
    • Fee based advice and a clear, fair charging structure
    • Whole of market investment advice
    • Regular face to face personal service
    • Consolidation of investments and simplification of administration
    • Tax efficiency (ISAs, CGTs & SIPPs)
    • Free initial consultation
    • Home visits
    • Online access to track your investments

    Assets are held through our custodian Pershing Securities Limited. Client assets are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for eligable claimants.

    Pershing Securities Limited is a member of the London Stock Exchange and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Additional Services

    • Raymond James Cash Account
    • Raymond James Loan Account
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    Investment Management

    Our Discretionary Managed Service takes care of the day-to-day management of your portfolio allowing you to have peace of mind that we are taking full advantage of investment opportunities as they arise.

    Your family or your business finances do not have to be complicated when you have a Wealth Manager that you can trust. At Raymond James we take the time to get to know you and your specific circumstances, enabling us to plan and invest for your future.

    An investment portfolio will be tailored to your specific needs and will be within agreed parameters that aim to meet your investment objectives. We closely monitor the performance of your investments in line with our latest research and best conviction ideas from the extensive global research we draw upon.

    All clients have the option to benefit from ongoing face to face reviews with a personalised service from your own investment manager assigned to make sure there is continuity of service.

    You can also monitor your portfolio securely online via Investor Access™ which is our online portal where you can produce valuations and reports to demonstrate ongoing returns from each investment within your portfolio.

    This service integrates elements of fundamental financial analysis, asset allocation, selection, plan implementation and ongoing monitoring of investments.

    As part of the core discretionary service clients receive:

    Portfolio Construction & Asset Allocation
    • A comprehensive financial overview, introduction and fact find in order to understand our client’s needs and objectives.
    • We take time to get to know your family circumstances, attitude to risk and Inheritance Tax (IHT) plans.
    • We’ll build a tailored solution and detailed investment strategy.
    • We perform the exercise of allocating funds among diverse assets which exhibit different market dynamics because the way a portfolio is structured will have a significant effect on its performance.

    Existing Assets
    • If you already have a portfolio of investments, we can assess their suitability to establish if they meet your current investment objectives.

    Ongoing Management & Reviews
    • Ongoing reviews as we expect to meet with you at least once a year to carry out a full review for consistent communication and service.
    • Portfolio monitoring on a day to day basis to ensure the investments continue to match your objectives.
    • Access to our best ideas and research which focuses on creating a portfolio that is tax efficient, low cost and transparent.
    • We’ll provide you with regular detailed reports of your portfolio’s composition and performance.
    • Raymond James Investor Access™ portal enables you to view the most up-to-date information about your holdings in an easy-to-use format and is a convenient way to view detailed information about your account – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – via any computer, smart phone or tablet.

    Discretionary management can be appropriate for the following range of accounts including:
    • General Investment accounts & ISAs
    • SIPPs & SSASs
    • Charities and Trusts
    • Offshore and Onshore Bonds
    • Corporate Accounts

    Professional management of a variety of securities in order to meet the specific investment goals of our investors:
    • Equities
    • Bonds
    • Exchange Traded Funds
    • Collective Funds

    Our investment approach is driven by time tested principles of focussed quality research, portfolio diversification and a disciple long-term horizon.

    At the heart of this service are our Wealth Managers, Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers, who are always at hand to point investors in the right direction. Our highly qualified and experienced Wealth Managers will always conduct a thorough assessment of each individual client’s needs and risk profile, formulating a tailored investment strategy to recommend the most appropriate investment solution for each client.

    In an ever changing market, we still believe in building portfolios of enduring quality and helping clients to avoid the pitfalls that erode wealth.

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    AIM BPR Inheritance Tax Solution

    At the Raymond James Market Harborough Branch we specialise in helping our clients pass on their wealth as tax efficiently as possible.
    Business Property Relief is the 100% Inheritance Tax (IHT) relief which applies to qualifying business property. Established since 1976, it applies to unquoted trading businesses and companies listed on the FTSE Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Through investing in these companies, the capital becomes exempt from IHT after a holding period of two years.
    As an option for IHT relief for our clients, we offer the 100% equity BPR portfolio as a way to reduce IHT liability while also retaining an element of control over capital.

    When planning for the future, our investors recognise the importance of tax-efficient investing, particularly when protecting the amount left aside for family and friends. If you are the first person to die and you are married or in a civil partnership you can leave everything you own to your partner, and there will be no inheritance tax to pay at the point of your death.

    However, depending on the size of your partner’s estate at their death this will affect their liability at that time, so it’s important if the total value of your estate is near or above the threshold level you seek professional help to make sure your succession planning is as tax efficient as it should be.

    Our Solution: The AIM BPR portfolio
    The AIM BPR portfolio is a discretionary managed portfolio of companies which qualify for Business Property Relief (BPR), thus protecting investor assets from Inheritance Tax. The portfolio consists of a specific selection of established smaller, high growth companies listed on the FTSE’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Through this investment option, along with the all-important IHT relief, investors are offered the potential for returns above inflation and income in the form of dividends, whilst retaining control over their capital.

    The AIM portfolio constituents are selected using both technical and fundamental analysis to ascertain our views on the long-term growth prospects of each firm. The portfolio has a healthy diversification between market sectors which allows investors to benefit from a balanced group of stocks which are designed to complement each other in the long term. Holdings are analysed on a regular basis by investment team and in-branch analyst, who works to identify new opportunities and possible threats to the portfolio.
    Additionally, the portfolio is supported by Raymond James as well as a combination of globally recognised research tools to ensure that the most up to date information is used as the basis on which we make our investment decisions.

    Example:
    Mr Smith has an Estate which includes his house, Investments and cash savings of £725,000. He is now 72 years old and is looking for a way to minimise death duties on his estate. He does not want to give away funds absolutely to his children or place them into a trust. He wants to maintain control over his funds as he’s concerned he may need to pay for care costs in the future but at the same time he wants to reduce the inheritance tax his two children would have to pay on their equal share of his estate.

     Taking no actionInvesting in AIM portfolio
    Total Estate Value£725,000£725,000
    Less £325,000 NRB Allowance£400,000£400,000
    Amount invested in AIM Portfolio£0£200,000
    Amount liable to IHT£400,000£200,000
    Amount Due in IHT£160,000£80,000
    Possible Saving on IHT Bill£0£80,000

    Rather than paying £160,000 in IHT, by investing in the AIM portfolio, Mr Smith has halved his IHT bill to £80,000, leaving more behind for his children.

    The key advantages of this IHT planning option are:

    • It’s Simple: BPR is one of the more simplistic methods of IHT reduction and remains separate from your existing portfolios.
    • It’s Quick: Relief from IHT is relatively quick- capital is exempt after just two years.
    • It gives you access to your capital: Investors retain access to their capital throughout and can make withdrawals or additions as and when they require.
    • Optional Income: Investors may choose to take income from the portfolio
    • Capital Growth: The portfolio aims to provide capital growth above inflation.
    • ISA benefits: Investors have the option to hold the portfolio in their ISAs, allowing them to also benefit from no Capital Gains Tax, and no Income Tax on dividends.
    • Trusts benefits: Investments that qualify for BPR and have been held for over 2 years can be transferred into trust and avoid the chargeable tax of 20% when the amount is over the nil-rate band.

    Despite these obvious advantages, it is also important to bear in mind that BPR is not a short term investment, and is intended as a long term investment due to the typical volatility of AIM stocks.

    AIM Portfolio: KEY FACTS

    • Minimum Investment: £100,000
    • Suggested Investment Timeframe: 5+ years
    • Free from IHT after 2 years
    • Access to investment as and when needed
    • Potential capital gains and income
    • Must be held at the client’s date of death

    AIM Portfolio: KEY RISKS

    • Risk to Initial Capital
    • Tax rules may change
    • Not all investments may qualify for BPR
    • AIM shares are more illiquid in nature
    • Investing in the AIM portfolio should be regarded as a higher risk, long term investment

    A sample of the AIM Portfolio constituent companies.

    As you can see, just because they are AIM-listed, this does not mean by any stretch that these companies are small in terms of market capitalisation or market share.

    GOOCH & HOUSEGO
    Gooch & Housego is a global leader in Photonics solutions for Industrial, Aerospace & Defence, Life Sciences and Scientific Research Applications. The company has built a strong balance sheet for future operations, with solid fundamentals for liquidity, profitability, and operational efficiency. The firm benefits from diversification of operations, which works to offset the cyclical nature of some of its core markets. Based on the company reports, it is clear that the business is being effectively managed from a strategic point of view following the implementation of key individuals into management. The future for G&H looks promising, as the firm recently secured funding for a space satellite communications project expected to produce income this year.

    YOUNG & CO’S BREWERY
    Young & Co’s has been engaged in the management and operation of its large pub estate since 1890. The company has a distinct focus on growth within London and the home-counties, whilst also seeking to maintain its current premium position in the market. 2015 was a prosperous year for the company, with a 7.7% increase in total revenue, strong operating performance, and a 35.7% increase in profit before tax. It is also notable that all three of its formats: – Young’s, Geronimo, and the Ram Pub Company all contributed to this growth. It is no secret that the pub trade has been depressed in the wake of the financial crisis; however this business remains resilient and is experiencing real success in the popular gastro-pub market. As the company continues to grow, this is one to watch in the future.

    CVS GROUP PLC

    CVS Group is the market leading operator and consolidator of veterinary practices in the UK. It currently has 298 veterinary surgeries nationwide, 5 diagnostic laboratories, 4 crematoria and an online dispensary service. Business success in these key areas combines to facilitate the maximisation of revenues across the group, building consistent financial success in the group. The company continues to exhibit consistent growth despite a challenging environment, and plans to continue this growth in the future through a number of selective acquisitions. CVS group enjoyed strong financial results in 2015, with revenue growth of 17% on 2014 figures, and a 30% increase in earnings per share. The group aims to maintain its position as the largest and best provider of veterinary services in the UK, and seems perfectly positioned to do so.

    In summary, here are the key facts about the AIM BPR portfolio to consider before investing. We view the AIM portfolio as the most efficient option for many investors based on all the information; however it may not suit all investors. For more information on the portfolio at any time, please contact us using the link below.

    Click here to view our latest AIM BPR Portfolio Quarterly Newsletter

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    Advisory Portfolio

    If you value being kept involved in the investment process, understanding where you money is invested and why, then our advisory portfolio service may be right for you.

    Our bespoke service is tailored to you and your investment needs, as we take time to understand your individual goals and objectives, your knowledge and experience of investments, and your financial situation, creating the investment plan that is right for you.

    When a portfolio is created it’s just the start of a relationship of continuity and trust.

    Portfolios are regularly reviewed throughout the course of the year with the offer of face to face meetings that help inform clients on the current market situation and our recommendations and these can be as detailed in their analysis as you require.

    With your own appointed investment manager you know someone is always looking out for your best interests and understands what is important to you. The value of a local office is that this level of service is convenient for you.

    Through Raymond James Investor Access™ our secure online system means you can view your investment portfolio anytime and print reports that help you keep track of the progress towards your goals.

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    Pensions

    Taking control of your retirement is easy. Here you will find an introductory guide covering the basics about pensions.

    What is a pension?

    A personal pension is a tax-efficient way of saving for your retirement, in addition to your state or workplace pension. It is a simple product in which you and even your employer can pay into to save for retirement. Your money is invested with the aim of eventually taking an income from the pot come the day you retire.

    The topics of pensions are extremely vast so we have broken them down into five easy to manage sections below. To learn more click the links below:

     

     

    Inheritance Tax Planning

    At the Raymond James Market Harborough Branch we specialise in helping our clients pass on their wealth as tax efficiently as possible.

    Inheritance tax (IHT) is effectively a tax on wealth. It is payable to Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on money or possessions you leave behind when you die, and on some gifts you make during your lifetime. Protecting against this tax allows individuals to pass on more of their assets to future generations.

    It is important to note that Inheritance Tax does not apply to everyone. An estate is only liable when it is valued over the current nil-rate rate band (NRB) which is currently set at £325,000 per person (frozen until 2020/21). For people who are married, in a civil partnership or widowed, the threshold for Inheritance Tax is currently £650,000 between them (based on them transferring their NRB to their spouse). For anything above your individual or joint allowance, tax is payable at 40%.

    When planning for the future, our investors recognise the importance of tax-efficient investing, particularly when protecting the amount left aside for family and friends. If you are the first person to die and you are married or in a civil partnership you can leave everything you own to your partner, and there will be no inheritance tax to pay at the point of your death.

    However, depending on the size of your partner’s estate at their death this will affect their liability at that time, so it’s important if the total value of your estate is near or above the threshold level you seek professional help to make sure your succession planning is as tax efficient as it should be.

    The Inheritance Tax Problem

    IHT mitigation is becoming more and more important for investors over time, with more estates falling outside the nil-rate threshold and thus becoming liable to tax. Residential property now makes up approximately one half of the total value of taxpaying estates. As the average value of estates rises, an increasing number of estates will now be valued over the IHT threshold. An increasing number of estates could now therefore, potentially be liable for IHT.

    New Property Exemptions
    As of April 2017 a family home allowance of £100,000 per person will be added to the existing £325,000 tax free allowance. This will gradually increase to £175,000 in 2020-2021. This allows individuals to pass on up to £500,000 of assets without paying any IHT. This means that if you are married, and own a property worth up to £1m you may leave it to family or friends completely free of IHT from April 2020.

    YearIHT Nil-Rate BandFamily Home AllowanceIndividual IHT exemptionMarried couple /Civil partners exemption
    2016-2017325,0000325,000650,000
    2017-2018325,000100,000425,000850,000
    2018-2019325,000125,000450,000900,000
    2019-2020325,000150,000475,000950,000
    2020-2021325,000175,000500,0001,000,000

    Example:
    Ken’s home is currently valued at £500,000. He has other assets valued at £100,000, bringing the total value of his estate to £600,000.

    Property valueValue of other assetsCurrent IHT Liability2020 IHT Liability
    £500,000£100,000"£275,000""£100,000"

    With the nil-rate band currently sitting at £325,000, £275,000 of Ken’s estate is currently liable to IHT at 40%, reducing the estate by £110,000. In 2020, the extra £175,000 Family Home Allowance means that the estate is only liable to £40,000 in IHT. This puts the effect of IHT into full perspective.

    IHT Planning Options

    Although the fiscal outlook is more promising, IHT risk must still be mitigated, and for those with higher-valued estates, IHT may still remain a problem even after 2020’s changes. In these situations, there are multiple solutions available including:

    Click on the boxes in the table below for more information on each of the options available.

    Conventional IHT Planning

    • Annual Exemptions
    • Gifts from Excess Income
    • PETs Potentially Exempt Transfers
    • Pensions
    • Trusts
    • Business Property Relief (BPR)
    • Whole of life insurance/Assurance

    There are certain annual exemptions which investors can use to reduce their IHT liability. An individual may give up to £3,000 worth of gifts free of IHT each tax year. If the annual exemption is not used, it can be carried over from one year to the next, with a maximum exemption of £6,000.

    As well as the annual exemption, gifts worth up to £250 are not taxed. An individual may gift as many people with £250 as they like without paying IHT on the gifts. Bear in mind however, that only one gift of £250 can be given in one year to a person without IHT, and also that this rule cannot be used alongside the annual exemption of £3,000.

    It is important to note that gifts can be given between married couples or civil partners completely free of IHT- as long as they live in the UK permanently. In terms of gifts from income to others, there is no IHT on gifts received from the income of the individual (after tax), providing that the deceased had enough money to maintain their normal lifestyle.
    There is also no IHT charge on gifts to help with other people’s living costs for example an ex-husband/wife, an elderly relative, or a child under 18 or in full-time education.

    It is vital that if you plan to give gifts out of income, you keep a full record of any gifts given. It helps if this is regular and you can substantiate on record that this is not disadvantageously affecting your lifestyle for tax advantages.

    An individual may choose to make a gift at any point throughout their lifetime. This is called a potentially exempt transfer. Providing the owner lives for 7 years after giving the gift, the amount is exempt from IHT. If the gift was made less than 7 years prior to death, the amount is not exempt from IHT, and is counted in the Nill-rate threshold of the estate (£325,000).
    In the event that the gift is made between 3 and 7 years before death, different rates of IHT apply to the gift. This is referred to as ‘taper relief’.

    Years before death the gift was madeRate of IHT
    Less than 340%
    3-432%
    4-524%
    5-616%
    6-78%

    This option has its potential drawbacks. It would not be suitable for those who are ill of health, and involves a potential loss of access to capital for a long period of 7 years before the amount becomes exempt.

    Pensions are becoming a more efficient method of IHT planning given new government legislation. If you want control over death benefits, the taxation around pension rules in their current form is ideal – You can pay your pension to your family, but you can also pay the benefits to your extended family as well.
    New rules on pensions mean that the previous rules on crystallised & uncrystallised before 75 effecting death benefits are gone –the whole pot can be passed on tax free. Additionally, after 75 there’s a change to the lump sum tax charge falling from 55% to 45% and then to marginal rate of tax in the following tax year.

    A COMMON ‘SOLUTION’ TO THE IHT PROBLEM: Putting as much inside your pension as you can means that you can gain tax relief on income and gains whilst inside.

    HOWEVER: Despite the increased tax efficiency for pensions, they should not be seen as a standalone IHT planning option. The yearly allowance for pension contributions is £40,000, and the lifetime limit for value of tax free assets in a pension will be dropping from £1.25m to £1m in April 2016. Any pension savings over this limit are taxed at 55%* on withdrawal, so the pension approach to IHT mitigation is somewhat limited.

    *Tax treatment depends on the investor’s individual circumstances and may be subject to change.

    For more detailed information on Pensions, please visit our pensions page.

    What is a trust?
    A trust is a legal arrangement where money or assets are managed by trustees for the benefit of a defined list of individuals (or groups of individuals). It can be created by a person during their lifetime, or alternatively it can be written into a Will.

    Trusts are treated for tax rules as a taxable entity in their own right. Trusts are often set up to take advantage of tax laws, but can also be set up for other reasons ie to provide support for a disabled family member. Trusts can be used to defer CGT and many Trusts are used to reduce IHT across several generations.

    IHT Implications
    There are different types of Trust, requiring different tax treatment. Most common types used for IHT planning are Discretionary Trusts, and Interest in Possession Trusts. Lifetime gifts into discretionary trusts and interest in possession trusts are taxable for IHT, but will not be charged as long as the amount is below the nil-rate band (£325,000). Gifts over that amount are charged at 20% on the amount in excess of the nil-rate band.

    Where non-cash assets such as shares or property are gifted into these types of trusts, there is a chargeable disposal for CGT purposes. This can be postponed however so that either the Trust or ultimate beneficiaries pay the charge.

    Trusts have their various advantages and disadvantages in terms of IHT planning:

    Advantages

    • Can provide IHT relief
    • Maintain control of assets within the trust
    • Ability to obtain annual income from certain trusts
    • Avoidance of probate delays
    • Can make gifts of up to your NIL rate band during your lifetime

    Disadvantages

    • Can be expensive set up fees and annual charges
    • Complicated & tax rules have changed over time. Trusts have come under attack in recent years
    • Tax charges have made trusts less tax efficient (i.e. 10 Year anniversary charges, lower CGT allowance and Higher taxes on income and dividends
    • Potential issues with trustees

    Business Property Relief is the 100% IHT relief which applies to qualifying business property. Established since 1976, it applies to unquoted trading businesses and companies listed on the FTSE Alternate Investment Market (AIM). Through investing in these companies, the capital becomes exempt from IHT after a holding period of two years.

    As an option for IHT relief for our clients, we offer the 100% equity BPR portfolio as a way to reduce IHT liability while also retaining an element of control over capital.

    For further in formation please click here.

    Whole of Life Insurance/ Assurance is a life insurance policy which pays out to beneficiaries upon the death of the policy holder, providing premiums are paid. Throughout the policy holder’s life, it accumulates a cash value that the policyholder may withdraw or borrow against, and pays out a stated amount upon death.

    Investors can reduce their IHT liability by taking out whole of life insurance as long as it is also protected from IHT by writing a life insurance policy in trust. This way, the amount the policy pays out is paid directly to trustees of the trust rather than remaining in the estate, and not included in the IHT calculation.

    This option is not suitable to the very elderly or those with health problems, as underwriting is not always possible in these circumstances. Additionally, such a policy can be a very costly option to reduce IHT liability, with premiums payments continuing for the remainder of the investor’s life, and also being subject to increase.

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    Financial Planning

    If you are looking for expert advice regarding your financial affairs, here at the Raymond James Market Harborough branch we can meet your needs.

    Our financial planners search the whole market  to enable us to give you the best possible service to decide what solution may be right for you.

    Protection
    We understand that without laying down the appropriate foundations, your future may not be secure. We offer advice on family and mortgage protection, making sure you and your family are looked after should difficult times occur.

    Protecting your family couldn’t be simpler. Our financial planners can guide you through what insurance is right for you in the event of death, serious illness or being unable to work due to an accident or sickness.

    This protection can help with bringing up your children and help towards the cost of other family commitments such as the mortgage or costs of education. It may also help towards any additional living expenses, such as converting your home for access or paying for Carers.

    Inheritance Tax (IHT) Planning
    Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘the only two certainties in life were death and taxes’. These two things are simultaneous when we talk about inheritance tax planning. Part of our financial planning service involves making sure the appropriate solutions are in place to meet any potential tax liabilities.

    While it is more difficult than it used to be to completely eliminate inheritance tax, there are ways that it can be reduced. At Raymond James a  qualified financial planner is always at hand to help assess any potential IHT liability, guide you through current tax rules and legislation, and provide the most appropriate solution based on your circumstances.

    Synergy
    At Raymond James our financial planning service links together with Investment Management and Stockbroking ensuring continuity in all your financial arrangements.

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    ISAs

    A stocks and shares ISA (investment ISA) is a tax efficient ‘wrapper’ that can hold a wide range of different investments and products.  Any money saved in an ISA can grow free from income or capital gains tax and is one of the most tax efficient ways of investing.

    At Raymond James we help our clients to select the most suitable investments for their ISA and review this on a regular basis.  This helps our clients make sure they have their money where they want it to be, and most importantly know what rate of return they are currently earning on their savings.

    Consolidating your ISAs together may be right for you!
    By consolidating your ISAs into an investment ISA with Raymond James you could benefit from better returns than would have been achieved holding numerous ISAs with various different providers.  Many of our clients are currently benefiting after following this process.

    Can I switch my Cash ISA to an Investment ISA?
    Many people are unaware that they can transfer their cash ISA to an investment ISA and benefit from access to a wide range of investments that could produce a better rate of return than they are currently receiving.

    Investments currently eligible for an Investment ISA are:

    • Unit trusts
    • OEICs (Open Ended Investment Companies)
    • Investment trusts
    • Exchange traded funds
    • Corporate bonds and government gilts
    • Individual stocks and shares
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    Protection

    Preparing for the unexpected is important, especially when it comes to providing for your family in the event of your untimely death.Life protection or life assurance ensures your dependants /partner receives an income or lump sum in such circumstances.Consideration should be given to not only covering any debts like a mortgage, but providing sufficient funds to cover any wider needs such as school fees or the need for a partner to take time off work in a period of transition.While not everyone will need life assurance, if you have children or a partner depending on your income it’s essential to consider how the loved ones in your life will be protected financially in the event of your death.

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    Stockbroking

    At Raymond James we provide a personal stockbroking service that offers a wide range of investment choices including Individual Equities, Government Gilts, Corporate Bonds and Exchange Traded Funds.  At every level, from buying or selling a modest number of shares to looking after a large portfolio, we offer a quality bespoke stockbroking advisory service.

    Our expertise
    Your Raymond James Wealth Manager and Stockbroker is always available to give you an informed opinion at every stage of the investment process.  Access to high quality global research enables us to have an in-depth look at your portfolio and conduct a full analysis.  Our clients have the complete picture at their fingertips and all the support they require.

    • Individual Equities
    • Government Gilts
    • Individual Corporate Bonds

    Individual Equities
    Investing in equities means buying a stake in a company and each share represents a percentage of ownership.

    The return received from your shares can be delivered in two main forms:

    • Increase in the share price – This could be as a result of company growth or demand for the shares.
    • Shareholder Dividends – Depending on the company, some shares will pay you a proportion of the profits the company has made for that year, some companies even pay a rising dividend which could protect your income from inflation over time.

    Possible benefits of investing in equities?

    • Long term growth
    • Protection against inflation
    • Rising Income

    Is there risk?
    Shares have historically outperformed the other main asset classes: bonds, property and cash. If you are well diversified and invest for the long term your individual shares can provide attractive returns.

    It should be said that holding shares in just one company is never advisable.  If that one company gets into difficulties then you could lose some or all of your money.

    This company specific risk can be mitigated by investing in several companies from different industries and geographical regions.  This helps to reduce the risk of having all your eggs in one basket.

    The risk of holding a portfolio of diversified stocks will be less than the risk inherent in holding any single one of the individual stocks. Investing in stocks that perform differently depending on market conditions i.e. some sunny days stocks and others rainy day, will help to produce an all weather portfolio prepared to face different types of market conditions.

    In recent years a lot of research has been conducted which concludes that 95% of company risk can be eliminated by just picking a portfolio of 20 individual shares.

    Equities as part of the big picture…
    At the Raymond James Market Harborough branch, equities are a useful tool in our asset allocation planning as they allow a portfolio to be tailored to a desired risk and return profile for an investor and add further diversification.  Equities can be bought in larger, more-established companies, as well as smaller companies that present more potential for growth.

    Whether you are new to investing and are seeking help and recommendations, or a more experienced investor looking to discuss potential investments suitable for your portfolio, our wealth managers and stockbrokers are always available to point you in the right direction to ensure the most appropriate investments are selected for your circumstances.

    Government Gilts
    British government bonds, also known as gilts (short for gilt-edged securities) are simply IOUs issued by the British government to raise money to cover expenditure that isn’t covered by tax revenues and other sources of government income. When an investor buys a government gilt they are simply lending their money to the UK government. This IOU will have a term and at maturity the full sum originally invested by the investor will be returned in full.

    Why lend money to the government?
    As long as you hold the bond you are paid interest, or what’s more commonly known as a ‘coupon’. This coupon is paid semi-annually as a return for lending your money to the government.  This coupon is a fixed percentage of the original amount invested.

    So, for a £20,000 ten-year bond with a 5% coupon bought at face  value (par) an investor would receive £1,000 gross each year in interest and at maturity receive their initial investment of £20,000 back.

    How safe is a UK government gilt?
    There is very little risk that you could lose your money if you invest in UK government gilts. The Treasury guarantees interest payments and that your loan will be repaid in full at maturity. UK Gilts are highly secure as the UK government has never defaulted on its debt.

    Similar to corporate bonds, government gilts can also be bought and sold and their prices will change according to the market. So, if you hold a ten-year government gilt you don’t necessarily have to wait ten years to cash-in the bond. You could sell it at any point and generate a profit or loss depending on whether the price of the bond has risen or fallen at any given moment in time.

    No asset class can truly provide a complete solution in every economic environment. At Raymond James we believe that all portfolios should have a mix of assets, depending on your medium and long-term objectives and appetite for risk. Gilts can be a critical part of this mix as the part of an investor’s portfolio that aims to produce a better medium to long-term return than cash, without the volatility of equities.

    Individual Corporate Bonds
    When companies wish to raise money, whether it be to expand the business or develop a new product, they can do so by issuing what is known as a ‘corporate bond’. When an investor buys a corporate bond, they are essentially lending money to a company in exchange for an IOU. This IOU will have a term and a maturity date and at this date the full sum originally invested will be returned in full.

    Why lend money to companies?
    As long as you hold a bond you are paid interest, or what’s more commonly known as a ‘coupon’. This coupon is paid yearly as a return for lending your money to that company, and it is paid as a fixed percentage of the original amount invested.

    So, for a £20,000 ten-year bond with a 5% coupon bought at face  value (par) an investor would receive £1,000 gross each year in interest and at maturity receive their initial investment of £20,000 back.

    Flexibility…
    Although corporate bonds sound similar to a fixed rate savings account or savings bond there are key differences that need to be considered. A market-traded corporate bond can be bought and sold and its price will change according to the market.  So, if you hold a ten-year corporate bond you don’t necessarily have to wait ten years to cash-in the bond. You could sell it at any point and generate a profit or loss depending on whether the price of the bond has risen or fallen at any given moment in time.

    The appeal:
    With interest rates at historic lows and savings accounts generating little if no return, investing cash into a  corporate bond can be seen as a solid investment. The rates available are often much better than most savings accounts and offer a fixed return, with traditionally less volatility than equities.

    Corporate bonds are an investment and not a savings product. Your Raymond James Wealth Manager is always to hand to give further advice on investing in corporate bonds as we recommend that you consider these within a balanced and well diversified portfolio.

    "At Raymond James Market Harborough I have always been made to feel that my investments are in safe hands. Here you are not just an account number and as a client you are well looked after and valued. I would never hesitate to recommend their services be your portfolio large or small."

    Tony Johnson, Kibworth Beauchamp