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A guide to investments

Whether you are an experienced investor or you are just getting started we have a range of Investments available that could meet your needs

Please note
The value of investments, and the income from them, can fall as well as rise, and you may not get back the full amount you invest.

Whether you are an experienced investor or you are just getting started we have a range of Investments available that could meet your needs

Why should I invest?

How you invest your money depends on a variety of different aspects ranging from your attitude to risk, how long you want to invest your money for and how much access you need to your money.

If you are risk averse, and do not want to tie your capital up for five years or more you could be better with a savings account.

But if you're looking for greater investment variety and the potential for your money to grow or generate an income, there's a range of investment products for you to choose from.

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Do you need help understanding your options?

Where you decide to put your money and for how long can make a big difference to what you get back. So it's important you consider your saving and investment options.

If you're saving for something in the next few years or if you are building up an emergency fund, there are different short term savings options to be considered. If your financial goals are some years away, you can take a look at longer term investment options.

Stop! - Before you look at your savings or investment needs it is important to ensure that you have access to money should you be faced with unforeseen expenditure. It is commonly accepted you should look to hold at least 3 months' income in a savings account that offers immediate access, in case of an emergency.

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Why should I invest my money rather than keeping it in a bank account?

A Bank savings account offers greater capital security, however it's worth remembering the effect of inflation on the real value of cash over the long term. Other investment products don't usually offer this level of security but can carry the opportunity for greater rewards.

In general the more risk you're prepared to take, the higher the potential returns could be. The downside is that any losses are potentially greater.

Think about how much risk you are willing to take. This will be determined by your circumstances, age, goals and other factors.

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Are you investing for a specific goal?

You also need to consider what you're investing for. Are you looking for extra income in retirement, wanting to make your money work harder or are you looking to invest for something specific, for example a child's education or a career break? Your investment goals will play a large part in determining your investment strategy. When you've worked out a strategy, follow it, but review it regularly and when your circumstances change.

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Are there any limits to how much I can invest?

It depends on which type of Investment you choose but usually there are no upper limits on investment products. Most investment products will have a minimum investment level.

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Can I get my money back whenever I want?

Investments can normally be closed in exceptional circumstances, however some investments will allow you to get your money back based on the current market value of your investment, minus any applicable exit penalties. It is important to remember the market value of your investment may be less than you invested, and also that investments are typically recommended for a term of at least 5 years. If you’ve invested in a fixed term product you may not get all your money back if you cash it in before the maturity date.

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Can I make additional deposits and withdrawals?

Again, this depends on the type of Investment. Usually, fixed term Investments require a lump sum to be invested at the start which won’t be available again until maturity.

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What happens if I want to close my Investment?

When investing your money you should remember that you are potentially committing your money for a fixed term. Most Investments have a cooling off period or date if you change your mind but after this period has passed usually there is no right to cancel unless it’s under exceptional circumstances. Even then, you may not receive back the full amount originally deposited.

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What will happen in the event of death?

In the event of death of a sole Investment holder, the Investment can be closed and the amount returned will reflect investment conditions prevailing at the time. This means the amount returned may be less than the amount originally deposited. Alternatively it can be continued until maturity at the discretion of the executors of the estate of the deceased Investment holder. If the Investment is held in joint names it will revert into the name of the remaining Investment holder.

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How can I keep track on the value of my investments?

When you set up an investment you will receive information that explains how to keep track of your investment this can vary depending on the type of product you choose.

You may be able to find the unit or share price published in a number of national newspapers or online, however again this is dependant on what type of investment product you have selected.

If you are unsure and need further information then you should contact the provider who will be able to provide further information.

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I already have an investment with you

If you already hold an investment with us, this was purchased before 3rd December 2012, and would like key information, have a query or want to know how to contact us.