1. Streamline paperwork – Investment and pension providers have to provide you with a statement on at least an annual basis. If not filed efficiently, this can lead to confusion and lots of paperwork, which you don’t know whether to keep or destroy. Sometimes they don’t even have your correct details. Statements come at different times of the year and it can be difficult to keep track of where you are up to. Aggregating all of your investments on to one platform with Otus can keep administration to a minimum as you are only dealing with one provider and one point of contact.
2. You could forget where some of your money is – It might seem unlikely that you’d simply forget about thousands of pounds of your own money. Yet there are billions of pounds sitting around in unclaimed and forgotten investments in the UK. Moving your portfolio into one place with Otus means that we will research whether you have any lost funds and will eliminate the risk that you’ll lose track of some of your investments.
3. Reduce costs – It can be difficult to keep on top of the various costs that you pay to run your portfolio. Fund management fees, tax wrapper fees, platform costs and adviser fees are just some of the costs involved in running your portfolio. One thing for certain is that investment costs are a drag on the performance of your portfolio. Many older plans can have charges that were legitimate when you took them out, but are not commonplace now. Consolidating your investments with Otus allows us to contrast and compare the numerous fees, costs and charges that you are currently paying with the systems and fee structure that is available with us today.
4. Investment policy – Over the years you may have collected a portfolio of numerous investments, often from different providers. These investments may have been a good idea at the time, but this may lead to a confused mix of assets with different components in each investment and there are often overlaps and clashes within the overall structure. Modern systems allow us to work with you to select an overall investment policy based on your long-term needs, risk profile, time frame and experience and then replicate this across the different vehicles that you have like unit trusts, Isas, investment bonds, pensions and so on. This approach ensures that you have a proper structure across all different vehicles, with the same investment policy, and that risk is managed professionally.
5. Risk – Your risk tolerance can change over time and the risk involved with some investments that you took out a number of years ago may not be appropriate for you now. Consolidating your investments in one place with Otus involves us discussing and establishing your long-term financial goals, along with your tolerance for risk and we would ensure that all of your investments fit your risk profile.
6. Portfolio management – Once the risk of your portfolio is agreed and adopted, it is vital to manage this to ensure that it does not drift off course. Rising equity markets can cause portfolios to become riskier over time. Regular rebalancing allows us to manage this risk and ensure that your portfolio stays on track to deliver your goals. Having all of your investments under one roof also makes it easier for us to use Isa and pension allowances each tax year, as we know where everything is and can ensure that your available tax allowances aren’t missed or exceeded.
7. Choice – We often come across clients who have invested with companies with a very limited choice of fund options. They have often been advised to invest into a default type fund and this may not now suit their circumstances. Modern systems like we use at Otus give investors access to thousands of different funds that enable us to build the right long-term portfolio for you.
8. Diversification – You may not know this, but you may have a portfolio that is concentrated in certain areas and does not reflect the global nature of investing today. For example, we find that many people have too much of their portfolio invested in the UK. You now have access to thousands of different investments across global markets, sectors and economies, which allows you to truly diversify your portfolio and significantly reduce risk. At Otus, our clients are invested in globally diversified portfolios of low-cost index funds. By consolidating your investments with us, you will ensure that you are properly diversified.
9. Online access – Many investment providers have been slow to offer internet access to their clients (if at all). This means that it can often be one year to the next before you know how some of your investments are performing. At Otus we don’t think this is good enough. We have modern platforms that offer you online access to your portfolio, allowing you to see how your investments are performing whenever you want to.
Showing the signs? Here are a few other things you should consider before you consolidate
Before you go ahead with combining your investments there are some good reasons why you should stop and think.
Transferring certain investments could have downsides too, such as exit charges that could offset the savings from moving, or the loss of valuable benefits. That’s why regulated advice is highly recommended. Otus will always give you best advice on the way forward, and quite often we advise clients to stay in some investments if it is in their best interest.
If you do keep several investments open it’s essential to keep track of them, notify the various providers of any change of address and check statements regularly for any possible issues such as charge increases, or fund closures.
These articles are designed to help investors make their own investment decisions. They do not constitute a personal recommendation to invest. If you have any doubts as to their suitability you should seek independent advice. Please be aware that the value of investments (and the income from them) will fall as well as rise, so you could get back less than you invest.
Your existing investments may have valuable benefits which you might lose when you transfer.
Laws and tax rules may change in the future without notice. The information here is our understanding in August 2017. This information takes no account of your personal circumstances which may have an impact on tax treatment.
Past performance is not a guide to future performance. Before initiating a transfer, you should seek professional advice on the merits of the proposed transfer that is specific to your circumstances.