With commercial property looking fully valued and the outlook for equities uncertain, it is wise to spread client investments into some less risky areas.The Epic fund invests in a portfolio of US life settlements aiming to produce a minimum net return of 8 per cent a year but targeting a total net return of between 9 per cent and 10 per cent a year. A life settlement is the sale of a life insurance policy issued to a US resident, where the insured has an impaired life expectancy. The new owner pays all future premiums but collects full face value of the policy on death. US life insurance companies give miserable surrender values so since around 2000, the life settlement market has taken off. On average, policies are acquired by life settlement funds at a value of around three and half times the insurance companies’ surrender values and still give these excellent investment returns after all charges. Specialist advisers to the funds are ViaSource Funding Group, which is backed by GE Capital. Before they buy policies, they get two independent life expectancy reports and then their own medical team analyses and reviews these to decide what valuation to put on each policy. In the nine months that it has been in existence, it has already gone up by 8 per cent in dollar terms so it should reach the target of 10 per cent by the end of the year. Normal minimum investment is around 50,000 but initially this could be less by negotiation with marketing director John Buttress. See the website www.epicip.com. This is an ideal investment for all conservative and realistic portfolios in today’s markets.
Pension trustees look set to get more leeway on age discrimination rules following a move by the Department for Work and Pensions. The regulations have raised concerns among employers and trustees that they could be breaking the law and leave themselves open to legal action simply by making age-related contributions. Stakeholders successfully lobbied for a […]
The Diary left the Institute of Financial Planning conference in rainy Leicester last week in a state of outrage at the terrible bullying inflicted on jovial IFP chief executive Nick Cann throughout the two-day affair. In a particularly unpleasant session, a Selestia representative continually compared the IFP’s esteemed leader with Tinky Winky – by some […]
The Office of Fair Trading has referred the UK payment protection insurance market to the Competition Commission.It has slammed excessive commissions in the sector and has published its analysis of the market for a consultation process that ends on November 30, ahead of a decision early next year on the future of the sector.The OFT […]
Helen Pow says young people want to have a rich retirement but are not making the necessary investment
Jim Grant – Senior Product Insight & Technical Support Analyst There’s sometimes confusion around what triggers the money purchase annual allowance. Find out what does and what doesn’t trigger the MPAA. The money purchase annual allowance (MPAA) is a reduced annual allowance that can apply to contributions to defined contribution (DC) schemes. The following table […]
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The work and pensions secretary Esther McVey has been urged to intervene to protect the pensions of over 200,000 current and former Barclays staff as the UK bank reorganises its pension scheme. Concerns have been growing from the bank’s members over the decision of Barclays to transfer responsibility for pensions to the international and investment banking arm […]
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme is predicting that life and pensions advice compensation payouts will fall over the next year. In its budget for 2018/19 released today, the FSCS notes that while the three-year average for compensation claims over life and pensions intermediation is £83.8m, a falling trend from a peak two years ago should […]
Will PI cover stand up to the DB transfer test?