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Julian Gibbs has launched an enhanced range of research services which will give more added value to IFAs and protect them against recommending higherrisk products to clients without making it clear that they are higher risk.

The risk map tool, which enables IFAs to search for and select products, has an improved scoring system which is more simple than the present system, with a score for each product corresponding to the tax status of the investor and the tax regime in which the product is situated.

Products will be given a risk rating of between one and five, where one is lowest and five is highest. Obviously, some higher-risk products can give higher potential returns but at least the investor will know how much risk there is likely to be.

There is also a new product selection tool which allows advisers to indicate investment preferences and investor information such as tax status and the maximum risk they are prepared to take. It then comes up with the best product matches for investment.

One of the products I particularly like at present is the Nvesta secure tracker plan, which is fully capital-secured and pays out 101 per cent of any rise in the FTSE 100 index over six years with no cap. This is the highest scoring plan, together with the Woolwich Plan Managers premium protected growth plan, which is also capital-protected and linked to the FTSE 100 index.

The two lowest-risk plans are the HSBC capital & income plan and Legal & General capital protection plus 2.

This new service will help IFAs protect themselves against any claims from investors should the products fail to return the capital in full.


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