Oracle, which is available in seven currency denominations, is available for investments from £20,000 or the equivalent in other currencies. Additional premiums can be made at any time, with no maximum.
Oracle can be set up on a single life basis for up to two applicants, or a joint life basis with up to six lives assured. It can be structured with up to 100 segments to give policyholders flexibility in tax planning,
The bond provides direct access to externally managed funds rather than mirror funds, Mirror funds are life company funds that invest in externally managed funds and cash, so the unit prices are not the same even though they move broadly in line with the underlying fund.
Oracle has unlimited free switching and no limit on the number of funds that can be held, subject to a £500 minimum invested in each fund. There are no initial charges on the any of the available fund links, but annual management charges apply and will vary depending on the funds chosen.
The fund range caters for advisers and investors who want to build their own portfolios, but also include managed funds for those who would prefer to leave this to investment specialists.
Oracle allows one-off withdrawals and regular withdrawals of at least £250 on a monthly, quarterly, termly, half yearly or yearly basis. A regular 0.5 per cent loyalty bonus is also paid from year six.
Royal London 360 draws attention to oracle’s low minimum investment but it is not a unique product in this respect. Prudential International’s recently revamped International prudence bond is available to investments from £20,000 or the currency equivalent and offers a greater number of fund links, including the PruFund portfolios which provide spot guarantees.
However, international prudence bond investors can invest in to no more than 10 funds at a time and free fund switching is limited to 20 switches a year.