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Share and share alike

THE SHARE CENTRE

Personal Retirement Account

Type: Full Sipp

Minimum investment: Lump sum £780, £117 a month

Investment choice: All Inland Revenue permitted investments except
commercial property

Options: None

Charges: Set up fee £120, annual £80-£160 depending on fund value

Commission: Subject to negotiation

Tel: 01296 414541

The Share Centre&#39s Personal Retirement Account is a self-invested
personal pension that has been developed in conjunction with Sipp
administrators Sippdealxtra.

Informed Choice technical director Martin Bamford thinks there is
nothing particularly new or exciting about this product and he feels it
was not designed with the IFA market in mind. He complains: “There
are fairly restrictive investment criteria in place and no access to
direct commercial property purchase. The investor is also restricted
to a fairly limited panel of stockbrokers.”

On a positive note Bamford adds: “The marketing literature is very
clean and provides a concise explanation of Sipps. It is useful to have
an online application process and trading facility, as this does. This
product will appeal to people who want to take control of their day to
day investments. The minimum contribution levels are in line with
what I would expect from a Sipp.”

Looking at the providers who are most likely to provide competition
for The Share Centre, Bamford says: “For a full Sipp, I consider
Pointon York to be the main competitor. It is Sipp provider of the year
2003 and its service is second to none. For insurance company
Sipps, the likes of Winterthur Life and Standard Life provide decent
competition.”

Summing up Bamford says the online application option will appeal
to investors who are computer literate and also to those looking to
make speedy investment decisions. In his view, the ability to create
Sipps online will be important in the run up to the implementation of
pension simplification.

BROKER RATINGS:

Suitability to market: Average

Charges: Good

Investment choice: Poor

Adviser remuneration: Average

Overall 5/10

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