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Variety is the spice of bond

The latest issue of Skandia’s protected portfolio investment range provides capital growth linked to an equally weighted portfolio containing the Artemis income, Schroder UK mid-250, New Star UK alpha, Norwich property trust and Invesco Perpetual corporate bond funds over a five-year term.

Informed Choice director Martin Bamford says: “This protected portfolio invest-ment differs from the typical protected investment products on the market because it links performance to a portfolio of funds rather than stockmarket indices. This will appeal to investors who want to see exposure to a variety of asset classes and not limit their exposure solely to equities.”

Bamford feels the selection of funds in the portfolio is one that most advisers will feel comfortable with. In particular, he feels the inclusion of a property fund in a balanced portfolio is certainly welcome.

Considering the less att-ractive features of the prod-uct, Bamford says: “Skandia goes to great lengths in its marketing material to point out that this is not a precipice bond or SCARP but investors do need to be aware that there are still risks involved with this sort of protected investment. The financial security of the institutions backing the protection is an important factor with products of this type.”

Bamford notes that potential investors will have a choice to make between using this product and investing directly in a similar balanced portfolio of investment funds. He thinks that while direct investment would mean forgoing the protection, it would result in greater participation of returns. “Other protected investments are typically based on the performance of one or more stockmarkets so will not provide direct competition,” he says.

In conclusion, Bamford says: “One key difference bet-ween this product and others is the inclusion of dividend returns. In a low growth environment, the dividend income from an investment makes a big difference to the total return available.”

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