Other Funds: Property
According to trade body, the Investment Association, collectively we now have £899 billion invested in funds - pooled investment schemes sometimes referred to as unit trusts or OEICs.
But investing can be a tricky business, given the plethora of products on offer. In addition, investing is also a long-term business and there will be ups and downs, so patience is key. While there is no shortage of funds to choose from, finding fund managers who can deliver consistently is another matter.
Rob Gleeson, head of FE Research, a fund analyst, explains: "Generally, the most consistent managers are the ones with a strong core strategy. While they will have ups and downs across the business cycle, over multiple cycles they offer relatively stable returns."
To give you an idea of where you might want to squirrel away some cash, we've picked out 50 fund choices, as recommended by some of the UK's top fund-pickers. Our panel includes: Darius McDermott, managing director of brokers Chelsea Financial Services; Mark Dampier, head of research at Hargreaves Lansdown; Gavin Haynes, managing director of Whitechurch Securities; and Adrian Lowcock, head of investing at Axa Wealth.
Following a torrid period during the financial crisis, property portfolios are back in vogue. Investors can spread their cash over a variety of properties, such as offices and retail parks, providing a stable income.
41. HENDERSON UK PROPERTY - Five-year return: 35%
Both McDermott and Haynes rate the Henderson UK Property fund, which owns buildings in the retail and office space. Managed by Ainslie McLennan and Marcus Langlands Pearse, it currently yields 3.2%.
42. LEGAL & GENERAL UK PROPERTY TRUST - Five-year return: 41%
One of Lowcock’s picks, the fund is co-run by Michael Barrie and Matt Jarvis and boasts a historic yield of 3.7%. Lowcock says: "This is a very good and well-resourced team with strong knowledge of the sector."
43. F&C REAL ESTATE SECURITIES - Five-year return: 114%
"It has an impressive track record," asserts McDermott. Suited to intrepid investors, this vehicle differs from the two above in that it invests in the shares of property firms, such as British Land, which are, of course, highly correlated to the equity market overall.
The general term for the rate of income from an investment expressed as an annual percentage and based on its current market value. For example, if a corporate bond or gilt originally sold at £100 par value with a coupon of 10% is bought for £100 then the coupon and the yield are the same at 10%, or £10. But if an investor buys the bond for £125, its coupon is still 10% (or £10) and the investor receives £10 but as the investor bought the bond for £125 (not £100) the yield on the investment is 8%.
Open-ended investment companies are hybrid investment funds that have some of the features of an investment trust and some of a unit trust. Like an investment trust, an Oeic issues shares but, unlike an investment trust which has a fixed number of shares in issue, like a unit trust, the fund manager of an Oeic can create and redeem (buy back and cancel) shares subject to demand, so new shares are created for investors who want to buy and the Oeic buys back shares from investors who want to sell. Also, Oeic pricing is easier to understand than unit trusts as Oeics only have one price to buy or sell (unit trusts have one price to buy the unit and another lower price when selling it back to the fund).
Everything you own: all your assets (property, cars, investments, savings, insurance payouts, artwork, furniture etc) minus any liabilities (debts, current bills, payments still owed on assets like cars and houses, credit card balances and other outstanding loans). When you’re alive this is called your wealth; when you’re dead, it becomes your estate.