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Open a Stocks and Shares ISA

An ISA provides a flexible way of investing up to £20,000 per year for 2023/24. You don’t pay income or capital gains tax on any money your investments make and can choose from a wide range of investment options.

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Open a Junior ISA

A Junior ISA (JISA) provides a way of investing up to £9,000 a year 2023/24 for a child. Investments are free from income and capital gains tax and the child can access the money once they turn 18.

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Open a SIPP

A Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), is a type of tax-efficient pension designed to help you build up money to provide an income in retirement. You can choose from a wide range of investment options.

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Open a General Investment Account

A General Investment Account provides a flexible way of investing without limits on how much you can put in. Although they don’t provide the same tax benefits as an ISA, they are useful if you’ve used up your ISA allowance.

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Asset Allocation Explained

Equity – Often referred to as shares. Shares are units of ownership in a company which entitle the holder to certain rights for example to exercise voting rights or to participate in the company’s profits.

Fixed Income – Often referred to as fixed interest or bonds. When you invest in bonds, you are typically lending money to a company or a government in return for a defined series of interest payments and the promise that a defined value (called the ‘face’ or ‘par’ value) will be returned at a certain point in time.

Property – Investments in property include residential, offices, warehouses and shopping centres.

Cash – Money held in cash or cash-like instruments, often to ensure there are sufficient liquid assets within a portfolio.

Other – Contains other investments such as commodities, preferred stock and derivatives.

Portfolio Risk Explained

Investing involves risk, but there are many types of 'risk' so it's important to be clear about what it really means for you and your money. When investors talk about risk they're often thinking about things like getting disappointing returns, losing money, failing to keep pace with the cost of living or missing out on a specific goal.

What we're really talking about here is uncertainty. It's hard to measure, but one approach is to look at the volatility of the investments in your portfolio – how much they have tended to fluctuate in value. The more risk you take with your investments, the higher the rewards might be, but the potential to lose money also increases. Too much risk might be expensive and stressful to live with, but too little could mean your investments don't keep pace with inflation and lose their buying power over time.

The key is to find the level that's right for you – the level that you're comfortable with and able to cover financially. Finding it depends on a number of things

Measuring investment risk

Measuring the level of risk in an investment portfolio is difficult. Risk measurement methods use mathematical tools and techniques and are based on a number of assumptions, often based on how an investment has performed in the past. As we know however, what's happened in the past isn't necessarily a good predictor of what might happen in the future so this should always be borne in mind when using portfolio risk measures.

How to use risk measures

Despite their limitations, with a proper understanding of how they should be interpreted, risk measures can be a useful tool in the investment decision making process. They should always be regarded as useful indicators and nothing more – to help inform your investing decisions but not to drive them in their entirety.

Equity Regions Explained

Equity region indicates in which countries the underlying shares within your portfolio are listed.

USA – Companies listed on a stock market in the USA.

Canada – Companies listed on a stock market in Canada.

Latin America – Companies listed on stock markets in the Caribbean, Central America and South America, such as Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.

United Kingdom – Companies listed on a stock market in the United Kingdom, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey.

Eurozone – Companies listed on stock markets in countries which have the Euro as their official currency, such as France, Germany and Spain.

Europe ex Eurozone – Companies listed on stock markets in western European countries which do not have the Euro as their official currency, such as Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland.

Europe Emerging – Companies listed on stock markets in European emerging markets, such as Poland, Russia and Turkey.

Africa – Companies listed on stock markets in African countries, such as Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa.

Middle East – Companies listed on stock markets in Middle Eastern countries, such as Israel, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Japan – Companies listed on a stock market in Japan.

Australasia – Companies listed on stock markets in Australia and New Zealand.

Asia Developed – Companies listed on stock markets in developed Asian countries, such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.

Asia Emerging – Companies listed on stock markets in emerging Asian countries, such as China, India and Thailand.

Equity Sectors Explained

Cyclical – Companies which operate in industries that are considered to be significantly affected by economic shifts. When the economy is prosperous, these industries tend to expand and when the economy is in a downturn they tend to shrink.

Basic Materials - Companies that manufacture chemicals, building materials and paper products. This sector also includes companies engaged in commodities exploration and processing.

Consumer Cyclical - This sector includes retail stores, auto and auto-parts manufacturers, restaurants, lodging facilities, specialty retail and travel companies.

Financial Services - Companies that provide financial services include banks, savings and loans, asset management companies, credit services, investment brokerage firms and insurance companies.

Real Estate - This sector includes companies that develop, acquire, manage and operate real estate properties.

Sensitive – Companies that operate in industries that ebb and flow with the overall economy, but not severely. Sensitive industries fall between defensive and cyclical, as they are not immune to a poor economy, but they also may not be as severely affected as cyclicals.

Communication Services - Companies that provide communication services using fixed-line networks or those that provide wireless access and services. Also includes companies that provide advertising & marketing services, entertainment content and services, as well as interactive media and content provider over internet or through software.

Energy - Companies that produce or refine oil and gas, oilfield-services and equipment companies and pipeline operators. This sector also includes companies that mine thermal coal and Uranium.

Industrials - Companies that manufacture machinery, hand-held tools and industrial products. This sector also includes aerospace and defence firms as well as companies engaged in transportation services.

Technology - Companies engaged in the design, development and support of computer operating systems and applications. This sector also includes companies that make computer equipment, data storage products, networking products, semiconductors and components.

Defensive – Companies which operate in industries that are relatively immune from economic shifts. These industries provide services that consumers require in both good and bad times.

Consumer Defensive – Companies that manufacture food, beverages, household and personal products, packaging, or tobacco. Also includes companies that provide services such as education and training services.

Healthcare – This sector includes biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, research services, home healthcare, hospitals, long-term-care facilities and medical equipment and supplies. Also includes pharmaceutical retailers and companies which provide health information services.

Utilities - Electric, gas and water utilities.

Equity Styles Explained

Market capitalisation is an indication of the size of the companies being invested in. It is calculated by multiplying the number of shares issued by the company by the current share price. Market capitalisation is divided into ‘large’, ‘medium’ or ‘small’ according to the below:

Large – Companies that have a market capitalisation greater than $10 billion.

Medium – Companies that have a market capitalisation between $2 billion and $10 billion.

Small – Companies that have a market capitalisation below $2 billion.

Companies can be categorised as ‘value’, ‘blend’ or ‘growth’ as defined below:

Value – Companies that are considered to be trading at a share price below what their fundamentals would suggest.

Blend – Companies that do not exhibit solely value or growth characteristics.

Growth – Typically well-established companies which are considered to have above average prospects for long-term growth.

Investment Charges Explained

Investment charges relate directly to the investments you buy. They are taken by fund managers either from the capital or income generated by the funds you invest in and are not charged by or paid to Willis Owen.

They cover things like:

Investment charges do not include the service fee paid to Willis Owen.

Find funds

You can use our simple search tool below to find, learn more about and buy one or more of the funds we offer. If you know what you’re looking for you can search for a fund by name. Alternatively, you can use one or more of our helpful filters to find funds which meet the criteria you choose. Simply click on the filter items to choose your criteria and instantly see your search results.

We’ve included an option to show only those funds on our Focus Funds list , which are highly regarded by our Research Team.
Our dedicated Focus Funds Methodology page sets out all the factors we consider when selecting funds for the list.

You can find out more about a fund by clicking through the different tabs as well as accessing key information documents and detailed factsheets. If you’re ready to buy, simply click the icon to add a fund to your basket.

  

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