Financial Repair Shop

Many will know of the TV programme ‘The Repair Shop’, that takes a personal belonging that is normally of some age and no longer working, damaged or missing certain parts and repair it to its former glory or a more improved version. ‘The Financial Repair Shop’ works in a similar way but with a financial twist.

Here are just a few examples of where a ‘Financial Repair Shop’ may be useful:

Some people have inherited shares or bought shares years ago and still have them. Holding these shares may be okay, but there is a good chance the shares or share portfolios need reviewing to see what needs selling or switching. Stockbrokers can do this for you but for a small number of company shares, information can be found online. My company are not stockbrokers but we use software that has about thirty broker views on sell, hold, or buy.

Old pensions, and to some extent, newer ones, should be reviewed to see if they need improvement and focus given to charges and performance. Also, checking if any old-style benefits such as final guarantees or high annuity rates should be retained with a tweak to other aspects.

Investment bonds were once popular and although they can still have their place, many of the older ones need close attention.

Cash ISA’s and National Savings plans have not been competitive for a long time, so their purpose and returns need to be reviewed.

A Shares ISA, Unit Trust Collective Investment, and Investment Trust should all have great potential but can be disappointing in terms of returns, charges and tax.

All of the above can be looked at and ‘repaired’, improved, or tweaked, if showing signs of damage.

Many traditional plans were what’s called ‘With Profit’. This means the fund the plan was invested in received a bonus each year which once added is not removed. Plans of this type have seen their bonuses fall dramatically or even stop altogether, but they often still have the potential of final bonus or minimum guaranteed value, so could still represent good value.

Never that simple

Often with the problems that appear on TV, the repairs are obvious, but this isn’t always the case with financial plans. So, if you would like a complete review of your plans, I would suggest that you have one done. Although, be wary of anyone looking to do this FOC (it could be the result of a potential ulterior motive) and ensure that you obtain a clear recommendation.

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