Do your finances need repairing?

Tony Larkins of Beacon Wealth talks about repairing finances this month.

Tony Larkins of Beacon Wealth talks about repairing finances this month. - Credit: BEACON WEALTH

Many will know of the television programme The Repair Shop, that takes a personal belonging that is normally of some age and no longer working, damaged or missing certain parts.

The financial repair shop works in a similar way but with a twist. 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 portfolio needs a review to sort out which may need selling or switching.

Stockbrokers can do this for you, but for a small number of company shares, the internet can provide the information you need. 

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

Investment Bonds were popular at one time and although they may still have their place, many of the older ones need close attention.

Cash ISAs and National Savings Plans have not been competitive for a long time and their purpose and returns need to be reviewed.

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

All the above can be looked at and repaired - whether improvements can be made, added to, or anything is missing or tweaked if showing signs of damage.

Many traditional plans were 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 bonus’s fall dramatically or even stop altogether, but they often still have the potential of a final bonus or minimum guaranteed value, so could still represent good value.

Unlike the obvious problems with items that appear on the television show, often repairs are needed on financial plans that are not as obvious.

If you have any plans you wish to be reviewed, I suggest you have a report done, but be wary of anyone looking to do so free of charge (it could be the result of a potential ulterior motive), and obtain clear recommendations.

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