We ‘eat our own dog food’ as our American cousins say. We use the same kind of investment products and funds for ourselves as we use for clients. For our pensions that means we use Platform Personal Pension Plans, Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPPs) and Small Self-Administered Schemes (SSASs) for pension funds of significant size.
For younger staff who are just starting out and don’t yet have large pension ‘pots’ we use Stakeholder Pensions. Stakeholder Pensions are fine for new starters putting away maybe £50pm or £100pm but when a sizeable fund has been built up, Platform Personal Pension Plans and similar vehicles come into their own, typically offering upwards of 2000 funds including Investment Trusts, and facilities such as drawdown that non-platform pensions either don’t offer at all, or only offer in a very restricted form.
West Riding’s owners, Neil and Linda Liversidge, both had Fidelity platform personal pensions before they needed to transfer them into a SSAS to buy West Riding House for our business premises. Other senior staff also use the Fidelity pension. The West Riding Personal Financial Solutions Ltd Pension Fund which owns our building is administered by SSAS provider IPM of Morley, the same SSAS provider we recommend for our clients. We self-select all the funds for our SSAS from the same researched ‘panels’ that we compile for clients’ pensions.
For our non-pension investments, we use mainly the FundsNetwork and Transact platforms and on the whole, we prefer active funds to passives, though we do use passives from time to time. Overall, these days we are very much equity investors, there being little value in bonds. For property content we use Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) and occasionally open-ended funds that invest in a ‘basket’ of REITS.