Category Archive Investments


How to invest sensibly

Getting success through hard workAs we aim to start the new year on a positive note, we are focussing on achieving goals. When it comes to investments, this can only be done by careful and diligent investing. Now it may seem easy to some people, but having done this for quite a number of years now, we can tell you that it is anything but.

You need to know the right time to invest and also the right time to sell, much like the old adage of buying low and selling high. We believe most people have a reluctance to come out of what has previously been a good performing fund, and they then inevitably get caught out when it drops in value.

What we do at MAP is basically ignore past performance to a certain extent, and put more reliance on actual performance and of course consistency. When we look at fund performances, if things are starting to drop off, we tend to no longer use that fund. It’s as simple as that!

Investment Fund Types

In financial services we talk about Asset Allocation. This is just a fancy expression for investment spread. If we were looking to put together a client’s investment using a number of different funds, we wouldn’t put them all into the same fund type, e.g. UK equities. What we would do is use a variety of types like UK equities, interest-based funds, global funds, Asian funds, technology funds, etc.

If you work on the basis that from 10 funds used, four will do very well, three will be good but not brilliant, two will be average and one will underperform, that would be a fair assumption. All areas will not perform brilliantly all of the time – it is the nature of the beast – so you need a spread of types.

Investment Geography

Another thing to watch out for is geographical areas as they will all provide different growth rates. One of the leading fund managers recently recommended looking at global economics. Their belief is that North America, Japan and some other Asian countries should do well in 2018, Europe will do not too badly, and the UK will probably flat-line.

Furthermore, watch out for emerging nations especially the likes of Brazil, who are up-and-coming. When you invest money, you also want a spread of countries so you can get the benefits that arise from them.

Ongoing Investment Monitoring

When you have invested money, the next thing you must do is monitor your choices. What we tell clients is the only thing guaranteed when investing, is everything will change. You can make a great selection to start with but this might change because of economic conditions in whatever locality.

If you don’t monitor a fund and it then starts to fall, you could lose heavily, and so you need to be ready to switch out of that and into another fund; one which is performing. This is where consistency comes into your thoughts – the more consistently well a fund performs, the more likely it is to continue to do so.

Understanding Risk

The final part of investing is all about risks, which is something the Financial Conduct Authority place a great deal of stress on. People should know what risks are involved before they invest so they can then make a logical decision. How MAP deals with this is to use five categories of risk, although only three are normally used as people are not interested in very low risk or very high risk.

Low risk is where the chances of loss or of significant gains are small, middle risk is where some money could be lost or gained, and high risk is where excellent gains could be made but equally almost all money could be lost. What people should do is only invest in the risk areas they are comfortable with.

At MAP, we invariably use 10 funds for each investment; and the number of low, middle and high risk funds selected are based on a client’s attitude to risk, i.e. how many funds they want in each category.

Final Thoughts

All of the above is why investing carries a lot of risk overall; there are so many things you need to watch out for, and watch all the time. At MAP, we have been employing our own investment process since we started up, so have built up a lot of experience in that time. To be honest, even we are still learning, but we use it to better the end outcome for our clients.

If you would like to benefit from our hands-on approach to investing, please contact us on 0345 241 1808 or email us at: enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Links to external sites are for information only and do not constitute endorsement.  Always obtain independent professional advice for your own particular situation.  Money Advice & Planning Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


Tax Planning

Dealing with taxThroughout your financial journey, whatever your stage in life, there will almost inevitably be some tax implications connected to your personal financial activities. Since no-one likes paying taxes, why not let MAP help you to avoid them as much as possible.

Our tax planning strategies, when done properly, are quite simple. There is no ingenious formula(e) for success; it is instead all about awareness of legislation, how it affects different people and how it can be legally avoided through planning.

The three taxes you could be liable to pay in your lifetime are:

  • Income Tax – On your profits or income;
  • Capital Gains Tax (CGT) – On the sale of an asset; or
  • Inheritance Tax (IHT) – On an estate upon death.

MAP can provide effective planning to minimise your tax liability.

MAP has taxation specialists who know all about the intricacies of taxation and how it affects people’s affairs. This means they are in an excellent position to provide tax planning advice for clients; be they individuals, families, partnerships or firms.

At MAP, we will work with you to create an effective plan based on your current and likely future financial position, minimising your tax liability as much as possible along the way. As a starting point, you can make use of free tools such as HMRC’s annual allowance calculator to get an idea for what tax to expect.

We also have a sister firm – Accounts Advice & Planning Ltd (AAP) – who work exclusively in accountancy and taxation. They can assist further with tax planning as well as undertake day-to-day accountancy work and support, plus complete HMRC submissions on your behalf.

For more information, click on the most suitable link:

Income Tax
Capital Gains Tax
Inheritance Tax
Our Investment Process

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice


Savings & Investments

Getting growth from your moneyInvesting is not done purely by the rich, and equally, bank accounts are not necessarily the best place to maintain excess savings. So if you have spare income every month and want to earn more than just interest on it, or have a lump sum you would like to invest, MAP can help make your money work harder for you.

We pride ourselves on the returns we generate for our many happy customers by way of our investment process, which contains three three key steps:

  • Select – Choose the best product and range of funds for someone based on their investment attitudes;
  • Review – Regularly review the funds we are happy to recommend to clients, new and existing; and
  • Switch – Recommend fund switches where necessary and if approved, make those switches.

If you currently have an underperforming investment or savings plan, talk to MAP. We can review existing policies and switch funds, should those that are on our Recommended Fund List (RFL) be available to use. This means keeping your money in the same investment(s) but changing the underlying fund(s) to something with better performance, without necessarily taking any more risk.

Should this not be possible, the alternative is to move your money to new investment(s), which have access to funds on our RFL. This then gives the potential for better growth, by way of increased fund selection, fund diversification (so not all your eggs are in the one basket) and cost effectiveness.

MAP can maximise your returns with an ongoing, proactive investment strategy.

So whether you have new money to invest or existing investments which aren’t doing what they are supposed to, we can find the product or plan to suit you, which will maximise growth and the returns payable.

We will regularly review the performance of your savings and/or investments thereafter, to ensure they remain on track throughout your financial journey, at all times taking into consideration your personal circumstances, future goals and requirements.

In order to provide complete transparency, we can also give you 24/7 access to viewing your savings and/or investments, thus allowing you to track and monitor their performance at any time. If you already have access, why not login today to see your money working harder for you.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results

For more information, click on the most suitable link:

Junior ISAs
GIAs, Unit Trusts and OEICs
Investment Trusts
Structured Products
Onshore Investment Bonds
Offshore Investment Bonds
The MAP Investment Process
Ongoing Financial Reviews


Client Login

MAP will always work hard to give you a first class service, for as long as you need it. Here are some of the benefits of investing through MAP:

  •  Your money is invested in areas to match your attitude to risk;
  •  Independent and bespoke advice tailored to meet your specific needs;
  •  All funds invested in are tried and tested, with successful track records;
  •  Investments are looked after by a dedicated adviser;
  •  Investments are reviewed regularly to maximise returns;
  •  Ongoing service is provided to complement the initial advice given; and
  •  100% transparency lets you check performance and charges at any time.

If you have a MAP investment with an online facility, you can log-in to it securely, at any time, by clicking on the appropriate provider logo below:

AJ Bell logo Ascentric logo Transact logo

Do you not know your login details? No problem – just contact us and we will arrange for them to be sent out to you as soon as possible.

If you are looking to invest, or have money invested and would like to find out more, feel free to contact MAP today. One of our advisers can talk through the options open to you and review your existing portfolio and requirements before recommending the best investment(s) to suit your needs.

Intermediary use only

Are you a franchise or business introducer? Click here to login to RouteMAP or WebMail.


Our Services

Our services and why they can helpIrrespective of what you need to speak to a financial adviser about, MAP will be able to find the best solution(s) to meet your needs. We are fully independent meaning we can advise you on any of the following, taking into consideration your attitude to risk and all options available in the marketplace:

Any and all of these solutions can be provided to you through sound financial planning. By this, we mean structuring a personal financial plan after getting to know you and understanding your goals.

Furthermore, we will stay with you throughout your financial journey, for as long as you need us. Our regular review service will ensure your finances stay on track and continue to reflect what you need, want and expect.

Whatever advice you need for your financial journey, talk to MAP.


Current developments in our recommended funds

Working funds from across the worldEvery quarter we carry out a review and analysis of investment funds that are available. What we look for are funds of a decent size – usually £100 million invested and above – and have a good consistent performance over the last five years. We aren’t interested in those that are brilliant only in the short term.

Once we have identified funds we are comfortable in using, we divide these into risk category, and there are five categories in total although we generally only use three of them:

  1. No Risk – no risk usually has no return, so we don’t tend to use these.
  2. Low Risk – there is a small chance of both losing and making money with these.
  3. Middle Risk – middle of the road where you could lose or make some money with these, and there is no definition of “some”.
  4. High Risk – you could lose a lot of money here but also make a lot of money.
  5. Very High Risk – you could make huge gains or lose everything here, so we don’t use these much either.

Once all funds have been categorised into one of the above, this makes up our Recommended Fund List (RFL) and is what we use for new investments going forward. For existing investments, we review those with funds that have fallen out of the RFL, and ask the investor for their permission to move them into those which are in the RFL. So we are always monitoring and keeping a watchful eye on our clients’ money. Not only that, we will give you 24/7 access to how your funds are performing on the MAP Investment Portal.

This process is ongoing and we are constantly monitoring external factors, be they political or economic. At the moment, the economy is in what at best can be called a transition phase. We have reasonable growth in the UK, but we have Brexit looming, and at this stage no-one knows how that is going to affect us. What we at MAP will do is watch all the funds our clients are invested in to make sure that they keep on track.

If you would like to find out more about the MAP investment process or our RFL, please call us on 0345 241 1808 or email us at: enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk.

Please remember that the value of an investment and the income from it could go down as well as up. The return at the end of the investment period is not guaranteed and you may get back less than you originally invested.


The MAP investment process has reached a milestone and its great news

Getting growth from your money

Recently at MAP we had what we think of as a success story, and no it didn’t happen overnight.

A couple who have used the MAP investment platform since 2011 found themselves this month, after a good period on the stock markets, having total gains over the total time of their investment period in excess of £½million.

The couple had followed a fairly balanced investment strategy of 30/40/30 – which is investing in three funds at 10% each in cautious low risk, four funds at 10% each in middle risk and three funds at 10% each in high risk.

We had monitored this money every quarter since inception, and had received the clients’ permission to switch funds as and when we thought it necessary. The clients admitted early on that they had no knowledge of all of these funds, and so basically let us get on with it, which is what we did.

Calculations show that we have managed to get them 7.88% per year every year since we started in 2011. Bear in mind that whilst the FTSE100 achieved an index figure of 7,500 in August 2017, it started off in 2011 at about 5,700. At February 2016, it had fallen to 5,700 from around 7,000 in April 2015, so there have been some lows as well as highs.

The MAP investment process aims to hold clients investments in solid funds which perform consistently well. That is all we are trying to do – it’s not rocket science, but, with rigorous research and hard work, we can deliver strong returns.

If you have money to invest, why not try the MAP way; it really works. Call us on 0345 241 1808 or e-mail us on enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk.


Making the most of your tax allowances each year

Dealing with tax

Since we know that we will always get taxed, what we should always do is plan. Now planning can cover a variety of situations, like reducing tax overall, or perhaps even take yourself out of tax altogether. The one thing everyone should do is plan things so you get the smallest tax bill you can. You owe it to yourself and your family.

The key area of planning we would like to cover here is the use of tax allowances. Bear in mind most allowances are given for a specific year, and if you don’t use them, you lose them. It is therefore only common sense to use as much of them as you can.

“There are only two things certain in life – Death and Taxes” (Benjamin Franklin)

The main one is the personal allowance which everyone gets. In an ideal world, we would like to see all household income split 50/50, but that is not possible with PAYE income of course. For all investment income in a household, it is down to each couple as to who this belongs to, so couples can split this according to their situation. If both spouses are working, it can get split 50/50; if only one works, it can be split 1/99, i.e. whatever uses up unused allowances. Buy to let property income is an ideal example as well.

In the current tax year, each individual can have dividends up to the value of £5,000 non-taxable, and savings income up to £1,000. This is reduced to £500 for higher rate tax payers and nil for additional rate tax payers. So, once again the argument is there to split such income between spouses as suits you and not HMRC. Even if dividends are higher than £5,000 per year, bear in mind that if someone is liable at basic rate tax, then dividends over £5,000 per year are taxed at 7.5%; for someone liable at higher-rate tax, dividends over £5,000 are taxed at 32.5%, so there are still some savings to be made.

Self-employed people should also consider employing their spouses as this is a good way to “spread” income. It’s not just a case of putting this into a set of accounts – there does have to be some substance behind the figures, so some planning and logistics should take place before you automatically just jump in. PLAN!

Remember that for most allowances it is a case of use them or lose them.

If you would like help with tax planning, please call us on 0345 241 1808 or e-mail us on enquiries@mapfinances.co.uk.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice


Your Goals

Getting your finances right can help you achieve your goalsOur client’s goals are what drive us to do our utmost for them. Your financial goals will become our targets.

We understand that for any and all aspects of your finances, a number of factors are important. Good advice at both the outset and on an ongoing basis, careful planning and successful investing will help you and indeed your money reach your financial goals.

Our approach has been tailored over many years of looking after client’s wealth, and has been structured to suit their needs and service requirements. We do the total opposite of a ‘one size fits all’ approach.

The values we bring as a financial adviser to any client are:

  • Quality – differentiating ourselves from competitors by delivering quality in everything we do;
  • Ownership – dealing with clients finances as if they were our own;
  • Expectation – exceeding client expectations by going above and beyond what was hoped for;
  • Trust – building trust with clients which lasts a lifetime; and
  • Transparency – being open, honest and clear in everything we do.

Our clients choose their financial destination and we MAP out the journey for them.


Why Choose Us

We will find the answers to your financial questionsThere are many reasons to choose MAP for independent financial advice:

  • Non-restricted advice and planning – no matter what financial advice and products you need, we can help.
  • Face-to-face advice from UK-wide trusted advisers – irrespective of where you are in the UK, one of our advisers will be happy to meet you and discuss matters face-to-face.
  • Fees structured to suit requirements – financial advice should never take on a ‘one size fits all’ approach and our fees will be structured and mutually agreed to suit your needs.
  • Tailored service packages – we don’t believe in one-off financial advice and have several service packages available, so your financial affairs are reviewed throughout your journey with MAP.
  • Whole of market non-discretionary investments – our bespoke investment strategy will cater for your needs and requirements, and give you an investment that’s right for you.
  • Quarterly investment reviews – our proactive analysis of fund performance ensures you are always invested in the best areas to suit your attitudes to risk.
  • Recommended funds – we invest using recommended fund lists, which have been tried and tested to deliver successful returns for our clients.
  • Transparency and peace of mind – clients have 24/7 access to their investments through the MAP portal.

Perhaps most importantly of all, we come tried and tested – read the reviews of just one of our advisers and see for yourself.

Wherever you are on your financial journey, let us provide the MAP to your desired destination.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results