Take a SIPP

12.12.18

Setting up your own SIPP or SSAS can be a daunting task, as with any high net worth investment. SIPPclub exists to help affluent people who already have a SIPP or a SSAS, or people looking to open a self-invested pension, make the right decisions in a sometimes complicated area. Brian Bennis explains.

Tell me a bit about SIPPclub. What is its primary function?

SIPPclub provides affluent people with information and insights on self-invested pensions. That’s SIPP, a personal pension for individuals and SSAS, a company pension for small businesses.

In addition to pensions, we look at investment opportunities outside of the stock market that can be held within SIPP and SSAS.

The most important areas we consider are residential and commercial property investment; lending money from your pension to your own business to finance its growth; lending money to other businesses, either on an individual basis or via loan notes and bonds; crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending and investing in unlisted companies.

What are the main benefits of joining SIPPclub?

Joining SIPPclub gives you direct access to our panel of pension and investment experts. We encourage you to ask us as many technical questions as you like to enable you to feel confident enough to proceed with your investment choices.

Once we understand what you’re trying to achieve with your cash or your pension money, we’d be delighted to introduce you to a product or service provider to help you fulfil your needs.

The main benefit is that SIPPclub membership is free. It’s because we’re either paid by firms featured on SIPPclub, or by firms to whom we introduce you.

In every case, we believe it’s important for you to get to know a provider in detail before you part with your money. So all the providers on our panel won’t charge you while you explore whether they’re right for you, ensuring you’re in total control without risking your money.

What sort of market insight can members glean from it?

In addition to focused information resources on our website on things like SIPP, SSAS, property pensions, tax reduction, passive investing and more, we publish a weekly article on a relevant subject.

This might be prompted by political, taxation or legislative changes, or items of general pension and investment interest. We also welcome guest articles from businesses like Abode2 that can offer valuable information that we know will be of interest to our readers.

What areas of investment are members asking you about at the moment?

With volatility in world stock markets, it won’t surprise you to learn that property investment is the most requested topic. This isn’t just direct property ownership, either inside or outside of a SIPP or SSAS, it’s also indirect investment in property companies.

But by far the largest area of interest relates to lending money for property projects, including peer-to-peer lending, loan notes and bonds.

Typically, these products deliver annual returns of around 10 per cent, backed with the security of a charge on property. They’re a sensible way to diversify, protecting the overall value of your portfolio should there be a significant downturn in stock market values.

Has Brexit had a big effect on the sort of help and advice being offered to members?

Brexit hasn’t appreciably affected us. There’s no doubt our Members are worried about short term market movements as a result of the uncertainties of Brexit. But in the main, money invested in tax privileged SIPP and SSAS is usually there for the long term, so short term fluctuations aren’t a major concern.

Your pension fund will be required to provide cash and income for many years of your retirement, and because pensions don’t suffer Inheritance Tax, whatever you don’t spend during your lifetime can pass on tax free to those you leave behind, making pensions one of the best generational tax planning tools.

What future investment trends can you see on the horizon that members should be advised about?

We stopped predicting investment trends many years ago. Chances are that if you ask 20 so-called experts for their opinions, you’ll probably get 20 different answers and not necessarily any of them will be right.

As change is constant, our view is that the best way of protecting yourself and your family is to keep up to date with information about money, so you’re fully informed when you come to make your pension and investment decisions.

If you really need a second opinion, we recommend you consult your trusted adviser. But if you don’t have an appropriate person to call upon, we’re happy to introduce you to someone who should be able to provide you with detailed advice and a personal recommendation.

What is your top tip for investors?

It’s easy to make an investment - but it’s not always as easy to get your money back.

To reduce your risk of an investment failure, the most important thing you can do is detailed due diligence. Not just on the product itself, including how it works, what protections are in place, and the exact method of you receiving a full repayment of your money, but also detailed information including background checks on who’s actually taking control of your money.

If you can’t answer every aspect in full detail, or you don’t understand fully how the investment works, then don’t part with your money.

But above all, our top tip for investors is become a Member of SIPPclub.

You can join our weekly newsletter list here.

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