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MONEYWISE A PR I L 2 0 1 2 GROUP PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR Rachel Lacey EDITOR Johanna Gornitzki DEPUTY EDITOR Ruth Jackson STAFF WRITER Rebecca Rutt SUPPLEMENT WRITER Faith Glasgow
SOME OF OUR WRITERS
ROB GRIFFIN Rob has nearly 20 years’ experience of journalism and has written for the Independent, the Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Express
CHERRY REYNARD Cherry has now won the Investment Management Association award for freelancer of the year four times
SALLY HAMILTON Sally covers all personal finance topics and is the former money editor of the Daily Express
BY JOHANNA GORNITZKI BY
There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve got a bargain and then it turns out to be a total rip-off.
Unfortunately, the world is full of people who try to take advantage of our naivety or lack of knowledge – and just because the distinguished man who approaches you wears a pinstripe suit and says he works for the ‘financial services industry’ doesn’t mean you should always take his advice at face value.
In fact, the financial sector is rife with less-than-trustworthy members who make their living by swindling us out of our money.
This month we look at rip-offs to watch out for – from the ones that will leave you just a couple of quid out of pocket, such as paying for ID theft insurance when we are already covered for free, to the ones that are down right illegal (and dangerous), such as fake car insurance sold by bogus brokers.
In this issue we also look at the financial time bomb facing homeowners who have endowment mortgages.This type of mortgage made the headlines in the late-1990s, after it became a huge scandal when it turned out it had been mis-sold to thousands of people. But while endowment mortgages haven’t hogged the limelight recently, many of these mortgages are now reaching maturity – and, worryingly, as many as 100,000 of these policyholders face a shortfall, according to financial regulator the Financial Services Authority. If you’re concerned that you might be affected, please see our special article on what you can do to ease the burden (page 54).
Last but not least, as the ISA season draws to a close we offer last-minute ISA tips for those of you who still haven’t used up your 2011/2012 allowance. And if you miss the 5 April deadline, don’t despair – there’s always the new tax year! firstname.lastname@example.org
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This month’s supplement
Investment trusts have historically been less popular with investors than unit trusts – not least as financial advisers don’t earn commission by selling them, unlike unit trusts.
However, there are various reasons why they deserve a higher profile, as this guide shows. We look at how they work, highlight their strengths and risks, and explain why they’re attractive shows. We look at how they work, highlight their strengths and risks, and explain why they’re attractive if you need an income stream from your portfolio.
In addition, we also reveal the investment trusts that continue to deliver in our 2012 Investment Trust awards.
CONTRIBUTORS Sam Barrett, Nick Gibbs, Faith Glasgow, Rob Griffin, Sally Hamilton, Harriet Meyer, George Pitcher, Andrew Pitts, Jeff Prestridge, Esther Rantzen, Cherry Reynard, Laura Staples, Christine Toner, Matthew Wall
ART DIRECTOR Mark Stammers PRODUCTION EDITOR Laura Staples CHIEF EXECUTIVE Tomas Carruthers PUBLISHING DIRECTOR Jeremy King ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Kay Fox Joyce MARKETING MANAGER Alexandra Kyriakidis ADVERTISING MANAGER Chris Sorrell
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Spotlight on InvestmentTrusts
APRIL 2012 | MONEYWISE 7