Nationals round-up: More coverage of trail commission, a negative analysis of the flailing absolute returns market and new criticism of whole of life policies.
Publicity around trail commission continued with a piece in the Sunday Telegraph. It cited a consumer survey showing around four in five consumers don't really know what it is and, of course, mentioned Ivan Massow's new venture, which aims to help them claw most of it back. The piece went on to give a general overview of the retail distribution review and how it is affecting the whole commission issue.
The hunt for funds providing decent income continued in the Mail on Sunday, which highlighted the 15 funds and investment trusts which are delivering at the moment. Among the high-yielding unit trusts included were the Marlborough High Yield, Newton Global High Yield Bond and the Investec Monthly High Income. Meanwhile, City of London, Bankers and Murray Income were the investment trusts with the best income pedigree.
With volatile markets and uncertainty about which direction they will head next, absolute return funds should be in favour at the moment as they aim provide positive returns regardless of market conditions. However, as the Independent reported, IMA records for August show they experienced their worst monthly outflow since the formation of the sector in April 2008. Among the problems highlighted was the fact they are not doing what they say on the tin, with only 20 out of 62 funds in the sector making a positive return in the past three months. High management charges are also an issue.
Whole of life policies
Whole of life policies, which are designed to provide a lump sum on the death of the policyholder, came under scrutiny in the Telegraph, with the Financial Ombudsman Service's Caroline Mitchell expressing concerns many people were not told their premiums would be reviewed. A significant number of consumers have been complaining about suddenly bumped-up premiums and Mitchell was particularly worried about how any reduced lump sum could affect the inheritance they leave behind.
With confidence in pensions wavering and the need to concentrate on day to day expenses, it has been no surprise to see concerns raised about the amounts being saved for retirement at the moment. The Independent on Sunday took a closer look at the issue, with one expert explaining how ceasing contributions for just three years could eventually lead to a 10% reduction in the eventual payout.
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