Dining from the investments menu

Curry ingredients depicting the idea of their being a menu for investments, much like curry.


Gareth Trainor

1st July 2014 at 1:33pm

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been told that financial companies use too much

jargon. But last night, over a curry, was the latest. While my wife and I were going over our finances she was less than impressed with the amount of jargon!

And she was right. As an industry, we make things far more difficult than they should be. It’s also a matter of personal frustration that we create some of the best solutions to customers’ problems, and then surround them in gobbledegook.

Back to last night though… Under a bit of pressure, I had to try and find a different way of describing investment choices. It started with a spark of inspiration from the plate in front of me and saying…

“…investments are a bit like curry”

Now you can imagine the look on my wife’s face (and you might be similarly perplexed), but go with it. I went on and explained there are three different ways of approaching investment choice like choosing a take-out.

1. The easy option

You can order a takeaway from a restaurant. Someone will have done everything for you – chosen the ingredients, blended them together and cooked them to perfection. Just sit back and enjoy.

 2. The middle option

Going to the local market, and choosing and grinding your own spices may be a step too far. But choosing from a smaller number of ingredients, or even using a ready-made jar of sauce gives you some involvement without going the whole hog. Pick what meat and/or vegetables to go into it, and the type and spiciness of curry you want – and ta dahhh.

3. The expert option

This is the ‘full bhuna’ of choices… You select all of the spices individually and blend them together with any other ingredients you want – cooked just the way you like it. It’s the most difficult option, but it’s the most satisfying if you get it right.

There are benefits to each of these options. Some people just want something easy. Others really enjoy immersing themselves in the full experience. There are also people who want to do something in between.

The investment options you would have with a Standard Life ISA or pension are exactly the same as this:

1. The easy option

We’ve come up with some funds that do it all for you – the “MyFolio Managed” funds. Each one invests in lots of different countries and types of investments – as and when it’s right to do so. Simply choose how much or how little risk you want to take and a team of experts will do the rest. Because it’s so simple, it’s where most of our customers invest.

2. The middle option

If you want some, but not too much more choice, you can select from a range of Standard Life Investments’ funds. You can choose what style and type of investments you want, but it’s easier than going through the full fund range.

3. The expert option

If you want to create your own special blend of funds and investment types, the full fund range is for you. There are more than enough options to allow even the most enthusiastic investors to ‘spice up’ their portfolios. Beware though, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could end up with something that is less than palatable!

You can find out more information on our ISA and pensions and your investment choices on our website but before you roll your sleeves up and get stuck in, decide which of the above approaches suits you best. You might want to consider speaking to your financial adviser, if you have one, for more information.

If you’re still not sure how to approach investments, check out my DIY or Delegation? blog. It can help you decide if you want to ‘DIY’ and build your own portfolio, or delegate the decision-making to the experts.

The information in this blog and any responses to comments are not financial advice. The value of investments can go up or down and may be worth less than you paid in.

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