Here you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions received by our Customer Services team.
Questions are grouped in three broad categories: questions about ourselves and Cofunds, investments and administration. If your question is not answered below please contact us by email or telephone.
We are an Independent Financial Adviser, regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. We arrange investments at low cost for investors who do not require personalised financial advice.
There are no upfront costs for using our service and we make a small ongoing annual charge. Full details of our charges can be found in the Our Service section of the website.
Although we don't provide advice, we do offer a range of information and research to help the investor make their own decisions. In our Fund Hub you can research all of the funds available as well as gain access to our First Class Funds and ISA Choices fund lists. All clients are automatically eligible, at no cost, for our Premier Club which offers initial and six monthly updates on your portfolio.
We also provide a full post sale support service including online access to your portfolio.
Cofunds is what’s called an ‘investment platform’. They make it easier for people to buy investments from different fund managers through intermediaries like FDD. They provide administration services and the technology and tools to help clients to manage their investments in one place.
They administer over £89bn of investments on behalf of around 800,000 people.
Clients have access to over 3000 funds from over 200 fund groups
Cofunds is wholly owned by Aegon.
We offer clients the opportunity to invest at the lowest possible cost. We do not offer personalised advice but can offer support and information on a whole range of financial products. If you wish to invest but need advice you should see an independent financial adviser. If you know what you wish to purchase, however, you can almost always get a better deal by investing through us rather than going to the provider direct. We pride ourselves on our friendly and efficient service both at the initial investment stage and with our post sale delivery, especially our Premier Club.
We selected Cofunds as our fund supermarket partner as we believe they offer the most efficient administration and the best range of services for our clients. Indeed, the vast majority of stocks, shares and ISA investments are now made through fund supermarkets.
Go to Cofunds where you can find full details of our chosen administrative partner.
Investing direct with the fund manager will generally be more expensive than using our services.
There is usually an initial cost to investing direct, whereas we are able to offer all of our funds at no initial cost. In addition, the annual management charge for direct investments is typically higher than it is through us. Although you also have to pay our service charge and the platform charge, this still works out at less than the annual management charge for direct investments.
ISAs allow people to save their money in a combination of cash and stocks and shares. Unlike investing directly in these products, investing through an ISA provides certain benefits. An ISA is often referred to as a tax wrapper which goes around your savings, protecting them from paying certain taxes.
ISA limit - the annual ISA allowance for the current tax year, 2018/19 is £20,000.
Improved flexibility - you can split the ISA allowance as you wish between a Cash ISA and Stocks & Shares ISA.
Improved transfer options - you can now transfer from a Stocks & Shares ISA to a Cash ISA, and vice versa. Previously you could only transfer from a Cash ISA to a Stocks & Shares ISA.
Tax-free interest in Stocks & Shares ISAs - Interest on cash held in a Stocks & Shares ISA is completely tax-free.
Junior ISAs - the annual Junior ISA allowance is £4,260 for the current tax year, 2018/19.
You must be aged over 18 to take out a ISA (if you are aged 16 or over you can invest in the Cash ISA) and you must reside in the United Kingdom for tax purposes (or be a Crown employee currently working overseas and treated as resident, or are married to a person who performs such duties).
You cannot hold an ISA jointly with anyone else, or hold one on behalf of another person.
You can invest in an ISA at any time. There are limits on the total amount you can invest in any one tax year.
This is the process through which you move your ISA investment from one company to another - for example from Invesco Perpetual to Artemis. It involves selling the units in your existing plan, moving the cash to the new company and purchasing units in your chosen fund(s). This does mean that your money is out of the market while the transfer is taking place. You may also have to pay a small initial charge to purchase your new units. Not to be confused with a fund switch. If you are transferring your investment from a fund group to Cofunds, this can usually be done through a process called re-registration
OEIC stands for open-ended investment company and is a collective investment vehicle where many investors’ money is combined by a fund manager to purchase investments. An OEIC has a company structure so that when you invest you will hold shares as opposed to units. An OEIC is open-ended which means that the fund can get larger or smaller depending on the number of investors who wish to buy or sell shares. OEICs are a relatively new form of investment vehicle which are increasingly replacing unit trusts, which are more complex in legal terms. An OEIC has a single price, for both buying and selling shares, directly linked to the value of the fund’s underlying investments. This contrasts with unit trusts, which have different buying and selling prices.
Unit trusts are one of the most popular types of investment fund in the UK, and involve large numbers of investors pooling their money and entrusting it to a unit manager. This manager will be a specialist investor, using their expertise to invest these pooled funds in financial markets, looking for attractive investment opportunities. The structure of a unit trust works by dividing up the pooled money into units. The number of units is not fixed and will fluctuate according to demand, as will the price of each unit. The unit price is calculated by taking a valuation of all the individual companies that the pooled funds are invested in; the value is then divided by the number of units held in the fund at that time to give the unit price.
A Junior ISA is a tax free savings accounts for children. It has replaced the old Child Trust Fund and is used for saving up a lump sum of money for your child when they become an adult (18 years old). The annual Junior ISA allowance is £4,260 for the current tax year, 2018/19.
PEPs are tax efficient savings and investment plans which were replaced by ISAs in April 1999. PEPs taken out before that date remain valid, although you can no longer place any new money in them. From 6th April 2008 all PEPs have been converted to ISAs.
A Fund Manager places the money you pay in a variety of investments in order to produce the best possible returns. The term can be used to describe the company (e.g. Fidelity, Invesco Perpetual) as well as the individuals who manage funds for that company
An ISA Plan Manager looks after the administration of the plan to ensure that it meets regulatory requirements and to ensure that you receive the documentation to which you are entitled, both initially and throughout the life of the plan. Not to be confused with a Fund Manager. Cofunds fulfils the role of a Plan Manager for your investments
A fund supermarket, sometimes known as an investment platform, is a company, which holds and administers your ISA, PEP and Unit Trust/OEIC plans. A supermarket offers access to a range of funds from different investment management groups within one plan. This combined with re-registration can give you great flexibility in managing your total portfolio. The vast majority of new ISA investments are now made through fund supermarkets such as Cofunds
This is the process by which you move your money from one fund to another. On a fund supermarket, such as Cofunds, you can switch between funds from different fund groups, for example between Artemis and Jupiter funds. These switches are free of charge. If you hold your ISA directly with a fund group, you can only switch between funds from that group.
If you are unsure which fund(s) to invest your ISA money into, but want to ensure you secure your ISA allowance for the tax year, you can use the Cash Reserve facility. This allows you to hold cash temporarily within your ISA while you decide which fund(s) suit your investment objectives. When you have decided, you simply switch from the Cash Reserve into your chosen funds. You can also switch into this facility when markets are uncertain and simply switch back when you are more confident. This is not a cash component of an ISA and the money in the Cash Reserve must be destined for eventual investment into one or more of the funds available on Cofunds’ platform. Interest may be payable on money held in the Cash Reserve. Interest, payable monthly, is 0.4% below the published base rate of the Bank of England and any interest you receive will fluctuate with changes to this base rate.
Re-registration is the process by which you transfer the administration of your plan to a fund supermarket. It allows you to move investments from your existing fund manager to the supermarket without having to sell and re-purchase the units. For example you can re-register your holding in the Invesco Perpetual Income fund to Cofunds. This will mean that Invesco Perpetual continue to manage your money in their Income fund but Cofunds will take over the administration of your plan and provide all your paperwork and documentation. There are no charges for re-registration.
We endeavour to ensure our services operate smoothly but occasionally we may not be able to meet client expectations and you may feel the need to make a formal complaint.
Any complaint should be made, in the first instance, to the firm either by telephone, in writing or by email.
We always handle any complaints both positively and efficiently seeking to arrive at a suitable outcome and where appropriate will review our systems to ensure the complaint is not repeated.
Atticus Holdings Ltd is a subscriber to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) who are an independent third party to which customers can refer complaints to if they cannot be resolved amicably with the firm. Complaints should however to be referred to the firm in the first instance.
One of the major advantages of investing through a fund supermarket such as Cofunds is the ability to keep track of your investments online at any time of the night or day. You will need to register on our website and, once this has been set up, you will have password protected access to all of your investments at any time. Additionally, you can join our Premier Club, a free, added-value service provided by FDD. We will send you, initially and then twice-yearly, an information pack including a current valuation, an analysis of the constituent parts of your portfolio and factsheets for the funds you hold. For full details of the Premier Club please contact our Customer Services team.
If you have invested through Cofunds, all the income received from your portfolio during a month is collected together and paid to you as one payment early in the following month. It will appear on your bank statement as CNI (Consolidated Natural Income). If your investment is through another provider, the income due on each fund should be paid out to you as and when it is due.
All applications should be sent to Financial Discounts Direct, PO Box 85, Alton, GU34 1XS
For investments through Cofunds, the easiest and cheapest way to do fund switches is online through our website. If you wish to complete a paper form you can request one from us or download it from our website. We recommend that you send your form direct to Financial Discounts Direct, PO Box 85, Alton, GU34 1XS. If your investment is with another provider, you must obtain a form for that provider and then send the request direct to them.
You can request a withdrawal through our website but you must then send a signed, written request to Cofunds to release the money. In order to complete these transactions as efficiently as possible, we recommend that you send your request direct to Cofunds at PO Box 1103, Chelmsford, CM99 2XY. If your investment is with another provider, please contact our Customer Services team as procedures vary from company to company.
All cheques should be made payable to the product provider. For investments through Cofunds cheques should be made payable to Cofunds Ltd.
Under no circumstances should an investment cheque be made payable to Financial Discounts Direct.