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Innovative income ideas are the focus of this month’s cover story. With bonds still poor value, many equity markets expensive, and savings rates still pretty low, income investors have taken increasing interest in funds and especially investment trusts investing in alternative assets, from infrastructure and renewable energy to debt and reinsurance. Their popularity means that in many cases shares are trading at a premium to the value of the underlying portfolio, but some interesting opportunities still remain.
Income was historically one of the big pulls of the UK buy to let market, boosted by long-term capital growth. But a number of regulatory changes appear to have put the kybosh on that route to prosperity for small private landlords. In a residential property special section, we take a broad look at the UK housing market, and then examine in more detail the prospects for would-be and existing landlords. We also consider a number of alternative investment routes into residential bricks and mortar, including property bonds and peer to peer lending: they may be relatively hassle-free, but what kind of returns, and risks, are involved? And to complete the property investment picture we review the relative merits of commercial property trusts and funds in the aftermath of last year’s post-Brexit suspensions.
Large-scale cyber crime has been much in the headlines in recent months, so this issue also assesses the risks for private investors in the event that their bank, fund manager or platform is attacked. How are they likely to be impacted, and what can they do to ensure their assets remain safe?
Meanwhile, with the news that cohabiting is growing fastest in the over-65 age bracket, with numbers up threefold since the turn of the century, we look at the financial arguments around living with a partner as opposed to marrying them – and find the odds stack up heavily in favour of marriage. Finally, the quarterly Trust supplement focuses on the annual review of our conservative and adventurous trust portfolios, and also considers how a Labour government might affect the rules and regulations surrounding investment trusts. You can find all this and a great deal more in the August issue.