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Our investment products can provide both individual and institutional investors with flexible investment vehicles, which can accommodate varying appetites for risk, asset exposure and capital protection.

It is important that you understand the risks attached to each of the investments. The key risk areas are summarised below, but please remember that these are general risks and those relevant to a particular product are set out in the product literature.

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Cancellation Risk – the risk that if you decide to cancel the investment after assets have been purchased you could lose some of your money if the market(s) or asset(s) to which your contract is linked have fallen since the purchase date.

Counterparty Risk   – the risk that a financial institution with whom we arrange the assets to provide investment returns does not, or cannot, pay the amounts due, which could cause you to lose some or all of your money and any investment returns that would have otherwise been payable.

Early Encashment Risk – the risk that if you decide to encash the investment before maturity you could get less back than you invested. Administration charges for early encashment will increase any losses.

Inflation Risk – the risk that inflation will reduce the real value of your investment over time.

Investment Risk – The risk that the market(s) or asset(s) to which your investment is linked fall in value, which could cause you to lose money.

ISA Transfer Risk – if you wish to transfer an existing ISA this must be done in cash, which means your existing ISA manager will sell your investments and you may be charged an exit or transfer fee. There is the potential for loss of income or growth if markets should rise while your transfer remains pending.

Liquidity Risk – the risk that you may not be able to immediately access the value of your investment.

Pricing Risk – the risk that a financial institution with whom underlying investments have been arranged may not be able to quote regular prices making it difficult to value your investment and delaying any early encashment request you may make.

Product Risk – the risk that the product design could produce a return that is lower than a direct investment in the market(s) or asset(s) to which the product is linked.

Tax Risk – The values of any tax reliefs will depend on your individual circumstances. You should note that the levels and bases of taxation could change in the future and these changes may be applied retrospectively.

It is important that you read any product literature carefully and in full so that you understand how the product works and can decide whether or not you are prepared to accept the risks and the possible consequences of investing in a particular contract, before proceeding with an investment.

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Meteor Insights

Lockdown winners and losers

GDP increased by only 1.8% in May as people started to go back to work

Yesterday, the Office for National Statistics said that GDP grew “slower than expected” in May, increasing by only 1.8% as people started to go back to work. Although undeniably disappointing for economists, it’s at least a start. There are hopes that this only represents the initial acceleration with the numbers in June and July expected to indicate a much sharper recovery as further restrictions were lifted. In context though, we have a long journey ahead considering that in the three months to May, the UK economy shrank by 19.1%.

UK stocks have yet to recover too. Year-to-date, the FTSE 100 is still about 18% down. Across the pond, however, the S&P 500 has all but fully recovered to its 2020 starting level. In fact, with central banks across the world pumping huge amounts of cash into the system, equities, in general, have rallied. The major indices in Germany, Japan and China have all outrun the FTSE 100. So, why is the FTSE 100 lagging behind?

To answer that, it might be easier to look at how the S&P 500 has recovered so easily. Technology stocks have played a big role in lifting equity indices since lockdown due to people working from home, streaming more home entertainment, communicating digitally etc. It’s not hard to see then, why companies like Amazon, Google and Netflix have trended in the past few months. Netflix, the video-streaming service is up more than 60% year-to-date! The FTSE 100 on the other hand, hasn’t had a tech hero to prop it up over lockdown.

If we look at the composition of the FTSE 100, it’s healthcare, banks and oil that take the biggest share. Whilst healthcare has done well over lockdown, banks and oil have experienced a steady decline. With restrictions being gradually lifted, though, could we see a resurgence? Could the index be good value over the coming months?

Perhaps, but that might depend on government support schemes and a return to pre-lockdown lifestyles. British businesses, for example, have already accessed billions worth of loans through their banks and the government’s emergency finance schemes. There’s also the stamp duty holiday which will encourage homebuyers to take out mortgages with banks. The oil industry too, is looking primed for a rebound as lockdown restrictions are lifted. Saudi Aramco’s CEO, for example, has said that China’s gasoline and diesel demand has already returned to pre-coronavirus levels.

It’s of course, impossible to say where UK stocks are headed but, as with lockdown restrictions, some might see this as an opportune time to come out and play again. Our current range of structured products allows people to take a risk-controlled approach to investing based on the performance of the FTSE 100. In fact, many of the products do not require the index to appreciate in value at all to pay a positive return on investment. Check out our current range here.


Posted: 15 July 2020
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