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Getting the best savings start for children

This article is part of
Guide to Child Trust Funds and Junior Isas

Andrew Gillespie, sales and marketing director of Family Investments, says his customer base is incredibly diverse but united by a common desire to save for a child’s future.

He says it ranges from parents and grandparents, to guardians, siblings, godparents and family friends. Some are saving for a child independently, while Mr Gillespie says others may want to come together with other family members to build up a savings pot collectively.

Mr Gillespie says: “With the high costs currently facing young adults in the future, including university and deposits for first homes, starting a tax-efficient children’s savings product today can create a significant head-start into adulthood.”

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There are three important factors to consider when weighing up the options for children’s savings, says Rob Morgan, pensions and investments analyst at Charles Stanley Direct: charges, investment choice and service.

Mr Morgan says the first two factors are linked as where you want to invest will, in part, dictate the charges. For instance, he says one provider may be more expensive than another for dealing in and holding shares but cheaper for funds.

Overall investment choice is also important, he adds, and if there is a particular fund or investment that you particularly want then you should ensure your provider has that as an option.

Mr Morgan says you may also value any investment research and updates that are provided, which can help you choose and monitor your investments.

Finally, he says advisers should not assume all providers have the same levels of service.

Mr Morgan says: “A trustworthy, efficient provider with a knowledgeable and friendly helpdesk should be a priority.”

It is always worth making sure you have explored all avenues by looking for a service that meets your needs, says Family Investment’s Mr Gillespie.

He says many banks and building societies have ceased accepting child trust fund applications but some still allow you to transfer existing funds and you can continue to add funds in each tax year up to the annual limit which is £4,000 for the tax year 2014 to 2015.