Canada Life 

Bonds remain firm fixture in portfolios into 2019

Bonds remain firm fixture in portfolios into 2019

Nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of financial advisers told Canada Life they were either considering or planning to increase the amount of bonds they write for clients in the next year.

Canada Life spoke to 250 financial advisers and found a quarter would definitely increase the amount of bond business they write in 2019

The majority of financial advisers (55 per cent) said the believe onshore bonds play an important role in the advice they give to clients.

While three fifths (61 per cent) said bonds are more useful than most advisers believe, a slight increase from 2017 (60 per cent).

The number of advisers recommending international bonds to their clients has also risen slightly year-on-year, up from 17 per cent in 2017 to 18 per cent in 2018.

Financial advisers are also increasingly recognising the benefits and value of bonds, compared to 12 months ago.

More than two thirds (67 per cent) of financial advisers cite tax deferral options as an advantage of using bonds, up significantly from just under half (49 per cent) last year.

More than three in five advisers (62 per cent) say top slicing relief is one of the main advantages of writing bonds, a substantial increase from 48 per cent in 2017.

Of those planning to write more bonds in the next 12 months, two in five (40 per cent) advisers plan to write a mixture of both onshore and offshore, while over two fifths (42 per cent) intend to only write more onshore bonds.

Around two thirds (67 per cent) of advisers said the tax deferral options available on the bonds is a key reason for owning them.

Richard Priestley, executive director of Canada Life UK, said: "Despite the complex, rapidly evolving landscape, the popularity of bonds with advisers shows no signs of slowing.

"Bonds continue to remain a firm fixture in portfolios, with many advisers recognising the importance and usefulness they hold as a defensive investment option for their clients."

Martin Bamford, chartered financial planner at Informed Choice, said: "We do use these bonds from time-to-time, although not particularly often. It depends on the tax position of the client and what they are trying to achieve.

"In many cases, once pension and Isa allowances have been fully utilised, we recommend investments within 'unwrapped' general investment accounts, rather than life assurance investment bonds.

"These investment bonds do play a good role for trustee investments, but again it depends on the tax position of the trustees and beneficiaries."

david.thorpe@ft.com

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