A Beginners Guide to Listed Investment Companies


13 February 2023


Listed Investment Companies

Investing can be a daunting task for anyone, especially for those who are new to the game. With a plethora of options available, it can be challenging to know where to start and what investment vehicles to choose.

One option that has gained popularity in recent years is listed investment companies (LICs). In this beginner’s guide, we’ll take a closer look at what LICs are and how they can be a valuable addition to your investment portfolio.

Investment Companies

What are LICs?

LICs are publicly traded companies that invest in a diversified portfolio of assets, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate. They are similar to mutual funds, but instead of investing in the fund directly, you buy shares of the company that owns the assets.

This allows you to gain exposure to a variety of investments through a single stock, making it an easy and convenient option for those who want a simple and diversified investment portfolio.

Benefits of Investing in LICs

  • Diversification: As mentioned earlier, LICs offer a diversified portfolio of assets, which helps to spread risk and minimize the impact of any single investment.
  • Professional Management: LICs are managed by professional fund managers who have the expertise and experience to select and manage investments on your behalf.
  • Liquidity: LICs are listed on stock exchanges, making it easy to buy and sell shares, and providing you with the flexibility to make changes to your portfolio as needed.
  • Potential for Higher Returns: By investing in a diversified portfolio of assets, LICs have the potential to deliver higher returns than investing in individual stocks.
  • Lower Costs: Compared to other investment vehicles, LICs often have lower fees and expenses, which can result in higher returns for investors.

Risks of Investing in LICs

  • Market Risk: As with any investment, LICs are subject to market risk, which means that the value of your investment can go up or down depending on market conditions.
  • Credit Risk: LICs may invest in bonds, which are subject to credit risk. This means that if the issuer of the bond defaults on their debt, the value of your investment may decrease.
  • Management Risk: The success of a LIC depends on the ability of the fund manager to make good investment decisions. If the fund manager fails to perform, the value of your investment may be negatively impacted.

How to Invest in LICs

  • Research: Before investing in a LIC, it’s important to research the company and its portfolio of assets to ensure that it aligns with your investment goals and risk tolerance.
  • Consider the Fund Manager’s Track Record: Look at the fund manager’s track record to see how they have performed in the past and whether they have a history of delivering good returns.
  • Diversify Your Portfolio: As with any investment, it’s important to diversify your portfolio to minimize risk. Consider investing in multiple LICs to achieve a well-rounded and diversified investment portfolio.
  • Monitor Your Investments: Regularly monitor your investments and make changes as needed to ensure that your portfolio remains aligned with your investment goals.

In conclusion, LICs can be a valuable addition to your investment portfolio, offering the benefits of diversification, professional management, liquidity, and the potential for higher returns. However, it’s important to understand the risks involved and to do your research before investing. By following these tips, you can ensure that you make informed investment decisions and achieve your financial goals.


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Equity Release

The Need for Equity Release Consultants to Understand the Details

Equity release allows you to borrow money now that you don’t need to pay back any time soon. When you die, it is the time when the equity release provider will take the money back. They will sell the property and deduct the loan from the property value when sold. You don't need to opt for regular loans when there is an option that lets you borrow money without the need to pay immediately. The only downside is you could end up losing the entire value of the property depending on the amount you borrow, the rate of interest, and your time of death. It might look simple on the surface, but if you dive into the details, you will realise that things can be quite complicated. Therefore, you need help from equity release experts to explain to you all the issues that you don’t quite understand. They have years of experience: These consultants have been around for several years and worked with people who also wanted to get equity release. They have connections with various equity release companies, so they understand the terms and conditions they set. You can count on them to tell you what you need to know regarding equity release, including updates if there are changes in the policies. Even the legal terms that you find confusing will also be understandable after their explanation. They can simplify things for you: It is quite tricky understanding all the various concepts when they are all unfamiliar to you. It is even more complicated at your age since you are no longer as sharp as you used to be. With the help of these experts, they can simplify the concepts for you. They will show you some numbers, but they will also explain to you what they mean. After talking to them, you will feel enlightened regarding equity release and might even decide to go ahead with it. They can explain to your children too: Even if you already understand the equity release schemes, your children might worry that it is not the best choice for you. They might think that you are not getting a good deal out of equity release. You can let them speak with the consultants too, so they will know the details and not worry about what will happen next. After you die, your children will be the ones to deal with the equity release company. You want them to understand the details so that they know what to do, and they can stick with the terms agreed. Apart from paying the equity release advisers, you have nothing else to pay at the time when you get equity release. The payment will come later once the property is up for sale. Some companies might even penalise you if you decide to repay before they sell the property. As long as you stick with quality consultants who know the details of equity release, it will be fine. Find someone you can trust and who has a good reputation in the industry. Read Also: 6 Tips For Selling Your Brisbane Property Essential FAQs Before Buying A Villa


5 Perks of Having QuickBooks Pro for Your Business

QuickBooks main function is to simplify accounting in various aspects of a business. Intuit has released various versions of QuickBooks, so that different enterprise can select different versions of QuickBooks for their needs and requirements. QuickBooks Pro is one of the versions of QuickBooks software about which we are going to talk about today. This QuickBooks version is specifically designed for small companies. The features provided by QuickBooks can handle all the accounting functions including accounts receivable, accounts payable, credit card management, and financial reporting. The software is available for $219.95 in the US, this is great because earlier it used to cost $299.95 and now it is even more value for money. Cash Management- The software perfectly manages the cash flow and budget for small businesses. You can input the due dates for different kind of payments and the billing information can be added along with that. You can get printed checks directly through your QuickBooks software. For future audits you don’t have to manually record any transaction because all transactions are recorded automatically, this eliminates the need for paperwork. Expense Billing- In any type of business there various miscellaneous expenses like small purchases, meals, business travels, etc. These expenses may or may not be included in the client’s total bill, but because of their small amounts, they are disregarded and in the end, it is billed to the client only. In QuickBooks, you can maintain such record of all the expense and later go to them at the time of the billing. This will save some of the expenses for the clients and they won’t be any quarrel and even if there is, you would have a complete record which you show them. You can directly manage payrolls and taxes from the software itself. Invoices- Wouldn’t it be great, if the software does work and saves up a whole lot of labor and that too without any error that may happen in the case of human involvement? Well, QuickBooks does exactly that, it automatically tracks the sales and creates receipts and invoices any time you want, like if you have to send an invoice to the customer. The type of feature is very helpful if someone is buying the QuickBooks for retail business. You can even subscribe to QuickBooks checkbook solution, this provides with the ability to scan and deposit the checks into the program without manually entering the data. Reporting- Through QuickBooks, you can create various types of financial reports. These include yearly incomes, trends, expenses, and other documents. You can even create an excel sheet, in case you have to send the data to the client. Simple user interface- This one is obvious, the QuickBooks software makes every accounting activities very easy to complete and even does some of the work for you. There are various tutorials also on YouTube and on Intuit’s website, with their help you can explore all the useful set of features that QuickBooks provide. Planning- QuickBooks is advance planning too also for adding accounting data and also for planning your sales data, bills and other long term operations which your company performs. QuickBooks Pro can even produce tailored reports for your clients, managers, etc. which can provide you an informed view for your future planning decisions. Business Positions- with the QuickBooks Pro, you can generate a complete report of your company’s profit and loss with the profit and loss statement. You can also find out your top customer list at the end of the financial year and even after 6 months. Read More: How To Get Product Ideas For Your Ecommerce Business How To Get What You Want At Work By Strategic Negotiation How To Get Low Cost Life Insurance For Seniors 10 Tips To Design The Perfect Business Card What You Need To Be A Successful Entrepreneur

HAMP Program

When Is The HAMP Program Beneficial To You?

The Home Affordable Modification Program, called HAMP, provided individuals with aid in modifying their existing mortgage loans. This program was designed to provide homeowners with some financial relief to reduce the risk of foreclosure. The application of the HAMP program can make things work for you in all aspects. Do not make your choices in grey. Is HAMP Program Available? At the time of this writing, the Home Affordable Modification Program is no longer available as it was. The United States Department of Treasury established the program in March 2009. It was a part of the Making Home Affordable Program. It was effective on mortgages that were originated on or before January 1, 2009. The program was set to expire on December 31, 2016, with individuals able to apply for it through September 30, 2017. As of now, it is no longer available to individuals. What Did the Home Affordability Mortgage Program Do? The goal of this program was to encourage loan modifications for homeowners who were at risk of becoming delinquent on their loans. It worked to help reduce the frequency of missed monthly mortgage payments. HAMP program was beneficial for you and you have to make sure you do not make your choices in the wrong direction. Who Was Eligible for HAMP? Not all homeowners qualified for the home affordability mortgage program. To meet the requirements, individuals had to meet specific rules including the following: The loan had to be a first lien mortgage (second mortgages and home equity lines of credit did not qualify). It had the be a Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae loan. It applied to single-family homes, homes with up to four units, condos, cooperatives, and some manufactured homes. Individuals with an FHA or VA loan could use the program (but this was not a requirement of obtaining the modification). No vacant abandoned or condemned homes could obtain help. Modifications could happen only one time through the HAMP program. If the home met these requirements, a homeowner could then work with their existing lender to adjust their mortgage under some key guidelines. HAMP was not easy to qualify for, but for individuals who needed it, it provides a lifeline of important support. To be eligible for the modifications, the borrowers had to meet specific requirements as well. These included the following: Property owners that were current or no more than 60 days behind on their mortgage payments could be considered for a HAMP Trial Period. However, they must be determined to be in imminent default. Borrowers could be in bankruptcy or foreclosure, or in some type of pending litigation regarding the property, such as in a judgment from lenders. The key to obtaining these loan modifications was proving the borrower was struggling with some type of financial hardship. Borrowers had to have an expense-to-income ratio related to housing expenses of no more than 31 percent (applied to their gross monthly income). Individuals must still have some ability to make their monthly mortgage payments reliably after the modification occurs. Why Did Borrowers Consider HAMP? Borrowers were able to get help if they were struggling with financial hardship with the goal of avoiding foreclosure. This program was designed to help stop the flood of foreclosures entering the market after the housing crisis and financial difficulties that began in 2007. Individuals who qualified benefited by getting some type of modification to their loan. This may have included: A reduction in their interest rate Modifying the loan from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage Getting a principal reduction or a forbearance Getting a long term to help reduce the monthly payment Over its lifetime, HAMP saw several modifications to determine which type of properties qualified and to reduce some financial strain. Most importantly borrowers were able to modify their loans so they could remain in the long term. Lenders benefited from these modifications as well. Lenders were able to secure the loans for borrowers facing immediate financial hardship but had the likelihood of maintaining their mortgage payments over their lifetime. This helped reduce the risk of foreclosure, and an expensive process for lenders. Most importantly, it helped families remain in their homes. What Options Are Available Now? A home modification program is still an option for some homeowners. Other programs are available to help some borrowers such as the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Flex Modification Program. Many lenders offer modifications in-house as well. Borrowers who may be late on monthly mortgage payments or are facing financial hardship should consider speaking to their lender directly. Additionally, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, is available. This option remains in place and can help a homeowner to secure a lower interest rate on their loan, get into a shorter loan term, or adjust their loan from an adjustable-rate to a fixed rate. Individuals facing financial hardship should seek out solutions from lenders. While the HAMP program is no longer accessible, other solutions may be available to help borrowers to avoid foreclosure, late payments, or even the loss of their home. Read Also: Getting Your Personal Finances In Order With A Proper Budget Strategy Work With A Local Mortgage Broker Company For Your Vancouver 4 Payday Loan Facts You Should Know Before You Borrow