In addition to savings products, internet banking, income protection insurance, and over-50s life insurance, Shepherds Friendly Society Limited offers a variety of financial options.
This is a fantastic alternative for people searching for a long-established brand that offers a variety of financial goods; nevertheless, there are few investing possibilities, which may be costly for experienced investors.
As a result of the rise of online trading platforms, several suppliers have had to lock their virtual doors in order to compete. So, if you’re searching for a supplier with longevity on which you can trust, Shepherds Friendly is one of the country’s oldest mutual insurers, having evolved significantly since its inception in 1826 into a diversified financial services organization.
Almost 85,000 UK citizens rely on Shepherds Friendly to meet their financial requirements, and as a cooperative society, the organization is administered solely for the benefit of its members.
While Shepherds Friendly does provide over-50s life insurance as well as income protection, I will be focusing on their investing and savings products in this review.
The financial services offered by Shepherds Friendly, one of the world’s oldest cooperative societies, include a selection of individual savings accounts (ISAs), life insurance for anyone over the age of 50, and income protection.
Shepherds Friendly is a mutual, meaning that its members, rather than stockholders, own it. That way, the company’s earnings may be reinvested for the benefit of all its shareholders. Every member has a vote in the company’s management.
Shepherds Friendly product range overview
Because it is a mutual, Shepherds Friendly is owned by its members rather than by a public company’s shareholders. Profits will be reinvested for the mutual benefit of all members in this way. To further ensure that members are satisfied with the company’s direction, they are given voting rights.
All ISA regulations apply to this account, as it is an ISA for stocks and shares. Investors can defer paying capital gains tax on up to £20,000 of investment income for the current tax year.
You can invest as little as £30 per month on a recurring basis or make a one-time payment of any amount to Shepherds Friendly.
Shepherds Friendly seeks to differentiate itself from competing stock and share ISAs by offering investors a yearly bonus. The stocks and shares ISA has, historically, paid a bonus each year for the past decade, however this has not been guaranteed. A with-profits fund is used to achieve this goal, as its primary objective is to mitigate the effects of market volatility by setting aside a portion of the profits earned in prosperous years for the purpose of paying the bonus in years when the fund has underperformed.
The available funding choices are extremely restricted. The first is Royal London’s actively managed Multi-Asset Strategies Fund (MAST). Another alternative is Royal London’s Sustainable Diversified Trust Fund (SDTF), which invests solely in firms that are working to improve the world around them.
Though both of these funds fall into the “low to medium risk” category, it doesn’t mean you can’t lose more than you initially invested.
With as little as £10 per month and as much as £25 per month, you can start saving for a minimum of ten years. Life insurance is included in case you pass away during the plan’s duration, and any profits made within the plan are not subject to federal income tax.
Options for investment are the same as the adult ISA, with the goal of outperforming a standard savings account.
5-Year Fixed Rate Bond
Account holders can earn a guaranteed return on their savings of 4.65% AER* on balances between £1,000 and £125,000.
The investing possibilities here are identical to those found in the traditional ISA for adults. However, the annual limit is decreased to £9,000 for the tax year with the Junior ISA. Regular payments of £10 a month or a minimum of £100 can be made as contributions.
Young Saver Plan
In order to enable you set aside a substantial chunk of money in one go, this has been created. Depending on their financial situation, parents and guardians can put away anything from £7.50 to £100 each month for a minimum of ten years.
If your child becomes sick or hurt, this plan will cover medical expenses. Annual bonus statements are sent to parents to keep them apprised of the plan’s progress.
Junior Money Maker investment plan
In order to help save for a child’s future, this has been created for parents, relatives, and friends to all donate to. It’s a savings plan for the kid that also provides medical coverage and has the added benefit of allowing you to space out the payments you make to them once the plan is over.
If you’re a parent who has already contributed the maximum to their child’s junior ISA, this is a fantastic alternative because it allows you to continue saving tax-efficiently for their future needs up to an additional £2,400 year.
Shepherds Friendly Investment Funds
As was previously mentioned, Shepherds Friendly gives its clients access to two Royal London actively managed funds. Gains from these medium-risk investments are distributed annually as a bonus.
Both of these funds have historically returned between 2% and 3% annually, putting them within striking distance of the highest interest rates on fixed-term ISAs. The sustainable option has only been around for about a year, so past results shouldn’t be used to predict how well it will do in the future.
When it comes to investment opportunities, this is among the rarest I’ve seen.
Opening an account
A photo ID and National Insurance Number are all that are required to open an account, and the process can be completed in a matter of minutes entirely online.
Is Shepherds Friendly safe?
The Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority have both approved the Shepherds Friendly Society for operation. If the company were to go bankrupt, your assets would be protected up to £85,000 thanks to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
Who is Shepherds Friendly suitable for?
Shepherds Friendly is a good alternative for people who are looking for low-complexity investment products and are fine with managing their accounts solely online.
How to contact Shepherds Friendly
To get in touch with Shepherds Friendly, you can either call them at 0800 526 249 or send an email to [email protected].
How do I withdraw money from Shepherds Friendly?
Some plans at Shepherds Friendly have a set duration, however you are invited to contact the company once the plan has matured so that they may help you make a withdrawal.