Take back control of your pensions

Guest Blog by Sarah Beresford

Guest Blog Sarah Beresford

Your pension is really important, right? After all it’s what you and your family are going to live off when you are retired and when work really isn’t an option.  I faithfully put some of my cash into various company pensions, thinking it was the ‘good thing’ to do but not really understanding it.  Having switched jobs a few times, I now have lots of different small pensions, and don’t have a clue how they are doing. I wanted to take back control, so that I know when I get older, I’ll have the wherewithal to live comfortably!

I decided to have Searchlight Investments review my pensions.  It’s nice – almost a relief- to put what seemed such an onerous task into capable hands.  Richard Pipe, Director of Searchlight Investments took me through a review process gauging the level of ‘risk’ I am happy to take to achieve my personal retirement goals.

Richard used a profile questionnaire developed to assess my attitude to risk. To be honest, I thought this would be a doddle – how hard can it be? Wrong! There were some questions that you really had to think hard about, like how far you are prepared to see your investment lose money as well as make money (given that many pensions are linked to stocks and shares).

Richard walks you through the entire questionnaire, clearly explaining what is being asked and at the end of all this, you’re put into one of their 5 key ‘risk’ categories: Cash, Defensive, Cautious, Moderate, Adventurous, and Speculative. These categories help define how your investment is managed in the future.

For those unfamiliar to the financial world, Richard explains the pros and cons of investing in different assets such as UK Stocks and Shares, Property, Gilts, International Equities and explains how their portfolios are made up.  Thankfully, if you are anything like me, and manage your life online, Searchlight Investments have a really easy to use online app called ‘Elevate’. This app lets you keep track of how well your funds are doing at any time of day.

Not that I needed someone to hold my hand through this process…But I found it really helped focus my mind on what’s important to me, not to mention take away the stress I was feeling towards the management of my pensions. Now I genuinely feel much more in control and happy in the knowledge I can continue the lifestyle I have become accustomed to!

Contact Searchlight Investments if you would like your pension reviewed: 01923 896189


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