Jamaica? You'll go further with a PEP

Travel agents are having a wonderful time, with the Caribbean proving a popular destination for windfall spenders, but many of those selling their shares are simply using the proceeds to boost their savings accounts.

Those with an eye to the longer term would do well to consider putting their cash or shares into the care of a professional fund manager - and many of them are offering special schemes to attract windfall investors.

While the Halifax is an immensely strong and powerful bank, many first- time investors will be mindful of the advice that diversification presents the best way to reduce risk and will be looking to invest in a personal equity plan. One of the easiest ways to do this is through a share exchange scheme, which simply involves handing over your windfall shares and receiving a parcel of units in return.

If you want to use your windfall to kick-start a long-term investment plan, you might prefer a fund manager who will allow you to retain your shares within the personal equity plan - and top them up with investments in its own funds either as a lump sum or on a monthly basis. These are set out in the table on this page.

Those in line for multiple windfalls will need to ensure that they invest in a personal equity plan that will hold a number of different shares.

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