Questions Of Cash: A missing cheque cost me £200 in lost returns
Saturday 15 April 2006
Q. I have a personal pension with Standard Life, to which both I and my employer contribute. In June last year, the administrator of the company scheme, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, informed me that a cheque for £1,560 sent in November 2004 had expired after not being cashed. It seems the cheque was lost.
JLT wrote another cheque and that was cashed in July, but I have lost about £200 in investment returns. When I complained to Standard Life, it told me to take my complaint to the Financial Ombudsman, which has told me this is outside its remit.
A. You wrote to us in early December and it has taken us four months of correspondence with Jardine Lloyd Thompson and Standard Life, and an exchange of around 20 e-mails with JLT and four with Standard Life, to resolve this.
Standard Life insists that the problem lies with JLT sending your cheque to a wrong address. JLT disagrees. JLT finally offered £230 as its estimate of your loss and it has increased that to £300 in response to our request for compensation. It will now continue its argument with Standard Life in private, seeking recovery of this sum.
Q. I paid £25 a month for 10 years - a total of £3,000 - into a Friends Provident endowment policy. In January this year, I received a pay-out of just £2,872.42. I now read in The Independent that Friends Provident's profits have increased by 34 per cent. Would I have received a better return if it had remained a mutual?
MK, by e-mail.
A. Friends Provident has checked the figures and found that it omitted your final bonus in your payment, so a cheque for an additional £576 is on its way to you. But it says that because you also obtained a demutualisation share windfall worth £3,026 at the point of flotation, you did well out of that deal.
The performance of mutuals against non-mutuals is strongly disputed, but mutuals tend to offer lower standard variable rates on mortgages, which might suggest that their cheaper cost of borrowing does lead to better performance for customers.
Q. I have £100,000 to invest and I am considering opening a stocks and shares ISA, but the UK equity market looks overcooked, so I'm thinking of cash, plus either commodities or overseas equities, probably in South America. I am retired with a small annuity and don't need much income from my investments.
A. Mark Dampier of Hargreaves Lansdown, an IFA and broker, says that you can make your own investment decisions without advice, but "it is far cheaper to go through an intermediary to make your purchase. You need to select an intermediary who will do execution-only deals, discounting most of the initial commission, if not all of it".
He says that if you are concerned about the risk of a fall in the value of equities, you can invest in a maxi ISA, but hold your funds initially in cash and then drip-feed the investment into equities. He expresses doubts about preferring South American equities to UK ones.
"The South American markets have had a tremendous run over the past three years. Invesco Perpetual's Latin American fund has risen almost 400 per cent. Commodities, too, have had a great run, although given demand from the emerging markets, this will probably continue.
"Traditionally, spring into summer tends to cause a lull in stock markets. Given the strong bull run that we have seen over the past three years, a correction at the very least would be understandable.
"If you don't want to asset allocate yourself, look at international funds from Artemis Global Growth, Jupiter Managed Opportunities and perhaps a fund of funds trust from New Star or Jupiter. As well as unit trusts, you could look at investment trusts, perhaps groups such as Foreign & Colonial, Caledonian and Electric and General."
- 1 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...
£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
Day In a Page
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads