Hi-tech Investor: Surf the web for your final PEPs

ALTHOUGH the PEP gives way to the individual savings account (ISA) in April, business in the tax-free vehicles is thriving, writes Stephen Pritchard. PEPs taken out before 5 April can still be held after the ISA starts, and investors can continue to switch funds between PEP managers, so there is still much to play for.

The internet offers two valuable research resources: TrustNet and Interactive Investor's PEP Centre. TrustNet is not specifically geared towards PEPs; instead it covers the whole unit trust market in detail, with a wealth of supporting material on unit trusts that is well worth reading.

Interactive Investor's PEP Centre is a well organised and comprehensive place to start research. The site displays performance figures for PEPable unit trusts, taking the data from Standard and Poor's Micropal.

Browsers have access to the snapshot figures on the first page. This includes the top performing unit trusts over five and two years, and the top three geographical sectors for growth, again over five years. Interactive Investor has also compiled the most popular unit trust PEPs held by its users, and lists their performance.

More detailed information is available to registered Interactive Investor users, but registering online is straightforward. Once this is done, the PEP Centre lets visitors search for the top 10 funds, or look at the performance of individual funds in more detail. The site graphs its performance against the sector average on the FT-SE All Share index; the entire process is commendably quick. There is no facility to invest online, but web users can order literature on each fund via Interactive Investor. The site also has a direct link to PEP providers which do have an online option.

These include companies such as Fidelity, which has sophisticated PEP management functions on its website, NetPEP, which only sells its tracker- based funds over the internet, and companies such as the brokers Charles Schwab, which lets its clients manage their PEPed shares via the net.

For investors who know the PEP they want, and who want to save some money, discount brokers are the ideal way to buy a PEP; several have set up shop on the internet.

PEP providers pay a commission to "introducers", usually financial advisers, who bring in business. Discounters work by refunding almost all their commission to investors. Commission rates can be as high as 5 per cent, although the average is 3 per cent. There is little or no risk attached to dealing with a broker, as investors write their cheques to the PEP company, not the intermediary.

Discount brokers with websites include Allenbridge, IFA Online, Garrison Discount Investments and PEPDirect. None has online transactions - investments are finalised by post. Each has a slightly different approach, so it is worth visiting several sites.

Links: Allenbridge, www.allenbridge.co.uk; Charles Schwab, www.schwab- worldwide.com/europe; Fidelity, www.fidelity.co.uk; Garrison Investments, www.garrison. co.uk; IFA Online, www.investments-online.co.uk; Interactive Investor PEP Centre, www.iii.co.uk/pep; NetPEP, www.netpep.co.uk; PEPDirect, www.torquilclark-pepdirect. co.uk; TrustNet, www.trustnet.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
News
A poster by Durham Constabulary
news
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine