Personal Finance: Venture capital trust takes AIM

SINGER & Friedlander is launching an Alternative Investment Market venture capital trust. The AIM VCT will invest in smaller quoted companies and will be run by the team who already manage the highly successful AIM fund. This has outperformed the AIM index by 39 per cent since launch in May 1996. VCTs offer tax breaks to investors willing to take a risk on smaller companies, but this VCT cuts the risk by only investing in quoted firms. The minimum investment is pounds 3,000. Call 0171-292 0825.

Parents with children going to university this month can be sure they are fully insured for the entire three-year course. Campus Insurance from Independent Insurance starts at pounds 79 for three years and also offers rental protection, which will pay out pounds 1,000 toward rent if a student has an accident or becomes too ill to stay in university accommodation. The policy has a pounds 10 excess on claims. Call 01273 477784.

The Alliance & Leicester Money Back credit card is offering a 9.9 per cent interest on balances transferred from other cards. The catch is that this special offer is only valid if you close your previous card. If you don't, the rate is 11.9 per cent APR. The offer will last until the balance is paid off, and all new purchases will be charged at the standard 18.4 per cent. The A&L card pays back 0.5 per cent of everything you spend. Call 0500 838383.