Spotlight: Aberdeen Prolific Monthly Income PEP

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The Independent Online
The deal: Aberdeen Prolific has packaged three of its highest- yielding unit trusts into a single monthly income PEP offering a potential yield of 6.45 per cent.

Included in the three is the Fixed Interest fund, which is currently used for its Corporate Bond PEP. At the moment this yields 7.45 per cent.

Also inside the PEP is the Extra Income fund, which contains a lower proportion of fixed interest securities and yields 3.56 per cent.

Finally, there is the company's Fund of Investment Trusts, which currently yields 8.35 per cent in high-yielding income shares of investment trusts.

The minimum investment is pounds 500 per fund. Initial charges are 4.25 per cent and 1.25 per cent annually.

Plus points: Obtaining a high income from an investment is only one side of the equation.

The aim is also to do this in the context of capital growth, with minimum security. Aberdeen Prolific attempts to meet these criteria by offering a combination which includes both a riskier element (the Extra Income fund) and a lower-risk one (Fixed Interest).

Performance has been good: the fixed interest fund has ranked first on an income-paying basis, returning 37.9 per cent net. Capital returns over five years are also a respectable 31.4 per cent.

The Extra Income fund is top in the UK Equity & Bond Income sector over five years, with returns of 103.7 per cent in the year to the end of May.

Drawbacks and risks: Some experts warn that the high income achieved through corporate bond PEPs, for which the Fixed Interest fund is Aberdeen's underlying trust, may not last in new economic conditions. At the same time, the potential for capital growth offered by the Extra Income fund, which is riskier than others in its sector, may be dented by a declining stock market. Could it be that this is a PEP whose time was yesterday?

Verdict: Good for investors who are in the income and growth market for the longer term and are prepared to ride out any short-term market fluctuations.

Marks out of five: Four.

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