The stock market's most saving graces

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The Independent Online
PEOPLE wanting to save pounds 50 a month in a stock-market-linked investment should not rush for the first life insurance plan that comes their way, according to Money Management magazine.

The magazine looked at returns from 200 unit trust savings schemes, life insurance Maximum Investment Plans (MIPs) and with-profit endowment policies. Investors were assumed to have saved pounds 50 a month for 10 years.

The best return of all, pounds 18,059, was from Save & Prosper's South-East Asia Growth trust. The average return from a unit trust savings scheme was pounds 10,483.

Among MIPs, the best result of pounds 13,177 came from pounds 50 a month put into a plan invested in the Cannon Lincoln North America fund. But the average performance was pounds 8,818.

A Royal London with-profit endowment topped the tables among this type of plan with a pay-out of pounds 12,300, while the average result was pounds 11,105.

The best UK general unit trust savings plan was M&G's Midland & General, which produced pounds 12,943 over 10 years.

The magazine concludes that MIPs have few advantages over unit trust savings schemes. The real test, says the magazine, will be in comparing regular savings in unit trusts with investment trusts.

No investment trust has had a regular savings plan for 10 year, so it is not possible to make a true comparison.

However, the Independent asked the Association of Investment Trust Companies to produce figures for trusts that have schemes in place now, assuming pounds 50 a month had been saved in the last 10 years.

TR City of London produced a return of pounds 17,874.45, lower than the best unit trust. But the average return on an investment trust was considerably higher than the average unit trust, at pounds 13,097.65. These figures exclude charges, however.