Foresters Friendly Society’s with-profits fund performs well above average, despite tough year for markets

Foresters’ with-profits fund is listed the top performing fund in the small and medium categories with a 5 year return of 5.39 per cent. 

The sixth with-profits survey by Barnett Waddingham, the UK’s leading independent provider of actuarial, administration and consultancy services, found the average annualised fund performance over a five-year period was only 4.48 per cent.

The Barnett Waddingham research covered over £50bn of assets across 41 funds and 23 insurers for the period ending December 31, 2018.

Foresters’ Order Insurance Fund (OIF) is performing well above average throughout a five-year investment period and ranks 5th best-performing fund overall. The fund is also best in class in its medium-sized fund category – funds containing £50-£200m. 

Erik Vynckier, interim CEO of Foresters Friendly Society commented “it’s great to see Foresters’ with-profits fund stand up in what have been extremely difficult conditions this year for returns. At times like this when the market is down, our with-profits policyholders have been protected from the vagaries of a volatile market. An investment return of over 5% over 5 years is an incredibly positive performance, one which we hope to see continue”.

Foresters Friendly Society was named Best Small Insurer at the Insurance Investment Exchange Awards 2019. Foresters were recognised for their work in delivering real value through their investment portfolios and minimising volatility in an increasingly complex environment.  

In June 2019, Foresters began a partnership with AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM) which manages €730 billion (£650 billion) globally. This partnership has allowed the addition of several new assets classes in the alternatives space.  This has helped to give us a unique competitive advantage over similar providers to improve the marketability of our products to new members as well as the returns that can be achieved for our existing members.

Surge in family members saving for children’s education

  • Nearly four in ten (39%) adults are saving money to help the children in their lives cover the cost of higher education
  • More than a third (31%) prioritise saving for their first car & driving lessons
  • 28% are saving to help with deposits on first homes

With Which? revealing more than 8 in 10 families are financially supporting their children while at university [1], Foresters Friendly Society has discovered just how far financial preparations are having to stretch to cover the soaring cost of higher education today.

Indeed, parents are increasingly leaning on the support of their wider family members to shoulder costs, with 39% of relatives helping the children in their lives reach university [2].

What’s more, with new figures from UCAS, the official university admissions body, reporting nearly four in ten (39.5%) of all 18-year olds in England have applied this year [3], up from 38.1% at the same point last year, many families are helping financially to make sure students can make the most of their experience and focus on their studies without significant debt or financial concerns.

And it’s not just education that families are helping with. Learning to drive costs £355 more today than it did 10 years ago [4], with almost a third of relatives (31%) having to fund first cars and lessons.

An additional 28% are saving to be able to help children with the deposit on their first home. In fact, it’s thought it will take most 18-to-24-year-olds a shocking 22 years to save just a 10% deposit to buy a home in Britain [5].

For relatives, saving early to help with major life events has become both a short term and long-term priority.

Erik Vynckier, interim Chief Executive for Foresters Friendly Society, commented: “With the cost of living continuing to rise, it’s clear financial preparation is being shared more readily among relatives, with more adults helping to ensure the children in their lives achieve major life events with minimal stress or difficulty.

If making substantial financial contributions isn’t possible, this approach can be boosted by taking advantage of the range of saving vehicles on offer, ensuring any money saved is working its hardest.

Saving small amounts on a regular basis can quickly become a healthy nest egg.

Opening a savings plan, such as a tax-free Junior ISA, when children are young is a great way to encourage children to engage with money and allow them to see how their savings pot can grow over time with the goal of supporting their future needs”.


[1] www.independent.co.uk – Parents take on second jobs and sacrifice holidays to cover children’s university costs, report suggests

[2] www.independent.co.uk – Parents take on second jobs and sacrifice holidays to cover children’s university costs, report suggests

[3] www.ucas.com – Almost four in ten young people in England apply to university – a new record

[4] www.express.co.uk – Learning to drive costs £355 more today than it did a decade ago

[5] www.telegraph.co.uk – Telegraph’s ultimate guide to buying first home

Methodology

2,000 UK adults were surveyed by Atomik research company, between April to May 2018. 

Holiday money: 6 ways to boost your budget and save in the sun

With weak exchange rates reducing the amount of spending money you’ll get abroad, foreign holidays may just seem a distant dream. But a little forward planning can help make your pound go even further by saving on holiday extras…

1. Bag the Best Exchange Rate

You’ve heard this before, but it’s worth saying again: sort out your currency before your departure date. Currency exchange firms at the airport tend not only to have the worst exchange rates but can also have hefty commission charges too.

BEFORE YOU GO: Use an online comparison service such as MoneySavingExpert’s TravelMoneyMax to track down the best currency deal. If you’re really organised, you could use a prepaid currency card (but check the small print for hidden charges).

2. Avoid a Plastic Meltdown

Foreign usage fees can make using credit and debit cards abroad expensive, adding as much as an extra 2.99% on purchases and 5% on cash withdrawals. Take the right cards and you’ll avoid these fees.

BEFORE YOU GO: Find out more, including which cards have the lowest fees, by using MoneySavingExpert’s Overseas Card Charges Checker.

3. Park Expensive Long-Stay Charges

Again, shopping around can help you cut the cost of airport parking. It’s worth looking for off-site car parks too – most will transport you to and from the airport and some even pick up and drop off your car at the airport.

BEFORE YOU GO: Try Airport Parking Shop to compare deals.

4. Drive Down the Cost of Car Rental

You’ll get the best deals on car hire if you book at least eight weeks before you go – comparison sites (see below) can save you time and effort.

Before signing on the virtual dotted line, make sure you know what’s included in the deal. For example, some car hire firms provide a full tank and ask you to return it empty – this sounds fine in theory, but you’ll probably pay way more than the going rate for your first tank of fuel.

One of the most expensive add-on charges is excess waiver insurance. If you buy this yourself before you go, you’ll save money.

To avoid any disputes over damage to the car, it’s a good idea to take photographs and make a note of any scratches, dents or other signs of damage on the car, then get someone from the rental company to sign it – do the same when you return the car.

BEFORE YOU GO: Try one of these comparison sites to find good rental deals abroad: Carrentals.co.uk, CompareCarHire.co.uk or Kayak

Driving your own car abroad?

Take the time to check your insurance. Some policies limit the number of days you’re covered abroad, or downgrade your cover to third party only. This could cost you dearly if you have a prang while you’re away.

5. Minimise Your Mobile Charges

Thanks to recent mobile roaming price caps, it’ll cost no more than 15p per minute to make a call and 16p per MB of mobile data in any EU country.

EU roaming charges are being phased out, but it’s still possible to run up a hefty mobile bill, especially outside the EU, so check your roaming charges before you go – many mobile operators have roaming bundles that could save you cash.

And if you don’t want to get clobbered at all, switch off data roaming at the airport and find a local hotel or cafe with free Wi-Fi.

6. Protect Yourself Abroad

Whether you’re a thrill seeker or a sun worshipper, travel insurance is essential – no one is immune to unexpected holiday mishaps. So don’t try to save money by missing this off your shopping list, but do shop around for the best deal.

If you’re holidaying in Europe, pack a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). These enable you to access state healthcare free or at a reduced cost in Europe and some insurers insist on them.

BEFORE YOU GO: Apply for an EHIC here and use comparison sites such as Compare the Market, Confused.com, GoCompare.com and MoneySuperMarket.com to find the best travel insurance deals.

This blog is intended to provide information, not financial advice, to help you make an informed decision about savings and investments. We do not offer financial advice. You should contact a financial adviser, who may charge a fee, if you want financial advice.