You can trade shares on seven world markets from London to New York, Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, Amsterdam and Brussels.
Investing in funds gives you cost effective exposure to a much wider range of investments than you would be able to obtain as an individual. Spreading your money between different sectors, indices or geographical locations can help to reduce the risk involved in stock market investing.
Investment Trusts are companies that invest in the shares of other companies on behalf of investors. Investors' money is taken and pooled together by a professional fund manager who will then purchase stocks and shares in a wide variety of companies.
Exchange Traded Funds, or ETFs, are pooled funds that are traded on the stock exchanges around the world in exactly the same way as stocks and shares.
Bonds & Gilts
Issuing bonds and gilts is a way for companies or governments to raise capital. By investing in a bond or gilt, you are lending money to a company or government for a fixed period in return for a fixed rate of interest, although this can vary depending on the bond or gilt. They carry a nominal value that will be paid back to the holder on a stated date (the Redemption Date).
What are the risks with bonds and gilts?
Traded on the open market, bond and gilt prices are constantly changing. A company or government’s stability can affect the price so, while safer than equities, bonds and gilts carry an element of risk and you may lose some (or all) of your initial investment.
Bonds and gilts are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and repayment of bonds is not guaranteed if a company fails. Economic factors can affect the market price and if interest rates rise, the capital value of the asset will fall – this is known as capital erosion.
Trading bonds and gilts
Preference shares are a class of share which pay a fixed rate of dividend. An investor won’t benefit from any increases in a company's profits as their dividends are fixed - similarly they would be protected if a company’s profits fell.
Bank of Scotland Share Dealing Service is operated by Halifax Share Dealing Limited. Halifax Share Dealing Limited. Registered in England and Wales no. 3195646. Registered Office: Trinity Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 2RG. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, 12 Endeavour Square, London, E20 1JN under registration number 183332. A Member of the London Stock Exchange and an HM Revenue & Customs Approved ISA Manager.