Your Investment Options

With Bank of Scotland, you can invest in a wide range of assets from shares to funds, investment trusts and more. Learn more about the investment options we have available, along with details of fees and charges and how you can find the right investment for you.

Please remember that the value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise, and you may get back less than you invest.

How to invest

There are different ways you may choose to manage your investments, find out which investment styles suits you.

Invest with a lump sum or regular instalments?

Features of lump sum investing:

  • Market prices rise and fall over time. By investing with a lump sum your total investment spends more time in the market. As you bought at one price any change in market prices will likely have a greater impact on the value of your investment, particularly in the short run.

Features of regular investments:

  • Investing regularly may help you better smooth out peaks and troughs of your investments as you can spread them over time and buy at different prices. At Bank of Scotland we offer lower online dealing commission of just £2 per trade with a regular investment plan.

Investing for income or accumulation

Some investments return a form of income, this may be from dividends or interest. This income can be treated in two ways. The strategy you decide depends on your investment goals:

  • Accumulation: Boost the value of your investment holdings by reinvesting any potential interest or dividends. Increasing the value of your holding can help increase your potential returns.
  • Income: The potential dividends or interest is paid to you as a form of income and you withdraw this income rather than reinvesting it so you retain the same number of shares or units of funds as before. This allows you to add another source of income.

Investments

Find out what investments we offer and how they work.

Shares

Own part of a company

When you buy a share you buy a very small fraction of a company. Shares usually change hands on a stock exchange with prices varying throughout the day. The price you pay or receive for a share depends on the supply and demand of that particular share.

International shares

Bank of Scotland offers investment options from a host of global markets. This includes direct access to markets in: New York, Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, Amsterdam and Brussels.

Some shares are listed on an overseas market that we do not have direct access to (for example the Japanese market). You may still be able to invest in these shares using a depository receipt. Depository receipts are investments that represent holding a share listed on a different global market. To invest in an overseas share using a depository receipt, just search the name of the company in our research centre using our global search tool.

Before trading US shares

If you are looking to invest in U.S. markets for the first time; you will need to complete a W8-BEN form and the NYSE Subscriber Agreement which can be found on our International Trading page.


Please note, if you are looking to invest in U.S. markets for the first time you will need to complete and return a W8-BEN form (PDF) and the NYSE Subscriber Agreement (PDF).

  • Completing and returning a NYSE subscriber agreement:

    You can use our Web Chat service once you’re signed in, or you can call us on 0345 606 11 88 to agree over the phone. Or you can return it by post using the below address.

  • Completing and returning a W8-BEN form:

    You can email a form to us, or you can return it by post to the below address.

Posting your W8-BEN or NYSE Subscriber Agreement?

Please send your completed forms to:

Customer Services Department
Bank of Scotland Share Dealing Limited
Lovell Park Road
Leeds
LS1 1NS


Key feature:

  • Some shares offer a small payment from company profits (dividend payments). 

You should consider:

  • Shares can be volatile and can be dependant on the health of the economy or other events across the world.

Funds

Own multiple investments

Funds are collective investments where your money and money of other investors is pooled together by professional fund managers and invested on your behalf. Fund prices are set at the end of the day rather than changing throughout the day like shares.

Funds can be actively or passively managed. In an actively managed fund, the fund manager closely watches the investments in the fund with the objective of ensuring that the fund achieves its expected regular income or investment growth, potentially buying and selling investments to help the fund perform.

When a fund is passively managed, a fund manager follows strict guidelines (such as tracking an index) so that the fund’s aim is met. This aim will be to imitate the performance of a certain index, market or commodity.

Investing in sustainable funds

  • Sustainability focussed funds
    Investments are added to the fund when they fulfil certain sustainability criteria and/or successfully provide specific and measurable sustainability results.
  • Impact investment funds
    Investments made with the intention to actively deliver, measurable, positive social and environmental impact whilst achieving a financial return.
  • Environmental Social Governmental (ESG)
    ESG helps judge a company’s approach to issues relating to the environment and society as well as a company’s business practices and code of behaviour.

As there isn’t an industry-wide standard for ethical or environmental funds, we recommend you review a fund’s underlying investments to ensure they meet your own ethical standards before making an investment.

Top fund picks - our Select List

Our Select List makes it easier for you to create your own portfolio with a shortened list of funds. Independently selected by Morningstar you can find our select list in our funds centre.

  • The Select list of funds are based on merit and not on commission.
  • The funds cover a broad range of sectors, risk profiles and fund types, for example; active and index trackers.
  • Morningstar monitor how the Select List funds perform and may suggest to change some of the funds – View historic changes to our select list.

Keep in mind, the inclusion of funds within this list should not be considered a personal recommendation but instead as a helpful aid to your own research.
 

View our select list


Key feature:

  • Funds can hold a variety of assets. This means the risk is spread across lots of different investments.

You should consider:

  • Fund managers may change what investments are held in the fund, these changes may be against your preferences.
     

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

Track markets, indexes and commodities

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Exchange Traded Commodities (ETC) are passively managed funds that invest in the relevant assets to simply mimic the performance of an index (like the FTSE 100 or S&P 500) or a commodity (such as gold or platinum).


Key feature:

  • Charges tend to be much lower as ETFs do not look to outperform indexes or commodities, instead they just track performance. ETFs are also exempt from stamp duty so they can be an efficient way to invest.

You should consider:

  • Because ETFs track the market, in theory the potential returns on offer are not as strong as shares or actively managed funds.
     

Investment Trusts

Companies listed on the stock exchange that hold a range of different assets

An investment trust is similar to a fund as it is a collective investment, but they differ from funds because investment trusts are companies listed on a stock exchange, so when you invest in to an investment trust you have to buy shares. The price of a share in an investment trust is taken from the value of the investments held but also the supply and demand of the shares themselves. This means they can be a little more risky than other collective investments such as funds and ETFs.


Key feature:

  • Investment trusts are traded in real time, like shares. The difference is that investment trusts hold a range of investments. This potentially spreads your risk across different assets like funds do.

You should consider:

  • The actual value of the assets held by the fund may be greater than the price you pay for your share in an investment trust depending on demand.

Bonds and Gilts

Stability and fixed returns

When governments or companies need to raise money (capital) they can try to do this by selling bonds and gilts. With a bond or gilt investors lend money to these governments or companies for a fixed period of time. In return investors receive a fixed rate of interest.


Key feature:

  • Bonds and gilts are seen as relatively low risk investments and can offer regular and predictable income. You can also trade them, so your money is not tied up.

You should consider:

  • The income you receive from bonds and gilts is likely to be low and their value will drop when interest rates rise. Emerging market bonds and corporate bonds tend to be riskier investments than domestic or US bonds.
     

If you wish to invest in bonds and gilts please call us on 0345 606 11 88.

Open an account

If you’re new to investing with Bank of Scotland, we offer a range of accounts to help you get started.

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Your Investment Options | Investing | Bank of Scotland

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.