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BF&M’s Horizon offers simpler way to invest

An insurance company is targeting businesses with a US-designed simpler way to invest for the future.

BF&M launched its Horizon product — which automatically chooses the best investment path for people unsure about investments — last month.

BF&M senior vicc-president Miguel Da Ponte said: “It's been better than expected on the individual side — people like it because they don't have to worry about it.

“From a corporate perspective, businesses have expressed an interest and they are basically going through their fact-finding.”

And he added: “For employers, if an individual can get it, immediately that gives groups comfort because their employees will get it too.”

Mr Da Ponte said: “We like to say it's the plan for the 90 percent — the 90 percent who aren't investment-savvy.”

He added: “People don't understand the old risk models and that might make them reluctant to become investors at all.”

The Horizon plan for long-term savings and pension provision was launched by the island firm in partnership with Hewitt EnnissKnup, a US firm owned by insurance giants Aon.

Scott Fisher, associate partner in Hewitt EnnisKnup explained traditional investment programmes offered choices from “aggressive” to “conservative” which many people found either worrying or hard to understand.

Aggressive investing tends to be suitable for younger people, while older ones who are approaching their financial targets are better lowering their risk by more conservative investing.

Mr Fisher added: “The naming convention works against the people who are sitting looking at the investments. People didn't choose ‘aggressive'because they weren't sure what they were doing.

“And even if they did choose ‘aggressive' they forgot to change it to a more conservative portfolio as they got older. But Horizon is making the decision for you as you age.”

He added: “Groups have to make decisions for all their employees. By definition, it's a comfort to fidicuaries because there is reassurance.”

And he said that plans can be tailored to suit the age ranges in individual companies to make sure that every employee has age-appropriate investments.

Mr Fisher added: “We've put together plans which are suitable for people by age group — and the chance that companies might be accused later on that they have made an ill-considered choice is reduced greatly.”

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Published September 19, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 18, 2013 at 7:49 pm)

BF&M’s Horizon offers simpler way to invest

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