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In April 2015, Aviva purchased the Friends Life group of companies.
No, your Friends Life products remain with Friends Life and your Terms and Conditions remain unchanged. If you decide to transfer to a different product, there may be charges depending on your plan. To find out if these could apply to you, contact us. Remember that any product you transfer to may have different Terms and Conditions to your existing plan and the benefits may be different to those you are currently entitled to.
If I have a query, or want to make changes to my Friends Life policy, should I call Friends Life or Aviva?
Right now, you should contact Friends Life in exactly the same way as you did before. Your existing contact numbers, postal addresses and email addresses are still the same.
Yes - Aviva is the UK’s largest insurer and as you might expect, offer a wide range of products, including a range of healthcare and general insurance products.
There's plenty of information about Aviva, our heritage and our values, at www.aviva.com. We think you'll find Friends Life and Aviva have lots in common! We have also created a website which explains more about what being part of the Aviva group means to you.
How do I contact you?
There are many different ways to get in touch. Simply visit our ‘contact us’ page where you’ll find all the details you’ll need to call, email or write to us.
Please take a moment to ensure you’re contacting the most appropriate team for your query. That way, we can get you talking to the right people sooner.
In most cases, you can check the value of your policy online. You’ll need to register first, but once you have, you can log in and check your policy whenever you want to.
You can also call us for a valuation over the phone. If you choose to access your policy online, please use the appropriate form for your policy from the options on our Contact us page.
Check the value of your policy online
You can update your contact details online, by calling or writing to us.
If you choose to update your details online, please use the appropriate form for your policy from the options on our Contact us page. Please provide your policy number where required and answer both security questions, that way, we can deal with your request sooner.
Funds and individual equities and bonds can have Sedol, ISIN and MEXID codes. These are used to uniquely identify each fund or security (equity/bond) for trading and reporting purposes.
- SEDOL stands for Stock Exchange Daily Official List.
- ISIN stands for International Securities Identifier Number.
- MEXID is used by the Financial Times to give a unique ID to each fund.
A Unit Trust is a collective investment scheme in the form of a trust in which the trustee is the legal owner of the underlying assets and the unit holders are the beneficial owners.
Investors pay money into the trust in exchange for units. The money is invested in to a diversified portfolio of assets, usually consisting of shares or bonds. The value of which will go up and down depending on the value of the underlying assets.
Unit trusts are intended to be held for the medium to long term (five years to ten or more) with the aim of providing income, capital growth or a combination of both. They are available through financial advisers or to purchase directly from financial institutions or on the internet.
Investments (or investing) is a collective term used to describe a range of financial products such as pensions, unit trusts, and investment bonds. These are often designed to meet a specific objective, for example to provide an income in retirement or to increase in value. Investments may also include physical items such as art, wine, classic cars or property.
A "fund" is a collective investment that can invest in a number of underlying assets through a number of legally established entities such as OIECS (Open-Ended Investment Companies), Unit Trusts and Investment Trusts. These have different investment objectives and styles. Fund managers manage the underlying investment portfolio to a clearly stated objective.
People generally invest in a fund to achieve a financial objective.This could be either creating a steady income, making capital growth, or a combination of both.
Depending on where you invest your money, your return could be paid in a number of different ways:
- interest (from cash deposits and fixed interest securities i.e. bonds)
- dividends (from equity shares)
- rent (from properties)
- profit made if your selling price is higher than your purchase price.
If your selling price is lower than your purchase price, you will make a loss. Don't forget, interest, dividends, rental income and profit may all be subject to taxation.
In general, you’ll get lower returns from your investments if you want:
- easy access to your money
- a secure guarantee that you’ll get it all back.
When we refer to savings, we are generally talking about places where you can put your money which are reasonably secure and often pay you a certain amount of interest. These include:
- Deposit accounts
- Cash ISAs (individual savings accounts)
- Deposit based products such as Direct Saver from National Savings and Investment
When we talk about investments (or investing), we are usually referring to places where you can put your money which have exposure to stocks and bond markets. These include:
- Collective investments such as unit trusts and stocks & shares ISAs
- Structured Products
- Investment Bonds. Investments vary in their level of risk and their value can go down as well as up. It is possible to get back less than you pay in. Before making an investment, it may be worth checking that it is suitable for your needs by speaking to a financial adviser.
Friends Life categorises a fund’s risk level by taking account of the volatility of the types of asset in which it invests. Volatility means the ups and downs in an investment’s value over a period of time.
Using volatility as a measure helps to show the risks and potential reward associated with each of our funds and the types of assets they may hold. See our risk information page for more information
There are two basic styles of investing that fund managers use to meet their fund objectives: active or passive fund management.
An actively managed fund is run with the aim of outperforming a specified benchmark. Its fund managers make judgements about market movements to buy or sell various asset classes (i.e. equities, bonds, property & cash). Active fund managers undertake extensive research and analyse companies to try and identify which investments may be undervalued and therefore invest in them. Alternatively, fund managers can take advantage of opportunities based on timing, for example selling an investment when prices are high and buying when prices are low. Active fund managers tend to charge higher fees for active investment management simply because there is significant amount of research work and judgement involved in making selection and timing decisions as well as the cost of trading shares.
Passively managed funds rely only on market movements and aim to achieve a return that replicates the average market return for a particular index, such as the FTSE 100 index. These types of investments are managed within their specified index on the basis of their weighting within that index. This means that a passive manager is not making the same sorts of decisions about timing or selection of investments as an active manager. Instead, they use the index as a guide to how assets should be invested. Passive managers tend to charge lower fees than active managers as the level of research and decsion making is less. This is because investment decisions are linked directly with the index and generally the shares are traded less frequently.
There are no guarantees with either active or passive fund management styles and there are advantages and disadvantages to both of them.
A share is one of the equal parts into which a company's capital is divided, which entitles the owner to a proportion of the profit. Shares may go down as well as up in value and you could get back less than you invest.
A unit is an equal part of a combination of shares packaged together and sold as one.
A fund manager's role is to manage the fund's portfolio and make investment decisions which ensure that the fund's performance meets its aims and objectives on behalf of its customers.
An Open Ended Investment Company (OEIC) is a type of company or fund designed to invest in other companies and which is able to constantly adjust its investment criteria (for example focussing on income or growth) and its fund size by issuing or eliminating shares. Issue shares brings money into the fund whereas eliminating shares means paying money out from the fund. Unlike equity shares or unit trusts, buyers and sellers receive the same price for shares bought or sold.
Risk quantifies the amount of wealth (in percentage terms) that an investor could potentially lose in a year. It therefore plays a crucial role in the management of an investment fund, but also for individual investors who must decide how much risk they are prepared to take with their investments.
The higher the amount of risk an investor takes, the greater the potential for higher returns, but also the potential for higher losses. Factors such as age, the reason for investing - namely for retirement or to pay for education fees, as well as the amount of money being invested, will all influence the amount of risk investors are prepared to take when investing. There are also factors which are very personal to you that you need to take into account. One is exactly how much you can afford to invest (or looked at the other way, what you could afford to lose) and the other is your own attitude to risk, specifically investment risk over the period of time you want to invest.
Capacity for loss
When you are considering whether to invest your money, you need to think about your overall amount of capital and make sure that it is sensibly spread out according to your personal situation. You need to ensure any money you invest you can realistically afford to risk. This amount is known as your ‘capacity for loss’ and depends on factors such as your overall wealth, your goals and objectives, and how willing you are to ‘tie up’ your money for a specific period of time.
Alongside the purely financial side of this are your personal feelings about the potential for losing some of your capital. If the thought of that worries you significantly, you may feel that a cash-based investment would be more suitable for you.
Attitude to risk
Different people view investment risk in different ways. Everyone will have their own attitude to risk, whether you are naturally cautious, or more willing to expose your capital to potential loss to increase the chance of a higher return."