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These are risky investments which give the holder the right to buy a given number of shares in a company at a fixed price at some future date, usually several years ahead.

Whole-of-life insurance

An insurance policy that covers you for your entire life. It is not like term insurance, which only lasts for a set period. Whole-of-life insurance is often sold to elderly people to cover the cost of their funerals.


A way of ensuring your assets go to the people you want to benefit when you die. If you die without a will (intestate) the state will control where your money goes. A simple will drawn up by a solicitor should cost less than £100.

With-profits policies

Investment, life or pension policies which invest in huge with-profits funds run by insurance companies. The return paid on with-profits policies is in the form of a bonus. The size of the bonus is determined by the fund’s actuaries and is not simply the return the fund has made on its investments. Good with-profits funds ‘smooth’ returns in an attempt to even out the ups and downs during good and bad years. Many with-profits funds have not done well in recent years and some are now closed to new investors.

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