Businessman Alastair Fry, 54, of Oxfordshire, luckily avoided the 2018 pension stock market crash by successfully moving his funds just in the nick of time. He then invested his pension in property. This month he shares his story of how simple it was to get out of the volatility of stocks and shares that he didn’t understand, and into property.
Alastair told us “It could have been so different, I could have had tens of thousands wiped off the value of my pension fund due to the crash late last year. It was formerly managed by a financial advisor; the money was invested in the stock market. I didn’t really understand it all, which I’m told is a familiar story for many people. It was during a business networking meeting that I learned that I didn’t have to wait until I was 55 to invest my pension in property which is an asset class I understand. I made the decision to transfer out immediately. I also discovered that I could invest part of my pension into my own business and so I am in the process of taking some money out of the pension and loaning it to my company. My company will then have a cash injection to help with the day to day running. The key to all of this is that I am in control of my pension funds now, not the financial advisor. I choose what I do and when. The amount of flexibility and control I have gained is incredible.”
“Stocks & shares are a gamble, property is far more predictable”
Just by chance, Alastair managed to avoid the stock market crash of 2018 that saw as much as 40% wiped off the value of UK pension funds. “To say I’m pleased is an understatement, but I must admit it was only by chance – who knows when the market is going to crash? I got lucky and transferred my pension at the right time.
I’ve now invested my pension in property and I’m generating a fixed return. I feel this is much more stable than stocks, which as far as I can see are only a gamble. My advice to others thinking of transferring their pension into property is to get on and do it; much to my surprise, it’s an incredibly straight forward process.
Alastair also reduced his costs substantially by moving his former stock market pension into a Small Self-administered Scheme (SSAS) pension. He now pays a single fixed fee each year rather than a percentage of his fund. “I feel this is much fairer. I pay a fixed fee regardless of the size of my pension. Many people are paying too much for very little in return.”
As he approaches his 55th birthday, his eye is heavily focussed on his 25% tax-free lump sum. “With the help of my new SSAS pension broker, I’ve planned my investment strategy so that I can access my lump sum in a few months’ time. I have personal plans for this money, and it will be paid out to me within a few days of turning 55 – a nice birthday treat indeed.”
If you’re concerned about your pension losing value in the stock market and want to consider property as an alternative then speak to The Landlord’s Pension