As investors place their money into the trust their share of the trust is divided into "units" which is proportionate to their contribution — the more you put in, the higher number of units will be allocated to you. This is how the name "unit trust" is derived.
From the above, it can be seen that if any one of the parties were to disappear, close down, be liquidated and so on, the trustee would merely appoint another auditor or management company.
Should the trustee cease to exist, the Master of the High Court would appoint a new trustee on your behalf.
All the while, the investor’s capital remains within the trust itself.
With the safety aspect out the way, let’s review a few pointers:
- Make use of the maximum tax deductible allowance on your contribution.
- Avoid locking yourself into too long a term (ideally, no term but rather have open ended contributions that you can stop/start/reduce/increase at any time without penalties).
- Ensure you invest in an investment fund that serves your required objectives. If you are younger, with a longer time frame, you have the opportunity to take on more "risk" by way of equity exposure. However, be certain your risk tolerance can stomach a bumpier ride.
- Understand what fees and costs you are paying and keep them to a minimum. This does not suggest that cheapest is best, but be sure to pay where you are going to get value.
- Keep disciplined and increase your contributions as your earnings increase.
- Lastly, get advice and ideally a financial plan. The more informed your decision(s) today, the greater your chance of success tomorrow.
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