Richard is 37 and started investing in his pension 10 years ago on the advice of his parents. He would like to retire at 65 with an annual income of £32,000, in addition to a 25 per cent tax-free lump sum. He is currently contributing £400 a month to his pension, of which 3 per cent comes from his employer. "I know this is not enough to hit my investment target," he says. "However, having recently bought an apartment and hopefully clearing some of that debt in the next year, I'm looking to complement my pensions savings with additional savings in an individual savings account (Isa)."
Richard is making use of Aviva's semi-self-invested personal pension (Sipp) retirement investment portfolio. "I would like to get your experts' views on these investment vehicles," he says. "Is it expensive relative to others given its flexibility, and your assessment of potential hidden charges?"
He also wants views on his investment strategy. "I am quite happy investing aggressively in equities, and currently have around 80 per cent of my savings invested in these because bonds offer little value. However, once the current decline in bond prices and distortion of bond prices ends, I would look to start increasing my bond holdings as a defensive buffer.
"I have a strong long-term leaning towards emerging markets, and do not agree that the average equities portfolio should necessarily have a strong leaning towards US or UK equities simply because they have the largest exchanges, large economies and/or are the most familiar."
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