Hansard Vantage Platinum II Review
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Fund Access 1.5 / 5
Charges 1.0 / 5
Accessibility 1.0 / 5
- Widely sold and supported by adviser community
- Offers some tax protection in certain jurisdictions
- If kept running to original planned term then may promote savings concept
- No flexibility of full withdrawal or full access in the early years without penalty
- Many countries do not recognise any tax concessions
- Commission wipes out all initial investments made making this an extremely expensive option
- Does not provide full access to lowest cost funds and passive trackers
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Based in the Isle of Man, founded in 1987, part of Hansard Global. Listed on London Stock Exchange since 2006.
Over 1 billion USD under management with over 40,000 clients with a worldwide following. However, being listed in London does not make it regulated in the UK and USA, be careful as this review is only about the Vantage Platinum II which is not available in many regulated territories.
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|Policy Currency: The Hansard Vantage Platinum II may be denominated in US dollar, GB pound, Hong Kong dollar, Japanese yen or Euro. Benefits will be paid in the plan currency.
|Why choose the Hansard Vantage Platinum II: Over 170 international funds available with access to outside equities, bonds and collectives at greater cost.
|Hansard Vantage Platinum II promotion: What does Hansard write about their own Hansard Vantage Platinum II? Whatever you plan for your future, you will need financial resources available at the right time to be able to achieve the things you want. Vision is a regular premium investment solution that is designed to meet your changing needs throughout your life.So, if you are interested in building a brighter future for you and your family, look no further than than the Hansard Vantage Platinum II.
|Eligibility: Hansard Vantage Platinum II is a regular premium, whole of life, life assurance contract issued by Hansard. It is available to most international investors outside of main regulated territories such as the UK, the U.S.A. and Australia.
|Minimums: £325 per month ( or equivalent currency)
|Charges: 1.5% per year for accumulator, initial and bonus units (reflected in the quoted unit price).
Initial units are subject to an additional charge of 5.5% per year (reflected in the quoted unit price).
Bonus units provided on anniversary or at commencement depending on term, but they are removed if you access money earlier than original term (put another way, you only get them at the end)
In summary, Initial Units incur additional charges at commencement, and then throughout the term and may be worthless if you cancel the policy early.
Administration charge: GBP 5.00 – 10.00 per month.
Are charges explicit: By explicit, it means that it is clear to see not only the charges for taking out the plan but also the cost of funds annually, any upfront fund costs, penalties on access, etc. Yes, in the main the Hansard Vantage Platinum II charges are clearly shown and any professional should be able to interpret them. We have had feedback from clients though that they find it extremely difficult to interpret charges such as how any early access penalties would be calculated.
|Surrender of the Hansard Vantage Platinum II: A partial surrender on your Hansard Vantage Platinum II may be treated as a one-off withdrawal. Further details on how it is treated is available in the relevant brochure. A full encashment results in penalties being applied through surrender charges linked to the term of the policy. In effect this means that on polices with an original term of more than 15 years most, if not all, of the first circa 18 months premiums are lost upon surrender, or put another way, 100% of all initial and bonus units are forfeited on surrender. It is important to be aware that the Hansard Vantage Platinum II is a long term savings plan, if you decided to cancel the plan early you could lose a large proportion of the money you have saved, we have heard that as much as 50% of the value of the plan value can be lost by surrendering the Hansard Vantage Platinum II early.
Quick Summary from TailorMade
We like Hansard as a company, but we do not rate the Hansard Vantage Platinum II highly. We have had several clients who have had one come and report then they were recommended to take the plans out for longer periods to attract bonus even when the adviser knew that the client wanted the money in 5 years. It is not the fault of Hansard, of course, but the fault of the adviser that wanted more commission from the sale. However, the adviser is selling the idea of the bonus obtained on taking out the plan term for longer when not correctly informing the client that the initial unit period will be longer and the bonus will be lost when accessed early. The salesman promoting this get paid proportionally more money for “selling” longer plans to clients.
In summary, Initial Units incur additional charges at commencement, and then throughout the term of the plan and may be worthless if you cancel the policy early. These charges are around 7% per annum.
Ultimately, the Hansard Vantage Platinum II is an expensive option when compared with a pure platform plan. The standard Hansard funds have high ongoing fees when directly compared to platform or direct offerings from fund houses via the UK or the USA.
There is no doubt that a Hansard Vantage Platinum II will do exactly what it says it will do if held to maturity, but any attempt to take proceeds early in the plans life, or make it paid up, will result in access penalties or higher charges on the remaining invested funds, or both.
However, some people require help when making disciplined decisions and will welcome the fact that a plan is written to a set target date and cannot be accessed; some people wish to deliberately lock-up their funds. Therefore, potential investors have to weigh up the benefits of locking up their investments and not having the flexibility to access their investment earlier without surrender charges applied.
We think there are other better options available though.
NOTE: The Hansard Vantage Platinum II provides the option of lump sum commission to its distributors ( in the industry this is called indemnified or up-front commission) and it has a successful network of distributing agents throughout the world excluding the main regulated territories. Not all distributing agents have regulation or financial qualifications and may not be aware of the other saving plan options available.
WARNING: Costs and information is correct as of July 2016. Please refer to a brochure from the company for current up to date information and any changes on costs or information. You should not buy based purely on information contained within this article and EME do not accept liability for purchases. If you have any doubts then please speak with your financial adviser or a representative of the company for further advice.
If the provider improves or amends its terms then EME would like to hear from them to amend the review page accordingly, and providers are encouraged to comment on errors or omissions to ensure that readers have the latest and correct information.
You can view the details of the Hansard Vantage Platinum 2 and other plans here at an independent website.
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