Customers who want their savings to go a little further may want to consider looking into investments. This is for those who already have their emergency savings safely tucked away in a guaranteed account, and now merely wish to expand their portfolio. Customers have access to various risk classes and assets, which open the doors to wealth creation. Bank of Ireland Investments allows customers a glimpse into the wide world of investing, with the help of salted investment specialists. This review takes a look at how these products compare on a global scale.
Customers can also take a look at the Bank of Ireland Financial Planning division review here.
A Brief History of the Bank of Ireland
When it opened its doors in 1783, the Bank of Ireland served its customers from St Mary’s Abbey in Dublin. With an increase in the demand for these types of services, it was only natural that the bank would expand. By 1920, the bank was sitting on a wealth of 75 branches, which services many of Ireland’s citizens. It is no wonder that the bank is still very much ingrained into the Irish economy.
Expansion efforts and the rebuilding of the economy after both World Wars took up a large part of the 1900s. It was also during this time that the bank experienced massive bursts in product growth thanks to technological advancements.
The 2008 mortgage scandal left its mark on the Bank of Ireland, along with thousands of financial institutions across the world. The bank was forced to seek assistance from government, and € 3.5 billion later, the bank managed to stabilize its liquidity once again. Currently, the bank is focusing on increasing profits while delivering world-class service to its customers.
For a full review on Bank of Ireland, read here.
Key Things to Consider Where Investments Are Concerned According to Bank of Ireland
According to the Bank of Ireland’s website, there are two things that future investors need to consider before they sign up for financial products.
- The first is the period during which customers would like to access their funds. If this is within the next 5 years, customers should consider putting their funds into something a little more guaranteed. For periods longer than 5 years, investments can be considered.
- The second factor customers need to consider, is the level of risk they are comfortable with. If they are not comfortable with any risk, savings accounts should be considered as all investments carry a certain level of risk. The general rule is that the higher the potential of return, the higher the risk.
There are 7 risk categories:
- Very low Risk
- Low Risk
- Low to Medium Risk
- Medium Risk
- Medium to High Risk
- High Risk
- Very High Risk
Major Investment Asset Classes
This is the asset class that covers company stocks and shares. Furthermore, customers will benefit from a strong performance over the medium to long term.
Investors have the opportunity to invest their funds in the commercial property market. These offer fluctuating returns. Also, the majority of the properties are based in Ireland, UK, and mainland Europe.
Fixed Interest Bonds
These often provide customers with a secure income. Furthermore, the value doesn’t often fluctuate as often as equities.
Of all the investment classes, cash is often the least volatile form or investments. It also tends to provide the lowest growth over the long-term.
Bank of Ireland Investment Funds Product Offerings
Very Low Risk
This type of fund is suitable for investors who wish to preserve their capital above all else. Furthermore, these are designed for those who wish to invest for the short-term. Customers should know that long-term investment in these funds may not produce results that beat inflation, which means the product charges could eat into the capital.
- Cash Fund
Those who prefer no risk at all should consider the savings products Bank of Ireland. Read more here.
This type of investment performs at the same level, or slightly better than deposits at a branch level. With this type of investment, investors enjoy low risk to their capital, however, the conditions need to be met. These investments can also provide customers with some form of a promise of a return.
Low to Medium Risk
These investment types offer customers the potential for returns in excess of deposit. However, customers don’t have a promise of minimum return at any point. Furthermore, this investment type invests in a range of assets such as government bonds and investment grade corporate bonds. There is also a slight mix of higher risk assets such as equities, property, and alternatives. Customers enjoy a slightly less volatile market fluctuations. This investment does carry higher risk and investors may have less than what they started with.
- Elements Fund
- iFunds 3
- BNY Mellon Absolute Return Bond Fund
Medium Risk Funds
This investments risk class has the potential to earn a greater return, however, does not provide a minimum return at any time during the investment. It includes a mixture of lower risk assets and higher risk ones. Although customers may experience fewer market fluctuations, they may lose some of their capital in these investments.
- BNY Mellon Global Real Return Fund
- Elements Alpha Fund
- Gilt Fund
- Insight Broad Opportunities Fund
- iFunds 4
- Income and Growth Fund
- Protected Assets
Medium to High Risk
Investments in this class offer the potential for higher returns, which tend to outperform deposits and inflation. These investments are spread over equities, property, and alternatives. Smaller amounts are in lower-risk assets. There is some risk in this investment type, which could see investors lose some of their capital during the market fluctuations.
- Balanced Managed Fund
- Ethical Managed Fund
- Evergreen Fund
- iFunds 5
- Davy Defensive High Yield Fund
- KBI Pension Managed Fund
- Pension Passive Multi-Asset Fund
- Pension Managed Fund
- Trilogy II
This risk class offers the potential for higher returns, however, the risk is much higher as well. This investment type is not as concerned with the risk as with the opportunity to get higher returns. Investments in this category consist almost of one asset class. It could also be concentrated in one region or sector. Due to high risk of the investment, market fluctuations could affect the return significantly. Therefore, investors could end up with far less than originally invested.
- International Equity Fund
- Ethical Equity
- Property Fund
- Global Emerging Markets Fund
- Water Fund
- Global Equity Fund / Pension Equity Fund
- Indexed All Equity
- Alternative Energy
- Indexed Funds: Eurozone Equity Indexed Fund, UK Equity Indexed Fund, Technology Indexed Fund, Japanese Equity Indexed Fund, North American Equity Indexed Fund
- Regional Equity Funds: Euroland Equity Fund, European Equity Fund, North American Equity, Asia Pacific Equity Fund
- iFunds Equities
- World Index Fund (hedged) and World Index Fund (unhedged)
Very High Risk
This risk class is only aimed at investors who are in a position to recover from a loss should the market conditions change to no longer be in their favor. This investment class carries a significant amount of risk, but also carries the potential of exceptional returns for investors. This type of investment could see investors lose part or all of the funds originally invested.
- Davy Geared High Yield
- Irish Equity
What We Like About Bank of Ireland Investments
Customers who have the desire to build their wealth and expand their financial portfolios have access to incredible financial opportunities. As a financial institution, the Bank of Ireland is eager to educate their customers on the various investments.
Furthermore, customers are also made aware of the risk associated with investments. There is also a clear indication of the time frame customers should expect to invest their money for.
Finally, these products offer clients access to some of the best investment funds on the market. These funds are carefully managed by investment fund managers who select the various assets that make up the fund. These are also monitored by them, and customers have peace of mind that specialists are at work.
What We Don’t Like About Bank of Ireland Investments
The investments options are limited to fund selections in the various risk classes. In order to diversify a wealth portfolio, customers should have exposure to other types of investments as well, such as shares and stocks. A good addition is also foreign exchange investments.
Critical Reviews Rating Bank of Ireland Investments – 8 of 10
The investment funds on offer are perfect for those who wish to increase their wealth portfolio. Those who wish to up their risk slightly have the very low-risk classes to choose from. Those who want a maximum return and do not worry about the risk, have the very high-risk funds to consider. This allows customers the freedom to allow as much risk into their investments as they can comfortably stomach. Also, the bank educates potential investors on the risks involved in these investments, as well as the term they should consider investing in the various asset classes.
There is only one thing the bank should do to up their game among global competitors. This is to increase the options available for investment that extends beyond just the ordinary asset classes. This will allow customers to keep all their investments in-house, however, their risk is spread.
We also did a review on the investments on offer at Deutsche Bank. Read more about that here.