Guide to structured investments

Structured investments are complex investment products that expose your capital and returns to investment risk in pursuit of returns. This product should not be confused with structured deposits, a capital protected product.

Typically structured investment plans require a commitment of between three and six years.

What are structured investments?

A structured investment involves giving up access to your capital for a set period, in pursuit of returns.

Typically a structured investment plan is made up of two underlying investments: one that aims to protect your original capital, and the other that aims to generate returns. The returns you receive will depend on the performance of the underlying investments, and your capital is not guaranteed – if the investments perform badly, you could use some or all of your investment.

Structured investments are sometimes referred to as structured Cash ISAs, growth deposit plans, guaranteed capital plans, guaranteed equity bonds, guaranteed stock market bonds, protected investment funds or guaranteed income bonds.

Remember that the word 'guaranteed' doesn't mean that you are guaranteed to get anything back; you are guaranteed returns only if the investments perform as intended. Some providers may guarantee your capital, but even then fees and charges could mean that you get back less than you put in if the investment performs badly.

Choosing a structured investment

Structured investments will vary between providers, so it's important to compare carefully before you commit your capital. Some structured investments will aim to generate a regular income, while others will focus on capital growth – meaning that you won't receive any potential returns until the end of the term.

Always make sure that you understand all the terms and conditions of a product before you proceed, and consult a financial adviser if you're unsure about an investment.

Alternatives to structured investments

Structured investments can be complex and involve significant risk. For more information on alternative to structured investments read our guide to investing for beginners or speak to a financial adviser.

Last updated: 04 June 2015