Read any pension investment prospectus and you’ll most likely be presented with a whole raft of complex arguments as to why you should put your money into a pension scheme. But at the end of the day the requirements of most investors are very simple – pension scheme or no pension scheme they’re looking for a place where their money will grow and be safe for the future.
So, for common sense investors looking for good returns and a safe haven for their money, let’s take in a few simple comparisons between property and a pension scheme:
1.What are you putting your money into?
Pensions: Paper instruments
Property: Bricks and mortar, and land
2.Can you borrow to invest in it and hence benefit from leverage?
3.Is it a tangible investment? Can you see it, touch it, occupy it?
4.Is it an asset?
5.How transparent is the investment process – can you see what is being done with your money?
Pensions: Not very
6.How long do you need to hold it before a return is likely?
Pensions: Minimum 20 years
Property: Minimum 10 years
7.Who pays the ongoing running/management costs?
Pensions: You do
Property: Your tenant does
8. Can you cash in your investment if things change and you want your money back?
Pensions: Difficult/impossible, at least until age 55
Property: Very easy, at any time
9.Does it have a track record of good performance over the decades?
Pensions: Hmm not really
10.How likely is it the Government will meddle, and change the rules to your disadvantage?
Property: Possibly …. but see Question 8
11.Being pessimistic now. If the worst comes to the worst and the economy collapses what will you have to show for your money?
Property: Real land and property you can still sell, rent or use.