Investors Trust Platinum Investment Bond

An independent review by our team of experts.

Review summary

Investors Trust Platinum Investment Bond

Investors Trust

Investors Trust is an international insurance company licensed and regulated by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority.

Investors Trust specialises in the provision of medium to long-term investment-linked products tailored to meet the needs of investors around the world, and delivers a range of flexible, tax-efficient products including regular and single premium annuities, designed to suit various income levels and financial planning needs.

With service offices established to support plan participants around the world but not in the UK, USA or EU, Investors Trust seeks to provide opportunities to its plan participants through access to the global financial markets. 

Investors Trust are not a large company by international standards and given that they are based out of Cayman, with its lack of regulatory enforcement and protection, is a red flag if the company were to suffer any financial set-backs.

Investors Trust Platinum Investment Bond

Investors Trust Platinum Investment Bond is an offshore, lump sum investment policy, issued under Investors Trust’s Cayman Islands insurance license.

Overview

The bonds offer a range of nearly 300 investment funds, including low cost exchange traded funds (ETFs). 

These investment plans are sometimes called baby bonds because they enable clients with smaller amounts of capital, from US$10,000, to invest in a tax efficient offshore structure.

There are 3 versions of Investors Trust’s Platinum Bonds, with charges becoming lower as client premiums increase. 

The charges involved on the basic plan include an administration charge, policy fee and asset management fee.

For those committing over $100,000, there’s just the asset management fee to pay and no lock in.

Basic plans have early surrender penalties if they are encashed during the first 5 years.

Investors Trust say they have a segregated portfolio structure in the Cayman Islands, which gives investors “100% security via an independent third party custodians’ nominee trust account.”

There are 15 free fund switches per annum, further switches can incur a small charge, there are no bid/offer spreads.

You can apply and manage your account online and in multiple languages.

Investors Trust Fixed Platinum Investment Bond Key Features

Open Architecture – The Platinum Investment Bond delivers an open architecture platform which provides significant investment freedom by allowing plan holders to spread and vary their investments across a wide spectrum of asset classes, giving them the power to purchase an almost unlimited array of investments, including Stocks, Bonds, ETFs, Mutual Funds and Structured notes. 

Plan holders have the option to invest by transferring existing investment holdings into their portfolio at no cost, invest with cash or build a portfolio using a combination of both. There is no restriction on the number of investments that can be added to the portfolio.

Discretionary Investment Advisor - a discretionary investment advisor can be appointed to run the portfolio bond. A discretionary investment advisor, when appointed, is responsible for the management of your portfolio including the buying and selling of investments.

Currency Options

The policy can be denominated in one of the following currencies: USD ($), EUR (€) or GBP (£).

Minimums

There are three produce options each with different minimums

Platinum: USD 10,000 / EUR 10,000 / GBP 10,000

Platinum Select: USD 50,000 / EUR 50,000 / GBP 50,000

Platinum Plus: USD 100,000 / EUR 100,000 / GBP 100,000

In addition:

Investors Trust is regulated and licensed by the Cayman’s Islands Monetary Authority.

Advisers with non-EU clients’ predominately use Access Plans. Investors Trust is not licensed in the EU and it would be unlikely to see this product used in the UK or USA, when better, more transparent alternatives are available and investors are protected by more robust regulation.   

Charges

Charges will depend on the type of plan you opt for, as they offer different charging structures largely linked to the amount of commission or earnings being taken by the third party salesman or adviser.

See the FAQ for further information.

Pensions (QROPS and SIPP) 

There is no need to use the Platinum Investment Bond within a QROPS or SIPP, other than to generate more fees and commission for the salesman or adviser.

The pros

  • Popular expat investment plan
  • Preferred choice of expat financial advisers
  • Strong brand of parent company

The cons

  • Risk of hidden commission
  • Potentially inflexible
  • Commonly mis-used
FAQs
What are the fees and charges on the Platinum Investment Bond?

Platinum

Administration Charge = 0.13% monthly (1.6% per annum), years 1 - 5

Policy Fee = USD/EUR 7.00 (GBP 4.5) Monthly

Asset Management Fee = 0.125% monthly (1.5% per annum)

Fund Transfer Fee = free up to 15 thereafter charged

Platinum Select

Administration Charge = 0.4% quarterly (1.6% per annum), years 1 - 5

Policy Fee = NIL

Asset Management Fee = 0.3% quarterly (1.2% per annum)

Fund Transfer Fee - free up to 15 thereafter charged

Platinum Plus

Policy Fee = NIL

Asset Management Fee = 0.125% monthly (1.5% per annum)

Fund Transfer Fee = free up to 15 thereafter charged

Do I have to pay surrender charges on the Platinum Investment Bond?

Sadly yes: -

Platinum = End of year 1 - 6.4%
End of year 2 - 4.8%
End of year 3 - 3.2%
End of year 4 - 1.6%
End of year 5 - 0%

Platinum Select End of year 1 - 6.4%
End of year 2 - 4.8%
End of year 3 - 3.2%
End of year 4 - 1.6%
End of year 5 - 0%

Platinum PlusPlan is free of Surrender charges and can be redeemed at any time you wish. 

But redemptions on a Platinum Plus Plan are subject to an asset management fee of up to 1.5% during the first 12 months.

Customer reviews
Happy with the Platinum Plus

I'm quite happy with the performace and the fee structure so far...

Misrepresented to me...

NOT Investors Trust's fault I'd say - but the FA's who sold - and I mean really hard sold - a Platinum Investment Bond to me as I was sorting all mys pension options and tax. I wanted to consolidate, lost my tax liability and I think the FA saw me coming. Not happy...

Expert verdict
Expert Assessment of Investors Trust's Platinum Investment Bond

Used in the right circumstances, offshore bonds can provide attractive tax benefits.  However, in many instances, they can be mis-used by commission based salespeople to extract high levels of commission.

The product is not regulated in the EU, so should it should not even be contemplated.

The Platinum Investment Bonds are similar to many such products on the marketplace and can be an expensive option in the wrong hands. We believe that they are out-dated products aimed at the commission sales market. 

Another key concern is that this is not a widely regulated product.

Investors Trust is based in a low enforcement regulatory regime, and as a small cell based company, which is unusual, we question would happen if the company got into financial difficulties.

If you already have an Investors Trust Platinum Investment Bond we recommend you have a free, no obligation X-Ray Review™ conducted to give you the information you need to make a decision on the best way forward.

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