What does a counterparty do?
The safety of your original capital depends on the ability of the counterparty (the institution providing the underlying assets, rather than the product provider) to repay your investment at the end of the term. You can assess the strength of a counterparty, and therefore the relative risk to your investment, by comparing their credit rating score, from AAA to D, using a credit rating agency such as Standard & Poor's (www.standardandpoors.com) or Fitch (www.fitchratings.com).
Structured investment products do vary, but some common advantages include:
- Some or part capital protection
- Stock market linked
- Can be used in an ISA or SIPP or as a direct investment
However, structured investment products have their disadvantages too:
- You cannot invest regularly
- Returns are not guaranteed
- They do not allow for instant access
So, if you want to know more and to compare specific structured investment products, see our comparison table.