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Keep it simple, stupid - and KISS your PEP worries away.

DON'T worry about your PEP investments, just give them the "kiss" treatment - which stands for Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Stick to a few simple rules when choosing your tax-free personal equity plan and you will reduce your risk, sleep soundly - and should make some money too.

Here are four tips from PEP "kiss" experts Chase de Vere (tel: 0800 526 091):

AIM to invest for at least five years - and ideally longer.

SPREAD your investment across more than one country but don't go too wild or you'll go crazy keeping track of it all.

CHOOSE a global fund with a good balance of UK, European and other countries' shares.

PICK a fund management group whose annual performance is consistently good, as well as its five-year performance.

Best performers over the past five years include PEPs offered by INVESCO, Jupiter and Fidelity. The British have more than pounds 40 BILLION stashed in PEPs - but so far not everyone has made a mint.

If you are not happy with your PEP's growth you can either switch it to a different PEP run by the same managers or transfer your whole PEP to a completely different fund manager.

Everyone over 18 has had the right to put money, or add money, into a PEP each tax year since 1986-87.

This is the last year that you can do this. From next spring you will be able to keep existing PEPs going but any new tax-free investment has to go into an Individual Savings Account (ISA). These will replace both PEPS and tax-free TESSA savings accounts from 1999-2000.

So if you want to salt up to pounds 9,000 away permanently tax-free into shares before April, look lively.

You can narrow the field of choice by consulting Chase de Vere's PEP Guide (see examples below) and twice-yearly updates including performance charts, which cost pounds 12.95 (tel: 0800 526 092).

If you buy a PEP using Chase as a result they will refund your pounds 12.95.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Gunn, Cathy
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jul 26, 1998
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