Host: Hello and welcome to the chat. Claudia is just settling in ready to take your questions.

13:00 Claudia Philips:
Hello everybody - welcome to my first webchat. I look forward to answering your questions!
Terry Strevens: Hi Claudia, how do you start dealing online?

13:00 Claudia Philips:
Terry it is really easy, pick a provider, you can do this by checking many of the broker comparison sites that are available, you can google these, and then all you need to do is register with them, providing you pass all the necessary money laundering and credit checks you will be sent an access code and then you will be up and running. Of course we offer a great online dealing service so please have a look for yourself and you will also find us on many broker comparison tables. Luckily we begin with ‘A’ so will appear at the top if in alphabetical order!
Rogue Trader (sorry had to use the name!): What are the benefits of managing your shares online?

13:01 Claudia Philips:
For me the key benefit is that you as the customer are in the driving seat and you can buy and sell shares whenever you want and wherever you are. Most providers now offer all encompassing services on one platform with complementary products that provide customers with a one stop shop. Take ours for instance we offer a full range of facilities across the product range, PEP, ISA, SIPP share dealing that enables customers to manage their finances and those of their family in one place in a time saving and cost efficient manner.
webuser: How regularly should i check my portfolio?

13:02 Claudia Philips:
As regularly as you need to depending on your investment strategy. Obviously day traders will check more than once a day and regular month subscribers may only check once a month.
G.Bower: If Scotland declares
independance will you
still be regulated by the
FSA? I doubt it.

13:03 Claudia Philips:
Yes, we will continue to be regulated by the FSA as we operate across the UK.
Jitesh Shah: Why are some the Shares listed on LSE AIM Market not availaible for Dealing online in a stakeholder pension plan - Recent Examples - MXP, JR.
How many other shares are like that which are no availiable unless there is a request for it?
How can you approve of this particular approach?

13:06 Claudia Philips:
All AIM stocks are eligible however it is up to the individual provider of a pension plan which stocks they will allow to be invested in their products.
Roger: If I wish to take income from my dividends rahter than reinvesting them what is the best way to do this?

13:09 Claudia Philips:
If you already have a share dealing account your existing provider we’ll allow you to switch from taking the income to investing the dividend. If you use the Alliance Trust online share dealing service we offer you the flexibility to redirect your income in a number of ways and you can even elect to have your dividend income received from stock ABC to stock XYZ automatically.
Jocelyn Jones: How wise an investment are ETFs?

13:10 Claudia Philips:
Unfortunately, i am unable to give specific advice on this, however I can say that ETFs do not attract stamp duty. If you do wish to invest in an ETF you will find that Alliance Trust offers this within our share dealing service..
Alastair Milne: Will I get as good a price placing an order when the market is closed as I would placing it during market hours? I have heard that orders being processed automatically early in the day can be priced erratically. Thanks.

13:12 Claudia Philips:
As soon as the market opens the next day or a Monday if you have placed your instruction at the week-end it will be sent to be traded and will be traded at the best price available at the time of trading.
Pauline Linford: Hi Claudia - How do I buy Gov Stocks online - I always get put back to the telephone.

13:13 Claudia Philips:
At the moment, this is the case. We are however looking at linking up automatically with some providers who will give us the ability to offer this to our customers. We hope to have this live by the end of the year.
Andrew Loftus: I have just read you response to Kocelyn - this is not true I cannot purchase the ETF I want !!!! - please help me.

13:15 Claudia Philips:
Andrew, it sounds like this particularlissue is specific to you and the particular ETF you are trading in. If you are a customer of Alliance Trust share dealing service, please contact our customer service team on 01382 573737.
Neil: Is there a limit to how much I can invest online?

13:16 Claudia Philips:
Most providers do not impose a maximum limit to which you can invest but market makers may impose a maximum number of shares you can buy or sell in one trade depending on the stock you are trading in. This could be due to the size, liquidity etc, technical term/jargon is referred to as dealing outside normal market size (NMS).
Hugh: What about transaction costs. What basis should I use for estimating these? Presumably costs vary with different types of transaction. And what about the paperwork? How do I keep up to date on my records of what I no longer own and what I now have title to? These are factors that keep me from seriously considering becoming an active trader.

13:17 Claudia Philips:
Hi's worth noting that transaction costs vary from provider to provider. Most online share dealing providers now offer a flat rate commission charge and some will charge an annual management fee for some of their products. With regards to monitoring paperwork, you can keep up-to-date 24 hours a day via your online account - and this will show you your entire trading history. Good luck with your future trading!
Paul Atherton: What are the risks with online share dealing?

13:20 Claudia Philips:
Hi Paul. The risks are no different to if you were share dealing over the telephone in fact the risk is probably less as it is immediate and in most cases if you are trading during market hours you will know the price at which you have traded as soon as you submit the instruction. As always there is risk involved when dealing in shares in that they can go down as well as up!
Dennis: Balaced portfolio's are often talked about. what in your view would be a well balanced portfolio.

13:21 Claudia Philips:
In general terms, one should look to hold blue-chip and funds and an element of cash, and should also think about one's investment objectives, risk-profile and income and growth requirements before they invest. I should caveat this, Dennis, by saying these are my own personal views and other people's views may well vary!
Anon: I am really dubious about doing this sort of thing online – is it safe/ am I protected?

13:22 Claudia Philips:
Absolutely all reputable providers will offer security guarantees and will use state of the art technology to ensure that customers are always protected.
alan: I have 50 grand free for investment any suggestions?

13:23 Claudia Philips:
Lucky you Alan! You can, of course, give it to me! But seriously, if you are really unsure what to do with it, you should seek independent financial advice. If you visit our website you will find our 'Find an IFA' search tool and you can find someone close to where you live or work.
Gordon: Can I still get my money from my O2 shares as I've mislaid my share cert!

13:25 Claudia Philips:
Gordon, you will need to contact the registrar. I believe it is Lloyds, but we will check that for you now and confirm in a few minutes if you stay with us!
Dave Hughes: Can I trade when the market is closed? How does that work?

13:27 Claudia Philips:
Yes is the answer. Most online share dealing providers now offer the facility to place a trade outside of market hours. The term is commonly known as placing a delayed trade.

Basically if you place a trade before between 4.31pm-7.59am week day then your instruction will be placed in the market at the time or just after the market opens at 8.00am.

If you place a trade after 4.30pm on Friday and before .8.00am on Monday (if Bank holiday then the following day) your trade will be placed as soon as the market opens on the Monday morning.
Nick Dobson: As of 5/4/08, will ISAs and PEPs held by one individual get merged automatically into a single ISA, or does this have to be requested?


Nick Dobson

13:30 Claudia Philips:
Nick, if you have your PEP and ISA with the same provider your PEP will automatically become an ISA. We understand that regulations are due in July or thereabouts and more details will be available then. If you are an Alliance Trust customer, we will write to you to inform you of what is happening on this front.
Steve Gray: What types of investments can I buy and sell online?

13:30 Claudia Philips:
There is an enormous choice to pick from services offered can range from UK equities only too the facility to buy overseas stocks to the funds supermarket.
Nick Boon: Can I set up regular investments and is this a good idea or should I only invest when I identify specific opportunities?

13:33 Claudia Philips:
Most services offer a regular subscription facility our service gives the option of regular/ad hoc or both. It is down to the individual and their own investment strategy some investors who are investing for the longer term will set up regular investment so they can build up a portfolio of shares over time and take advantage of pound cost averaging.
kathleen moores: is all interest generated from uninvested cash held in a stocks and shares isa subject to tax?

13:35 Claudia Philips:
Any univested cash in a stock and shares ISA is subject to a deduction of 20%. However, this is not called 'tax'.
Graham: At the moment, up to 5 weeks may elapse between you receiving a client's dividend and the dividend reaching the client's bank account (unless a cheque is requested, which still takes time, and costs more). Do you have any plans for expediting this process please?

13:35 Claudia Philips:
This process is the way it is because there are a number of parties involved in the issuing of dividends. - from initially when the company agrees the dividend, to when they pay it, to when it is then apportioned to the relevant provider, reconciled and then subsequently credited to the individual customer.
Maureen Hogarth: I have a savings plan and would like to have £7k transferred into an ISA. What instructions must I give?

13:37 Claudia Philips:
Hi Maureen, generally this is easy to do. So I suggest we take this offline visit and see the Contact Us section and drop me an email.
kenneth j macdonald: why cant i say when selling sell all and buy to that limit rather than specify amounts when i dont know the amount i can buy precisely as i dont have a final share price?

13:38 Claudia Philips:
Hi Kenneth I am not sure I understand your question. Do you mean that when you are placing a sell all order, why cant you specify ‘all’ rather than an amount? and then if you are reinvesting the proceeds why you cannot specify this? If so the sell all feature will be added this year and on the purchase side there is a facility to specify ‘invest sale proceeds only’. Again, I suggest we take this offline visit and see the Contact Us section.
Steve Heywood: Buying isn't so much the problem, it's when to sell. If a share dives, it's tempting to sell, but often the share has reacted to the usual short-term analyst views and rebounds soon afterwards. For the private investor, who can't spend all day studying movement in prices, it's very difficult to judge whether to stick with a share or sell. Do you have any advice?

13:39 Claudia Philips:
Hi Steve, I can’t give you any direct advice but this sort of situation you have described is precisely where the benefit of online share dealing comes in. There are many providers, ourselves included with our trading centre, who offer investors the flexibility to set up their own trading parameters ie leave a limit, set your own expiry date, set up a stop loss etc to protect you from the sharp rises and falls.
Roger Chatters: Preference Shares:

How can I find out if a preference share with a 7% coupon will return an annual dividend of 7% plus an "extra" 10% tax credit, or whether it will return 6.3% as a dividend and the remainder as the tax credit?

I have discovered that some preference shares do it one way, and some the other, potentially affecting my income by 10%

13:39 Claudia Philips:
Roger, for this level of information you will need to speak to an advisor.
Matt King: Hi Claudia. Im new to sharedealing and am choosing a share dealing system to use. Why should I use Alliance Trust Savings Sharedealing service? Also is it free to use?

13:40 Claudia Philips:
Matt, I am glad you have given me the opportunity to answer your question! Ready...? The Alliance Trust sharedealing service offers a range of products that provide customers with a one-stop shop. Our service has been designed for investors who wish to manage all their finances and those of their family in one place in a cost efficient manner. I could bore for the UK on this subject (!) but why don't you see for yourself by visiting our website. Joining up costs nothing - and you only pay for what you do. I hope you do become a customer!
William Mackintosh: Dear Claudia, is it possible to deal in ETFs via my account? If so, where can I view a list of ETFs which I can deal in? Best wishes, William Mackintosh.

13:42 Claudia Philips:
Yes it is possible to trade in ETFs we have a list of those that we trade in on under the literature centre and select our investment choice booklet listed at the back on page 18.
Brian: Why not send 'e' mail contract notes for all deals even when they are automatic purchases

13:42 Claudia Philips:
Good point Brian. I agree with this and it is something we are looking to implement later this year.
William Mackintosh: Dear Claudia,

Just thought of another question. Ideally, I would like to be able to track all of my investments online. My investments include Alliance Trust investment trusts, PEPs (e.g. Invesco Perpetual, Jupiter, ...), ISAs (HSBC, ...). I have tried tracking via Google Finance but is very US focussed and lacks UK exposure. Can you suggest which portfolio tracking sites I could consider?

Many thanks in advance for any thoughts which you have.

Best wishes,
William Mackintosh.

13:44 Claudia Philips:
Hi William, you can actually track these shares on our online dealing service using our Watch List facility. You can then track their performance 24/7. Alternatively if you wish to keep the shares in paper form there are a number of providers who offer a portfolio tracking service.
Leslie Potter: What's best to keep in a portfolio, blue chips or smaller companies? How would you rate AIM for opportunities?

13:46 Claudia Philips:
Unfortunately I am unable, due to regulation, to give direct investment advice but generally it is wise to spread your risk and diversify and to maintain a balanced portfolio.
kathleen dunmore: how do I buy shares or investment trusts online

13:48 Claudia Philips:
Most share dealing providers will offer the facility to buy and sell investment trusts. Our online share dealing service offers a wide range of investment trusts in which you can trade. Our trading centre gives you the flexibility of being able to sell and re-invest at the same time, so you only have to place the two instructions once. As you may be aware, our parent company Alliance Trust PLC is the largest generalist investment trust in the UK. Happy investing!
Howard Dalton: I have just opened an account. I have a number of shares already in a company on the stock exchange. I would like to cash them in. Can I do this via the online service without having already invested in Alliance Trust.

13:48 Claudia Philips:
Yes but first you will need to transfer the shares into your share dealing account with us. Once you have done that you can then sell them through us via our online service providing you have your User and PIN no. You don’t need to hold shares in Alliance Trust to use our online share dealing service.
A O'Rourke: Can a cash sweep be selective , or does it only move all cash in all holdings.

13:50 Claudia Philips:
Generally, a good service will give you the flexibility to move any amount of cash around within your plan, and certainly, this is a service that we offer free of charge.
Sid Law: Hi Claudia - I've just looked at your website and viewed the online dealing demo, I think it's first class - well done!!

13:51 Claudia Philips:
Thank you Sid! We look forward to welcoming you as a customer.
James Anderson: I understood that I should receive one deal free of Alliance charge, but do not seem to have received it

13:55 Claudia Philips:
James, if you are talking about the ‘trade once and receive a full rebate on your second trade until 31st May’ offer then you should have received the rebate of £12.50 credited to your account within a few days of the second trade being executed. If you haven’t, please do contact us through the website.
Peter Taylor: Can you offer a service like discount brokers e.g. Hargreaves-Lansdown where you can regularly get 4-5% discounts, loyalty bonuses and reduced annual charges from a great number of equities OEICS and unit trusts?

13:57 Claudia Philips:
Being a new entrant into the already overcrowded online share dealing world, we wanted to make sure that we got the basics right first and to future-proof our platform so as to contnue to offer our customers quality and flexibility at low cost. Our next step is to look at some of the above mentioned features and to introduce some of these in the coming months. We may not be the first with these features however we do believe that when do launch them we will have got them right first time.
Graham: I notice that you have recently increased the limit clients may subscribe by debit card to £25,000 (per day?). Do you plane to introduce a direct credit facility to enable clients to selectively withdraw cash (eg dividends)? Thank you.

13:59 Claudia Philips:
Hi Graham - now that we have successfully implemented this service, our next step is to introduce the ability for customers to withdraw cash online. Thank you for your feedback.
M Telfer: Can one simply buy/sell shares online as a stand alone exercise or do they have to be part of the pension wrapper provided by Alliance Trust?

14:02 Claudia Philips:
Yes. You do not need to have a pension. You can just open a share dealing account where you simply buy and sell shares. Simple as that!
Robert Foster: With a 'limit trade' what does the term limit price actually mean?

14:05 Claudia Philips:
Robert, the term 'limit' means that you can set a price at which you want to buy or sell, rather than trade at the current market price at that moment. For exampl, if you want to buy XYZ and the current share price is £1 but you do not want to pay more than 95p, you would instruct us - or your provider - to that effect. If the price did drop to that price of 95p your trade would then be executed automatically at that price. You are able to set a time limit - i.e. expiry date - for these types of orders.
Phil: Do you rate the 'share tips' columns that appear in the papers? I appreciate you can't comment on individual tipsters or shares, but do you think they do a good job for the casual share dealer?

14:07 Claudia Philips:
I think its worth reading several of these to help inform your decision but any decision should be fully researched and not just on the basis of tipsters. There is also plenty of free research tools with online providers that should help.
Host: We are back with the answer regarding the 02 registrars, I believe...?

14:09 Claudia Philips:
Yes, further to the question from Gordon earlier, it was Lloyds TSB who handled the takeover of O2 by Telefonca and so they (Lloyds TSB) should be your first port of call.
Andrew Loftus: Do you have any available stocks that I can buy through your systems that will give me an exposure to soft commodities?

14:11 Claudia Philips:
Andrew, this is quite a specific individual question, and one that I would be happy to answer outside of this webchat. Please send in your email address and I'll respond in due course.
J F Goudie: Can I buy and sell shares inside my existing PEP?

14:13 Claudia Philips:
Yes you can, although I should say that inside your PEP you can only switch investments and sell, you cannot put new money in.
Jules: Is there a minimum amount of investment when share dealing online?

14:15 Claudia Philips:
Jules - this is will depend which proivder you select. There is no generic minimum, each individual provider will set a minimum or no minimum at all.
David Phillips: I find the online dealing an amazing improvement.Could you arrange for the option of remembering the identification code by means of a cookie option on login. Then I only have to put in my pin on my home computer where i regard security as high. Also an increase in the activity timeout period would be useful. Thanks

14:15 Claudia Philips:
Hi David, thanks for your positive feedback and your suggestions. We will add these to our list for future enhancements.
Host: Unfortunately that is all the time we have for today. Thanks for all your questions.

14:21 Claudia Philips:
Sadly, the time has run out. I would like to thank all of you for the very diverse and interesting questions. i apologise I was not able to answer all of them, but I do hope that if you have joined us today you have found it informative and interesting! If you do have a burning question to ask, remember you can email us via Best wishes to all of you and happy trading!