Investment advisers who meet potential investors will firstly establish the investors’ attitude to risk and the investors’ ability to take that risk.

Based on each investor’s personal circumstances, a recommendation will be made focussing on the assets classes to invest in; the importance of diversification which helps to reduce risk; the potential rewards and what downsides there might be.

Ultimately, the most important thing for most investors is a return on their investment.

This is a reasonable expectation because the reason for taking a risk by investing capital is the expectation of getting a return.

The failure of a fund to perform as expected will decrease potential returns as will the underlying charges.

However, by far the biggest enemy of successful investing is something rarely discussed at the outset – the effect taxation will have on the return.

It is said there are only two certainties in life – death and taxes.

Looking at the number and type of taxes that are levied on investments, it is clear just how many ways the taxman has of taking his slice of every pie.

The usual taxes levied are Deposit Interest Retention Tax [DIRT]; Capital Gains Tax [CGT]; Collective Investments [Exit Tax]; Personal Portfolio Wrappers; Income Tax and Universal Social Charge.

With rates that vary from 33% to 60%, this can be a serious erosion of returns for any investor.

In most cases, investors who make money in one investment will pay tax on it while they are unable to offset losses in other investments.

Many investors are paying higher rates of tax on their investment simply because they are in the wrong type of wrapper.

Adelphi Financial Brokers now offers investors access to an open architecture platform with access to a broad range of fund providers with over 30,000 funds and more than 10,000 ETFs.

Not only are charges often cheaper and more transparent, the investor can set up their own portfolio to attract different tax treatment. This enables investors to shelter losses within the portfolio and also write off past capital losses.