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Investment calls on global financial markets are currently not easy to make - global markets have had a long bull run and bear market fears are rising. If your investment horizon is long, you can be reasonably sure that despite some short-term dips, your long-term returns will be positive, but fears over shorter terms - three to five years - may be justified, especially if you invest in an index-tracking investment and offshore markets. The choice of index and the currency risks are difficult calls to make. It is when market cycles change that banks and investment platforms entice investors with structured products. These investments typically offer a return better than the performance of one or more market indices as well as a guarantee on the amount you invest if the market or markets from which you will derive your returns deliver losses over three or five years. Some products will even offer you a return linked to the best of two or more indices - the benefit of hindsight - solv...

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