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City A.M.Brexit one year on: how your finances have changedCity A.M.Features writer at City A.M. covering personal finance and trading. Reach me at [..] Show ... Many UK pension funds have been supercharged by the fall in sterling because a large portion of the investments are allocated to overseas assets. Jason ...
BBC NewsNewspaper headlines: 'May's top team splits over Brexit'BBC NewsImage caption On the same story, the i says tensions were laid bare as senior ministers squared up in public over competing plans for the UK's future, the Brexit secretary was contradicted by Downing Street, and the chancellor warned the prime minister ...and more »
This is MoneyShould you join the rush to cash in your final salary pension? Experts warn it could be a huge mistakeThis is MoneyCashing in a final salary scheme means transferring a chunk of money out of your company plan and into a personal pension plan. Once you've ... In total, Britain's 5,794 remaining final salary pension schemes face a £232 billion black hole in funding ...
AOL UKReport warns young pension savers heading for cash shortfallAOL UKMore than a third (37%) of those aged 22 to 29 years old said student loans were eating into their monthly pay cheques, while 21% had unpaid credit card bills. Scottish Widows suggested that pensions should reflect the digital age to encourage younger ...and more »
This is MoneyNow donate money at church using a contactless debit card: CofE installing readers in 40 churchesThis is MoneyChurchgoers will soon be able to donate money with a contactless debit or credit card. The Church of England is installing contactless card readers in 40 churches from August, in a trial aimed at modernising the way it collects money. It hopes making ...and more »
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Homebuyers are cheering, but what about savers?

Interest rates down to 3.75% and at their lowest for almost 50 years - so there’s the expectation that mortgages will cost less too. But of course what applies to home loans applies to savings too – and savers are far from happy anticipating even less interest on their money.
Not so long ago when interest rates were low the answer was to invest in the stock market. Equity based investments like unit trusts, investment trusts, Oeics (open ended investments companies) bonds and stocks and shares all offered the chance of a better return.
But that was before all the recent uncertainty in the economy. Investors have always been warned that the value of their stocks and shares could go up as well as down but for several years that warning seemed irrelevant. And then the markets fell. Those who didn’t need to sell their holdings because they didn’t need the cash are currently sitting on investments of vastly reduced value – waiting for the market to bounce back.
And it will and that’s the best time to invest. But has that point has been reached? And in the meantime if you’ve got money and those bank and building society savings rates don’t seem very attractive what do you do?
Take advice. Talk to at least three financial advisers. Ask how they charge. Tied advisers get commission from the companies they sell for. Independent advisers may be on commission or may charge a fee up front. You may feel happier with advice that you’re paying for directly.
Think about how much risk you’re prepared to take. Generally the more risk you take the higher the returns if your gamble pays off. But of course the higher the risk the more chance you may lose money in turbulent times.
Think about how long you can afford to have your money tied up for. Investments of this sort are long term because in most cases charges for administering and managing them come out of initial payments so it takes some time to make any return.
How much can you afford to invest and at what intervals? Are you looking for income or for capital growth?
What you invest in depends on all of the above. If you want to be sure the capital you invest will be safe you could go for bonds such as Guaranteed Income Bonds. They’re issued by insurance companies and pay a fixed rate of interest for a fixed period and you’re guaranteed your capital back at the end. The interest is paid minus income tax. The Newcastle’s Capital Safe Bond is a 5 year fixed term account. The interest is linked to the performance of 4 stock markets around the world including the FTSE 100 and the Nikkei 225. The initial capital invested is guaranteed. The Guaranteed Property bond is a fixed term account linked to the housing market. If house prices keep rising your interest goes up. If prices fall your original capital is still guaranteed.
The most risky investments are shares in individual companies. If you put all your eggs in one basket you leave yourself open to the greatest risk. Spread the risk. Buy in several companies in different sectors so that if one company or sector does badly it may be balanced out by another doing better.
Investment and unit trusts and Oeics spread the risk. You put your money into a fund along with money from other investors. The fund is used to buy a spread of equities. Different funds offer a different mix of companies and sectors - some invest in property or in overseas markets. Because your money is part of a bigger pot the whole amount can be used to buy reasonable numbers of shares. The bigger and wider the spread the more the ups and downs of individual company market performances are smoothed out. The level of risk you’re taking depends on which shares the funds hold.
Whatever you do has to be your own decision. That’s why it’s important to take a range of advice and don’t invest in anything risky if you can’t afford to lose.
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