Suspicious Savers

Don't get us wrong. Cash is an important part of any savings plan. Having at least three months in cash for those emergencies makes sense. And you shouldn’t chance it in the stock market for stuff you’ll need in just a few years.

But if you are saving for some longer-term goals and leaving it all in the bank, we don't think you're making your money work hard enough. The stock market carries risks but there are smart ways to take sensible amounts of investment risk on, without turning investing into gambling.  Scroll down and we'll show you how.

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OK Suspicious Savers 3 ideas for you

Stocks & Shares ISAs made simple. Some great savings apps. And free money from the boss. 

1Stocks & shares ISAs don't bite!!!

What's it all about?

Hiding behind the jargon, these are just investment accounts which are protected from tax. Over 2.5 million of us paid into one last year and there's about £250 billion sitting in Brits' stocks and shares ISAs. 

Lots of readers are wrestling with whether they leave their money floundering about uselessly in some low-rate cash account OR try and put it to work in the stock market. Yes, this involves risk and yes, might lose some money. 

But here's a fact. Since the stock market began, we have been 90% more likely to do better in shares than cash over any 10 year period. And 99% more likely over an 18 year period.

Hhhmm. So how much is at stake? The worst year in recent history was the 2008 crash when the main UK stock market fell by about 30%. Turning your £100 into £70. But if you'd stuck the course, you would have been back up to £100 just over a year later. 

You can hedge your bets here too. You can have a cash ISA and a stocks & shares ISA as well – this is not an either/or decision. You can put a very hesitant toe into the world of shares and not dive in with a huge splash

If you’re saving with at least a 5 year timeline, then having something in the stock market needs to be considered. Especially when interest rates are so dire.

Why should I bother?

  • You're not locked in - get your money when you want
  • Can be sorted online in 10 minutes
  • Start from £25 a month
  • Spread the risk - consider funds not individual shares
  • Shares typically do better than cash over a 5 year + timeframe

Choose

Bamboozled by choice? We'll tell you who we like and why. And show you how other investors rate them too. Check out our best buys. 

Read

Our 4 pager guide covers everything from the basics, the difference between Cash ISAs and Stocks and Shares ISAs, and just how easy it is to get started. 

Listen

Holly and Georgie discuss investing. Why might you consider becoming an investor, how much does it cost, and what are the risks and rewards? We'll also suggest how to get started. 

Watch

Why do people not invest? Holly explains that shares don't bite, but they can get you better return on your money.

2Savings Apps - look after the pennies...

What's it all about?

Even the stuffy world of finance is going digital and there are some nice new apps which make saving a lot easier. Some apps just round up your change from card purchases and invest it. That’s smart.

Paraplanner Richard Allum has managed to save over £200 in 3 months without noticing. Here's how.

What about ‘robo advisers’. They can help total novices get going and do the heavy-lifting for you.

And budgeting tools to help you manage your finances.  “How much should we save?” is a common question. Try splitting your income into 50% bills, 20% savings and 30% you. What does that look like? Take the pay increase tip. When you get a pay rise immediately set up a direct debit for 20% to a savings account. You can’t miss what you never had!

What to download?

Here are some of the savings apps we like and why.

  • Moneybox - really helpful app which rounds-up your loose change and invests it
  • Sumptus - An expense and spending tracker
  • Monzo - A pre-paid card with a useful phone app

Download

Here are the apps we like, featured in the article we mention above.

 
 
 

Read

Great articles from on savings apps from paraplanner Richard Allum and budgeting tips from financial adviser Adam Carolan.

Listen

Holly and Georgie discuss long term savings goals and how best to stash your cash for maximum benefit when you're saving hard for something big like a house or school fees or even retirement.

3Workplace Pension - free money from the boss

What's it all about?

Long story short, your boss will have to set up a pension for all their employees by 2018. No ifs, no buts.

By 2019, you’ll have to stick in at least 4% of your earnings, your employer will pay in at least 3%, and the Government will sling in another 1%. So that’s 8% in total.

The more you earn, the more you will save.  You can decline this offer (it’s called ‘opt-out’), but it’s not a great idea because you’ll forfeit the 3% from your employer and 1% from the government. Free money. Even the most suspicious saver can’t grumble at that!?

If you're not sure you've had this set-up, call HR or speak to your boss. 

Auto-Enrolment Facts

  • 8% of your qualifying earnings will go here by 2019
  • That's 8% of the sum you earn that sits in between £5,876 and a max of £45,000
  • Get free top-ups from the Government and your boss
  • Self-employed? You miss out. Think about a private pension instead

Have a nosey at what your workplace pension is actually invested in. Get the last statement. Go online. Call HR.

Some pensions will give you a choice about what sort of investments your pensions savings go into. As a rule of thumb, the longer your time frame, the higher proportion of shares you can have. In your 30s? You have a LONG time till retirement so don't be afraid to consider the more aggressive portfolios with healthy chunks of shares. Coming up to retirement? You may prefer to take a lot less risk to preserve what you have as your priority.  

Listen

If you get down to 80s music, chances are you're in your 40s and in denial about getting older and stuff like pensions! Holly and Georgie discuss pension savings in your 40s - the lost generation with no cushty final salary schemes but with no compulsory workplace pensions in the bag either.  

Read

Our 2 pager guide on how a workplace pension benefits you, and how much you're due. 

Watch

Holly talks pensions and how to get free money from the Government.

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