Is there any point trying to save when inflation is so high? Interest rates are rising and savers can now get a far better return than a year ago, but compare those rates to inflation and they are losing even more money. So why bother? That's the question that Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert tackle in this podcast. From what the best rates are and where you can get them, to why you should avoid what Simon calls your bank or building society's 'insult account' – with a special mention for Nationwide - and how to turn a savings habit into an investing one that should hopefully get you a better return, the podcast team talk all things saving. Also on the agenda: where are the best places to start investing a small amount, and why that has got so much easier in recent years? Simon shares a bit of behind the scenes knowledge on investing platforms and why they are pushing so hard for new investors – and gives some tips on getting started the easy way. But not everyone will be feeling like they have money to stash away right now: the cost of living crisis is seeing people cut back, the ONS, revealed this week – and that's before most bills spiked. Where are they cutting back and is there anything we can do to help them? (Bonkers two-year MOT ideas excluded). And finally - just when you thought printing at home couldn't get any worse, printer firms came up with a way to make it better… and then made it worse.
Premium Bonds are probably Britain’s best loving savings product but are they worth holding? The savings lottery delivers 100% government-backed protection, a theoretical 1% return – dependent on luck – and relatively easy access to your cash. But a new report this week highlighted just how unlikely people are to win big prizes. In fact, unless you have a sizeable amount in bonds, you should expect a long wait for anything over £25. But does the study stack up? What about all the readers telling us they’ve won lots? And does it matter that you’d have to wait ages to win £50 or more – or are those uninspiring regular £25 prizes a much more useful source of returns? Georgie Frost, Adrian Lowery and Simon Lambert dig into Premium Bonds, looking at the odds, the study on big prizes, what our readers have told us, and also how many people hold. Plus, interest rate rise chatter has stepped up a gear this week. Is a hike really imminent? Also under discussion: are the energy saving measures you can take to try to cut your bills, as the price spike sends more providers bust and threatens household finances? As Meghan and Harry get the ethical invest bug, we a look at ESG, greenwashing and how to invest to make an environmental impact. And finally, the topsy-turvy Covid world has thrown a new curveball: one-year-old used cars are now more expensive than brand new ones. How does that work? The team try to explain and reveal the used cars rising in value the most.
The triple lock has always been a hot potato but things have stepped up another gear as it could deliver a bumper 8% state pension increase due to a statistical quirk. The state pension pledge means that payouts rise by the greatest of inflation, wage growth or 2.5%. Yet, wage growth numbers are being skewed this year because the Covid crash a year ago saw millions put on furlough on a maximum of 80% of earnings, workers suffer temporary pay cuts, and many lose their jobs. Job cuts disproportionately hit the low paid and continue to do so, taking them out of the figures and bumping up the average wage, workers coming back from furlough are seeing pay go back up to their full amount, and short-term pay cuts have been reversed. All this makes average wage growth look artificially high, despite many public and private sector workers suffering pay freezes or negligible rises. The Office for Budget Responsibility forecast that distortion could lead to an 8% wage growth figure in the month the triple lock reading is taken from, delivering a £14 weekly increase to the state pension and £3billion bill. Is it fair for pensioners to get a bumper increase based on a distortion caused by the pay pain suffered by workers in lockdown? Some say ‘no’, others say ‘stick to the deal’. Tanya Jefferies, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert look at what is causing the triple lock anomaly and what the Government might do. Will they pay up or fudge it? Also this week, the painful cases of those who cannot afford funerals for loved ones, the return of gazumping to the property market, and finally, the crazy NatWest banking rule that has forced a reader to have their employer’s bank accounts mixed with theirs in online banking
Yet more people caught up in the underpaid state pension scandal have been unearthed by This is Money – and tragically, in the two cases we highlight this week, they weren't alive to see justice. Two bereaved daughters received sums of £42,000 and £71,000 because their mothers were underpaid state pension for more than a decade before dying in their 90s. The payouts are all thanks to the intrepid work of investment and pensions editor Tanya Jefferies and our pensions agony uncle Sir Steve Webb. They join deputy editor Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost to talk about these latest cases, and what it means in terms of inheritance tax and care fees – could you, a family member or friend have been caught up in the scandal? We also talk about pensions in more details – do you know what yours is invested in and what it's worth? It will matter even more than usual if the Chancellor gets his way and taps into our retirement pots and parcel it out to fast-growing businesses, transport projects, real estate and carbon-friendly investments. We also discuss the new green savings bonds from NS&I: how long is the term, what's the rate and just how green are they? There's a chink of light for easy-access accounts and if you leave Georgie and Lee to organise the podcast, they will inevitably add a section in about sport - we talk about this booming trend during Euro 2020.
Was the blockbuster Coinbase stock market listing a coming of age for bitcoin and cryptocurrency or a top of the bubble moment? The world’s leading crypto exchange platform listed on the US stock market this week and at one point hit a hefty $100billion valuation, before slipping back to $60billion. That’s still a very big number, especially for a business that made $322million last year. But Coinbase is profitable, its earnings are growing rapidly, it can cash in whether bitcoin and crypto prices rise or fall, and the cryptocurrency genie is well and truly out of the bottle. So, could it prove to be a Facebook or Google of the crypto world? Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Simon Lambert look at the Coinbase float and what it means for the crypto and investing world. They also discuss the Spac frenzy, how it’s leading to lucky dip investing for some but also more companies coming to market, and whether once you know what’s in a Spac it could ever be worth investing. Also, the team look at low risk investments that could be an alternative to a paltry 1 per cent five-year fixed rate cash Isa and Tanya updates on the women underpaid state pensions. And finally, Barclaycard has slashed customers’ credit limits and left many of them baffled and annoyed, so what on earth is going on?
Lockdown Britain has produced a nation of savers, ONS figures showed this week, with people salting away almost 30% of their disposable income on average. But for those hoping that we might finally have got the savings habit, there’s a catch. Those figures cover April to June, a three-month period when most shops were shut, along with pubs, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs, and going on holiday was a near-impossible task. Deprived of the opportunity to spend, Britain put money aside instead – but is not spending the same as saving? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost dive into the lockdown saving phenomenon and look at what triggered it, whether there was anything other than an inability to spend that drove saving so much higher than in previous recessions and how the paradox of thrift plays out. They also look at where people can put the money they have set aside – with interest on savings deals negligible – and whether the sudden imposition of a savings habit bodes well for people building up better nest eggs when life gets back to normal.Some won’t have been so lucky in lockdown, however,
with job losses mounting. The team look at how this affects those already committed to moving home. And finally, are brand new mobile phones a waste of money? Chasing the latest handset is an expensive game, but a new breed of cheap but high quality phones are changing the minds of some of those committed to holding onto old ones.
In an unpredicted turn of events, the coronavirus lockdown has been good for some when it comes to their bank balances. People collectively tucked away £30billion in savings accounts in March and April, around three times as much as the two months previous - with this credited to surplus cash and moving money to safety. A large slab of that went into easy-access accounts despite plunging rates. Meanwhile, we cleared a record amount of personal debt, according to Bank of England figures. The ONS says households are spending £183 less a week, but while some might be lucky to salt that away, many wouldn't come anywhere near it. Lockdown saving is not a universal picture. Many are facing up to lost income or losing their jobs entirely. In this podcast, editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost take a look at the figures. Much of the money stashed away at big banks pays 0.1 per cent or less, meaning collectively, billions of lost interest – where are rates heading? National Savings and Investments currently has a few best buy accounts, how long can it prop up the market and are we turning our backs on stocks and shares Isas? Meanwhile, the IMF says the crisis will wipe £10trillion off the global economy: what's happened to the V-shaped recovery? With pubs and shops slowly reopening, will Britons head back and spend their cash to help the economy? Simon talks about investing like Warren Buffett and what opportunities are out the post-lockdown world. With the heatwave that has smothered Britain this week, we take a look at how much it costs to run items that are designed to cool us down, and those trendy garden gadgets.
The pros of the property market right now, and how to save energy this winter. If you can keep your head, while other home buyers lose theirs…you could get yourself a better deal! Plus, the team bust some energy-saving myths, looking at whether carbon credit offsetting is a big old waste of money – or a good way to save the planet. And ‘tis the season to book your festive break, but what are the top best-value destinations for your Christmas holiday?
This is Money with Georgie Frost, editor Simon Lambert and Product and Knowledge editor Sarah Davidson. Autumn is here and with it an ill wind through the savings market. Why are things looking so bleak and are there any warm spots to be found out there? There’s a hurricane happening in politics, the team offer some tips on how to weather the Brexit storm…find out if we should really be stock piling food and take a look at how Labours Right to Buy plans would work for renters and buy-to-letters. Plus just how much better for the environment are electric vehicles? And don’t forget you can stay up to date with all the latest, breaking money news, just go to thisismoney.co.uk or download the app.
In part one of two This is Money podcast specials, we tackle savings. When savings are mentioned, the first thought that springs to mind for many is: rates are low, what's the point? In the latest This is Money podcast, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost are joined by James Blower, the Savings Guru to explain why savings are important. James has inside knowledge of the industry, having helped a number of challenger banks set up their savings business. We talk about what the point of saving is and what you need to consider at different stages - and ages - of your life. How do you save for your children, what about Isas, does higher risk equal higher reward and how do you save for a house? We also talk about why the Financial Services Compensation Scheme is important and whether saving in cash over investing is ever a worthwhile exercise. James takes us behind the scenes at how rates are set and reveals why he believes better deals are on the horizon for savers.
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