mowatt financial Planning

mowatt financial planning
Mowatt Financial Planning: savings
Showing posts with label savings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label savings. Show all posts

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Financial Planning Week - Saving

Based on the survey carried out by the Institute of Financial Planning only 18% (less than one in five people) in the Yorkshire region believe that they are saving enough or more than enough for their future needs.

Regular savings is a great habit. If you already have money left over at the end of the month then it should be easy to start. If not, then see if you can create some room by finding some cost savings or by giving up something that you won't miss too much. It’s often easy to start off with a small amount and save regularly, over time it is surprising how this can build up.

Depending on your circumstances, you can start with something simple like a regular savings account. Check out moneyfacts or moneysavingexpert for current rates.

Friday, 3 September 2010


I was invited to do a presentation at the Easingwold branch of the University of the 3rd Age. It was well attended and I got some good feedback after the session so hopefully some of the attendees found it useful. I thought it would be a useful reference to post my key messages here:

Savings strategy (for money you will need in the next 5 years)
  • Shop around for a good return and keep shopping around
  • Fixing for longer periods (more than 3 years) gives exposure to inflation risk
  • Up to £50,000 is protected with one financial institution
  • There are specific options available for income needs
Sites I would suggest to check on rates are:
Moneysavingexpert is also very useful

Investment strategy (for money you won't need in the next 5 years)
  • It's important that this is invested in line with your attitude to risk
  • Don't put all your eggs in one basket
  • Review your strategy and investments regularly
Income Tax
  • Use your ISA allowance
  • Transfer assets between couples to ensure personal allowances are used
  • Avoid the age allowance trap if possible
  • Consider assets which produce capital gains rather than income
  • Consider Investment Bonds
Capital Gains Tax
  • Manage gains and losses and use your annual allowance to avoid CGT
  • Share gains between spouses
The points above are generic and in practice will depend on personal circumstances. Any specific questions please get in touch.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Savings and Inflation

The latest inflation figures announced during the week show that inflation has risen to 3.5% (Consumer Price Index) and 3.7% (Retail Price Index). This means that your savings have to work pretty hard to produce a real return.

In fact for a higher rate tax payer you need to be earning 5.83% and for a basic rate tax payer 4.375% just to be standing still in real terms.

Clearly these figures are for January and what's important is the future trend for inflation. From what I've read and heard the consensus is that we will continue to see inflation but it is likely to fall back from this level. This is confirmed by a You Gov expectations survey which has a 12 month view of inflation around 2%.

Below is a chart which shows the best rates available according to Moneyfacts:

What is important is when you will need any money you have invested. If it's more than 5 years you can afford to introduce a bit of investment risk with the aim of getting better longer term returns. If it's under 5 years you will generally want your money to be safe. If you are able to invest for 3 years or more, index-linked savings certificates are a good way of making sure your money holds it's value in real terms. The returns are also free of tax. There are two series available; one for 3 years and one for 5 years and both pay 1% above inflation. It's possible to invest from £100 to £15,000. You can get more details on the National Savings and Investments site.

Assuming inflation is at 2%, a basic rate tax payer would need to earn 3.75% and a higher rate tax payer 5% to get equivalent returns. There is also the certainty that if inflation is higher you will be protected against this. If you know that you can leave the money for 3 years, index-linked certificates look like a good option whereas if you know you will need the money sooner you have to accept that your money could be losing value in real terms.


Wednesday, 18 November 2009


The latest inflation figures were announced yesterday with Consumer Price Inflation rising to 1.5% in October (from 1.1% in September).

This means that a basic rate tax payer has to be in a savings account paying at least 1.875% to keep pace with inflation. For a higher rate tax payer the rate is 2.5%.

A review of all savings accounts on offer (apart from ISAs and Fixed Rate Bonds), reveals that over 78% of variable rate accounts are paying a rate of 1.875% or less.

What this means is that you need to shop around to get a good rate on your savings. It also means that for investments that you can hold for 3 years or more you should be thinking about National Savings & Investments index-linked savings certificates or investing on other assets which can give some protection against inflation such as equities or property.

It pays to shop around.


Sunday, 8 March 2009

Where do you put your savings?

This is a question that I am frequently asked. With the way interest rates keep changing, it's difficult to find information that is bang up to date. I like and it's worth looking in the Saturday and Sunday press. However, the pace of change means that these weren't always up to date. We found that the most up to date was As there are so many variations it's best to look at the account that fits your needs (e.g. instant access) and then use the Savings Search as an extra check.

The acounts we went for were:
Instant access
Egg paying 3.35% (best rate)

3 month notice
Investec Bank 3.41% (rate linked to 5 best accounts)

1 year bond
ICICI Bank 3.9% (best rate)

Children's regular savings
Halifax £100/month paying 8%

Bear in mind that this is a snapshot and in these fast moving times it pays to check regularly on the current rates.


Thursday, 11 December 2008

In the beginning......

I originally started a blog when I was Director of Marketing at Norwich Union Life at the beginning of 2008. There were a couple of reasons for deciding to do it:

- I made a commitment to get closer to the customer to the entire Marketing department so it felt like a good way to keep everyone updated  and also hold me to my commitment.
- I really liked Darren Cornish's blog and felt inspired to have a go myself.

I left Norwich Union in July with the ambition of setting up as an IFA specialising in the retirement market. I'm now up and running and able to give advice working with Results Financial who are a Sheffield based IFA firm.

To date, I've been honing my advisory skills on friends and family but I'm now ready to go the next step and give advice to whoever wants and needs it. 

This felt like the right time to start another blog. In the next few days, I'll be writing to many of my friends at Norwich Union so welcome to everyone who comes and visits the blog. Please leave me a comment or two!

The reasons for doing the blog this time round are:
- share my experience of building a business from scratch
- offer my views and thoughts on the world of personal finance
- keep in touch

However, if the blog is only what I want then it's a bit of a waste of time so as the blog develops I would welcome feedback and comments on what interests everyone who visits.

Now that I'm advising, the next challenge is to make sure I get some clients. The big question is where will they come from? For me phase 1 is to make sure everyone I know is aware that I'm able to give independent financial advice and they think of me when the need arises (I'll come back to this in a future blog because my view would be that everyone needs some advice). I'll be doing this over the next few months starting this month with my ex-NU colleagues.

In addition to this I aim to raise awareness locally (Easingwold) of who I am and my credentials for giving advice. This will start in the New Year with articles and adverts in the Easingwold Advertiser.

Before I sign-off I thought I would explain to those who know me why I am Will.

To my mum - I'm William
To my friends from school, university, work - I'm Willie (think it's a Scottish thing!)
At home - I'm Will/Dad

I've gone for Will because William's a bit stuffy, Willie sometimes gets a snigger(?), Will is short and snappy.

I will update the blog at least weekly so come back regularly. Please leave me some feedback - it would be great to hear from you.

All the best.

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