Investing for children

Savers stung by stealth rate cuts

Banks and building societies are busy cutting the rates that they pay savers. The falls impact easy-access accounts offered to new savers, as well as those that were on sale in the past. Thousands of savers are currently earning a pittance on cash languishing in more than 1,400 easy-access accounts, which are closed to new savers.

Buying premium bonds for children just got easier

Anyone can now buy premium bonds for children, including aunts, uncles and family friends.

Previously, only a parent, grandparent or guardian could buy premium bonds in a child’s name.

This change to premium bonds was first announced in the October 2018 Budget and is aimed at creating a stronger savings culture.

This latest improvement to premium bonds follows the reduction of the minimum investment from £100 to £25 in February this year. The maximum that you can spend on premium bonds is £50,000.

Pocket money? Why I won’t be paying in cash

Is it appropriate to give pocket money to a three-year-old? Well, one in seven parents think so and frequently splash the cash, according to research by the Nottingham Building Society. Just over one in four (26%) kids aged eight receive pocket money.

The research also found that giving between £5 and £9.99 was the most common; in terms of how often the payments are made, weekly came out on top. This means children who receive pocket money on a weekly basis are potentially pocketing as much as £520 a year.

Millennials have it tough financially, but what about their children?

It is well documented that when it comes to personal finances, the millennial generation (to which I belong) are worse off than their parents. However, some older readers of the babyboomer generation may vehemently disagree and point out they were simply shrewder savers. They also faced the challenges of interest rates hitting double-digit territory in 1988 and remaining at such levels until late 1992; moreover, over the past decade savings rates have been cut to the bone.

Junior Isas: why I don’t follow the flock

A couple of weeks after my son was born 18 months ago, I decided to take time out from the nappy-nap-burping carousel to set up a Junior Isa. I invested the money, which puts me in the minority of parents, as most opt for the safer option of cash. But given the long time horizon, the odds are firmly stacked in favour of investment winning the growth race.

Mother’s Day: are you passing on investing lessons?

It’s that time of year again. The one day where mothers get a lie in, a card, and, if we’re lucky, a cup of tea in bed to say thanks for all the work that we do.

I look forward to Mother’s Day as much as any other overworked mum. However, the sentimentality of the day can be a little cloying. Amid the avalanche of flowers and soppy cards, it’s important to remember that motherhood isn’t all hearts and teddy bears.

Which is the best Isa for my age group?

Individual Savings Accounts (Isas) are a useful way to stash up to £20,000 each tax year in a wrapper the taxman can’t touch. They remain popular with savers, who poured a record £608 billion into adult Isas in 2017/18. But the focus is shifting. With interest rates on cash Isas pitifully low and the personal savings allowance exempting most people from paying tax on their savings, cash Isas’ popularity has waned, while inflows into stocks and shares Isas have hit new highs.

Have you lost track of a Child Trust Fund worth thousands?

If you know anyone with a child or grandchild who has turned 16 since last September, you can help ensure they don’t miss out on ‘free’ cash that might be sitting inside a Child Trust Fund (CTF) – the precursor to the Junior Isa.

CTFs are now coming of age: an estimated six million young people have money in these accounts, which contain a government contribution of £500 for every child.