We round-up the best savings accounts and Isa accounts on offer in 2020.
Investing for children
While some say it is never too early to teach children the value of money, I think an exception can be made for the newest addition to our family, lockdown baby Theodora May, who at the time of writing is five weeks old.
Amid getting to grips once again with irregular sleeping patterns and regular nappy changes, a task that has crept its way on to the to-do list is: open a Junior Isa account.
The coronavirus market sell-off has been painful for investors, but when comparing the performance of my stocks and shares Isa with my son’s Junior Isa, there’s been one clear winner – me.
Does that make me a bad father? Well, I suppose that’s for my son to judge in 16 years’ time, when the key is effectively cut and handed over to him to do what he pleases with the money. By then, though, I hope the investment trust I selected for his Junior Isa will have outshone the small number of funds and investment trusts I hold in my Isa.
When upping sticks a decade ago from Liverpool to London, my main concern was the north-south divide beer bubble. The difference in the price of a pint between the two cities – around £1.50 or thereabouts from my extensive research – still hits me hard in the pocket, but over the years I have become less bitter.
The government has put forward a new 10-year plan to help transform the nation’s financial health by getting more people to save regularly. One of several targets on the table is to increase the number of children receiving financial education at school by two million, to 6.8 million.
"Invest in what you know” is the mantra of one of the world’s most successful stockpickers, Peter Lynch. Indeed, over the past decade, it would have been a recipe for success for those who backed the five tech giants (the FAANG stocks) that have become hugely influential over the past decade: Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (listed under Alphabet, its parent company).
Tell the truth” is one of the first verbal rules parents attempt to instil in their children; but when it comes to securing an age-related discount, hypocrisy tends to set in. According to a survey by MoneySavingHeroes, an online voucher code business, 62% of UK parents have lied about their children’s ages, with 40% of those admitting to fibbing frequently in order to get their children into places for free or claim discounts for young children.
The most popular age-related white lies are told to bag travel, theme park, restaurant and cinema discounts – saving £47 on average.
An investment made on behalf of a grandchild stands to last a lot longer than the latest must-have gadget or piece of plastic tat, especially for those who take a very long-term view and are prepared to invest for a 40-year timeframe.
The idea of such a long timescale may not be feasible for those grandparents who wish to help with the high costs associated with getting on the first rung of the property ladder. But those who want to help their young grandson or granddaughter in three or four decades’ time will be able to invest at the top end of the risk scale.
My almost two-year old son has a one in four chance of reaching the ripe old age of 100. A frightening statistic, not least because I will be 129 when he reaches three figures. This got me thinking about the financial challenges a child born today has in front of them.
Almost two years ago, shortly after my son was born, I worked my way through a to-do list and decided to prioritise one of those jobs that might fall by the wayside – opening a Junior Isa account.