Mortgages

Investments and Shares

Finances It has been possible for Share Dealing to take place on the internet for some time and this most effective way means that transactions can be for a minimum of £9.95 a trade. Some online brokers occasionally have special offers to attract new customers. These offers may include free dealing for up to a month, your first three deals for free or no stamp duty for a specified period. The prospect of being able to make deals at any time day or night has proved poplular. You can expect to receive an email from your broker within 15 minutes confirming the deal.

If you would prefer to invest in savings accounts you may be interested in an ISA - Individual Savings Account. An ISA is a single or monthly payment investment introduced by the Government in 1999 as a replacement for PEPs and TESSAs. It is designed to encourage people to invest by offering tax benefits.

For the tax years 2004/2005 and 2005/2006 you can invest up to £7,000 into a maxi ISA . Although a maxi ISA must have a stocks and shares component, you are currently not limited in how much of the total amount you choose to invest in this component, as long as the total does not exceed £7,000. However, you are limited in how much you can invest in the cash component (up to £3,000) and you can not take out a Mini ISA and Maxi ISA in the same year.

 

You may be interested in Guaranteed Equity Bonds available from the Post Office. You can invest between £500 and £1,000,000. The money you invest tracks the stock market and so is not directly invested in the Stock Exchange but is linked to a percentage of the performance of the FTSE 100 and then adjusted by an averaging method. Because the money is not directly invested into stocks and shares there is no entitlement to any dividends issued by the FTSE 100 comapnies and instead these dividends are reinvested into the fund. The plus points are that if the market performs well, so does the Bond and if the market performs poorly, you wont earn any interest but you wont lose the original amount you invested into the fund either.

Premium Bonds Premium Bonds are an investment where, instead of interest payments, investors have the chance to win tax-free prizes. Anyone can own premium bonds however you must be aged 16 or over to buy Premium Bonds. So if bonds are for anyone under 16 these can still be bought for them by the child's parent, guardian, grandparent or great grandparent. They are as popular as ever now since they introduced two £1 million pound prizes every month in addition to the million other cash prizes. The maximum holding you can have is £30,000 and the minimum for each purchase is £100 (or £50 when you buy monthly by standing order) with the Bonds being sold in multiples of £10.

If you hold the maximum of £30,000 on average luck you stand to win 15 prizes a year and you can cash the premium bonds in at any time if required.

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