Investment ISAs and How They Work

ISARetirement is something that all Brits should be concerned with. Having a strategy in place to help you retire comfortably should be a priority rather than relying on the State Pension system to take care of you. While it is possible to receive early retirement at age 55, most are finding that they need to work into their 60’s or 70’s in order to ensure that they retire comfortably. As you consider retirement options, researching those options, and then implementing a successful strategy is critical. Investment Savings Accounts (ISA’s) – whether of the cash or investment variety – are one of the most basic retirement vehicles available. Before getting started, it is wise to understand the difference between investment ISAs and a cash ISAs. Understanding how each account works can help you assess which account type best fits your investing strategy and retirement goals.

In contrast to cash ISAs, investment ISAs allow for the account holder to invest in stocks and other securities. For those investors who are seeking to purchase stocks, and along with their purchase, seize the potential to realize double-digit portfolio gains, an investment ISA is the more appropriate than simply using a cash ISA. Restrictions vary slightly as compared to a cash ISA, for example, in order to open an investment ISA, the account holder must be at least 18 years of age and be a UK resident. Annual contribution limits also apply, as they do with cash ISA accounts. Once those basic requirements are met, the account holder can start taking advantage of immense tax benefits. Keep in mind that there is no guarantee of gains, as well there is no protection against losses.

Open your investment ISA, and begin investing in stocks, bonds, and commodities. Profits made by investing in this type of retirement account are exempt from UK Income and Capital Gains Taxes. Buy and sell in your account without having to worry about tax consequences. This type of investing is very freeing, and this means that profits can be reinvested allowing your portfolio to increase exponentially. Before investing, be certain to determine your level of risk tolerance, as this will likely dictate the type of investments made in your account.

Keep in mind that there is no limit on the number of ISA’s that one citizen can hold. There is however, a limitation on the number of accounts that can be opened within a calendar year. Citizens of the UK have the ability to open one cash, as well as one investment account per year, and must stay within the annual contribution limits. The limits surrounding ISAs as well as specific tax protections afforded to account holders can change at any time and are set by the government. Remember that tax affairs can be particularly complex in some instances and therefore should not be considered lightly. Talk with a tax adviser before opening, or contributing to an ISA account.

Interesting Facts About the UK Currency That You Didn’t Know

Every currency has its own history and most of them have some interesting and even quirky facts. Today, we decided to have a look at our own currency and its weird and wonderful facts. Some will definitely surprise you while others may be less of a surprise.

Million pound and larger notes exist – Yes you read right. There are £1m and £100m pound notes in existence. They will never be seen in public or become part of circulation as they are only used in banks as part of the financial system.

Quid comes from quid pro quo – It is generally accepted that the term quid comes from this famous saying that means ‘what for what’. No-one is exactly sure what it has to do with money, but it stuck and now we use it.

The monarch faces a different direction with each new appointment – The head of the ruling monarch appears on the coins and every time a new monarch takes the throne, they have to change the direction in which they face on the coin.

You can legally burn money – No, it is not illegal to burn money, as long as you destroy it. Defacing money, however, is another thing altogether. You can be fined for defacing money, but you won’t be breaking the law or carry any legal consequences if you burn and destroy money.

We rule at counterfeiting – There are approximately 300 fake notes in every batch of one million sterling notes in the UK. In the US, there is only a 100 out of a million and the Euro is about 50 out of a million. Clearly, the UK rules at counterfeiting.

Paying fines with pennies – It seems that we have a lot of stories about people paying their fines with pennies. However, this may not always be the best course of action as it may not be accepted. There are certain restrictions that apply to smaller sums.

There you have it. Some weird, some wonderful, and some just unbelievable. At least we don’t have a boring currency.


5 Tips for Taking Out a Personal Loan

With the economic environment uncertain practically in every country, many people are turning to loans to help them get through the tough times. Whether you want a loan for £500 or for £500 000, you need to know the right way to go about it. There are many ways in which you can get caught in something you didn’t realise. Have a look at our tips before taking out a loan and make sure you make the right decision.

  1. Don’t just choose a loan or a bank – It is important that you shop around a bit. The first place you go to may not have the best rates. Rather approach a few loan providers and choose the one that offers you the best rates.
  2. Read the fine print – Before you apply for a loan, find out what the requirements are. Some financial providers have interesting and sometimes impossible conditions on which they give out loans. To save you time and disappointment, read the disclaimers before applying.
  3. Check your credit rating– Your credit rating can definitely influence the type of loan and repayment rates that you will be offered. If your credit rating is in bad shape, you will very likely be given a more expensive deal.
  4. Consider a credit card first – If the amount you need is not that big and a credit card may be cheaper, rather go for that. Some credit cards work interest-free under certain conditions. Find out about possible offers and compare a credit card and loan to decide which will be best.
  5. Find peer-to-peer options – There are online sites where you can find peer-to-peer loans where people borrow and lend money without the involvement of banks. This can be a better option than a bank. Do the necessary comparisons to see what is best.

A loan can be a lifesaver in difficult situations but it should not be approached recklessly. It is a big commitment and you need to know what you are letting yourself into. Avoid applying for too many loans as it creates a bad image.