Where should I put my money?
November 16, 2008 1:54 PM   Subscribe

I live in the UK, and I've heard some people saying there may be trying economic times ahead for my country. Is there anything I should be doing with my savings?

I've got about £50,000 in conventional savings accounts - ISAs and suchlike, all cash (as opposed to stocks/shares/bonds) and in GBP currency*. If sending my money abroad I'd prefer not to be Icesave'd. And yes, I know to take ask mefi's financial advice with a pinch of salt.

*Hell yeah I'm an adventurous risk-taker!
posted by Mike1024 to Work & Money (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
According to Martin's Money Tips:
The £35,000 protection golden rule. For all bank & building society deposit accounts, eg savings, cash ISAs, fixed savings, in the unlikely event a bank goes bust, £35,000 per person, per institution (either an individual bank or a banking group) is guaranteed. While the PM plans to raise it to £50,000, that ISN’T law yet. So if you’ve over £35,000, spreading savings helps mitigate any risk.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:27 PM on November 16, 2008

Yeah, spread your savings around if you're going to keep it in cash. Although, your rate of return isn't going to be so flash for the next wee while.

The other view is that commodity prices tend to go up as people seek reassurance during financial times of strife. Things like precious metals or oil futures (which is on a down swing now too) are your traditional commodities.

In any case, any financial planner will tell you it's never a bad thing to balance your investment strategy. IANA-Financial Advisor, so my main piece of advice is to talk with one that you can trust.
posted by MatJ at 3:19 PM on November 16, 2008

If you're just looking for a solid place to put it, the co-op is probably one of the safest of the banks. Their ethical investment policy has the side effect of insulating them from the "dangerous" practices that got us into this mess. And, you know, ethical investment is quite a good thing in and of itself.

A recent Guardian article (which I can't seem to find) suggested that those building societys which were still actual building societys (the ecology, leeds and holbeck, etc. etc.) were all fairly solid still and it was just those who'd become banks that suffered great exposure to the sub-prime thing.

However, with the savings guarantee of 35k, as long as you don't have all your eggs in one basket, you're probably fine as you are. Speaking with a healthy dose of cynicism, I don't think it's those of us with 10K+ savings that are going to be hit worst by this.
posted by handee at 12:53 AM on November 17, 2008

The savings guarantee limit has since been increased to £50,000, and that is per institution, so it would be a good idea to make sure you have less than 50k in any one institution - there's a table here of what counts as one institution, since it's not obvious who owns who.
posted by penguinliz at 8:01 AM on November 17, 2008

Ing direct are offering 6% (variable) for the next year on an instant access savings account.
posted by JonB at 10:30 AM on November 17, 2008

If you check here on moneysupermarket.com, you can get a comparison of who is offering the best rates. It looks like there are rates of up to around 6.5%, which would be pretty good considering the recent huge interest rate cut. Interest rates are likely to continue to go down for at least the next year, so it's best to jump on something as soon as you can. Make sure you have the max (£7200 for stocks and shares) this year in an ISA, and check to see that previous ISA's are still getting decent rates (if in cash). If they're not, you can transfer them to a different provider.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:02 PM on November 17, 2008

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