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Time for a Christmas break? Have a good holiday. Back on 3 January 2014

My thanks to the readers who have put up with my ranting and raving over the past year. But now is the time to relax with family (however weird and wonderful they are) and friends (hopefully less weird and wonderful). It’s not the time for my Cassandra-like prophecies of impending doom and gloom. So I propose to take a break and start up again on 3 January 2014.

In the meantime, there’s one favour you could do for me. Over the holiday break, be intrusive, be controversial, be unbritish and talk to your family about “money“.

If anyone you know is planning to:

1. Put any money into an “investment” sold by their bank (like some kind of supposedly “guaranteed” growth bond) tell them not to. They’re rubbish for reasons I’ve explained on my blog

2. Put money into unit trusts. Tell them not to and instead to just buy a few shares in a few “blue chip” companies (Shell, GSK etc) reinvesting the dividends in more shares. Their money will perform much better than in a lousy, expensive unit trust

3. Put money in a SIPP. Tell them to buy shares in “blue chip” companies with their SIPP money and do NOT, repeat NOT put their SIPP money into an overcharging, underperforming fund to make their fund manager richer and themselves poorer

4. Buy an annuity. First tell them to make sure they get an enhanced annuity – giving them more money each year due to their medical condition. Secondly, to delay buying an annuity as long as possible as they will certainly develop a medical condition entitling them to an enhanced annuity between the ages of 65 and 75. And they may even pop their clogs – better their money goes to their heirs than to a greedy annuity provider. And thirdly, tell them to make sure they use OMO (the Open Market Option) and buy their annuity from the company offering the best rates, not the company where they have their pension savings

5. Take money from an equity release. Tell them no, no, no! Let them beg, borrow or steal. But don’t take out an equity release loan. If they borrow £53,000 (the average equity release loan) at 65, they’ll owe about £200,000 by the time they reach 85. But if their children added this £53,000 to their mortgage, over 20 years they’d only pay about £90,000, leaving the family as a whole £110,000 better off.

And if anyone you know is amongst the 11 million people who pay from £13 to £15 or more a month for their bank current account – because they believe they’re getting lots of useful extra insurance and other bits and bobs – are they sure they’re really getting value, when many banks will run their current accounts for free?

One thing you could do, as a New Year’s present, is to buy the people you know and care about a copy of my book PILLAGED! How they’re looting £413 million a day from your savings and pensions. I only get about £0.10 for every book sold. So I don’t really care if I sell 1 or 10 or 100. But if people read PILLAGED and understand how they’re being fleeced by financial services insiders, they could save themselves and their families thousands and even tens of thousands of pounds – not a bad return on a six or seven quid book!

Reading Pillaged may help those you know have a more prosperous New Year.

2 comments to Time for a Christmas break? Have a good holiday. Back on 3 January 2014

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