Alternatives to savings accounts

With general UK savings accounts paying such low interest rates, there’s an interesting article on the time’s website detailing some income generating alternatives.

Their options include:

  1. Government Bonds
  2. Premium Bonds
  3. Index linked savings certificates
  4. Zopa
  5. Corporate Bonds

all of which have different levels of risk and return and, of course, require you to do your own research to make sure you’re happy and understand your investment choice.

Their article is here: http://timesbusiness.typepad.com/money_weblog/2009/03/five-alternatives-to-savings-accounts.html

UK House Prices

Well the Halifax announcing yesterday that there was a 1.5 per cent fall in house prices between January and February – which has promoted fears that the UK is going to suffer a double dip recession at least in house prices.

On a brighter note, prices were some 8% higher than April last year – and with interest rates remaining low, and some improvement on the fixed rate mortgage rates being offered, my personal guess is that come the spring things will start picking up again.

Credit Card Statements

I recently received a letter from Egg – one of the credit cards I use, asking me to phone them regarding recent activity on my card. I called the number listed in the letter, and then got rather suspicious as the automated system started asking for personal credientials….so after checking on their website that it was the right number and not some dodgy letter trying to havest my login details, I called back and was pretty much put straight through to their security department.

There were about 5 fraudulent transactions on my account that had happened over the past week or so, totalling up to somewhere in the region of £2,000 – frightening how that can happen.

I’m still waiting for one of the larger transactions to be removed from my statement, but I’m fortunate that Egg noticed the change in spending pattern and notified me. The card’s now been cancelled and a new one to be issued – which is a pain informing the various companies that bill me on a monthly basis on that card, but at least there won’t be any more fraudulent transactions on it.

So I guess the point of this post is to say – check your credit card statements frequently!

BBC talent pay

The BBC announced how much it paid it’s talent, some £229 million or 6.56% of the license fee - a fairly spectacular amount of money.

Understandably they’re not able to reveal individual contract values - somewhere in the region of 300,000 contracts were signed with the majority being under £1000.

Whilst the headline numbers sound huge, and a few of the contracts are, that’s what they need to pay to attract the talent everyone wants to watch…

best personal finance blogs

OK – so the personal finance blogs on my list to read include:

  • 2millionblog.com – an IBM engineering manager living in Raleigh, NC (possibly out of date now!). the blog is tracking his journey to financial freedom
  • consumerismcommentary.com – Flexo created Consumerism Commentary in 2003 in order to hold himself accountable for the state and progress of his own finances
  • thefinancialblogger.com – by Mike, who works in the financial industry specialized in personal finance, aims to provide a resourceful website where everybody that decides to take control over their personal finance can actually do it and understand what their financial consultant is doing.
  • getrichslowly.org – an average guy who found himself deep in debt, and now getting rich slowly.
  • milliondollarjourney.com – generally educational articles regarding personal finance and investing

That’s five of the personal finance blogs in my feed reads, what’s some of your favorite personal finance blogs?

Personal Finance Education

I’m sure it’s not….but here’s hoping the new initiative with Visa and the NFL team to provide personal finance eduction isn’t too focused on putting it all on the credit card :)

http://www.mybanktracker.com/bank-news/2010/02/08/visa-and-the-nfl-team-up-for-super-bowl-to-teach-kids-about-personal-finance/

Cattles

Cattles has warned of job losses following changes at its Welcome Financial personal finance business.

The troubled sub-prime lender says it is closing the unit to new lending following an extensive strategic review and discussions with its creditors.

From the Banking Times

Welcome to Personal Finance Watch

Welcome to Personal Finance Watch – we’re refreshing the engine of this site over to wordpress so will be bringing you fresh personal finance ramblings shortly :)