Monday, October 20, 2008

Money is now rotting in bank accounts

Let me explain. I have money in a savings account, one of those internet accounts, but not Icelandic. A few months ago inflation was officially much lower and the interest rates were higher.

Now the effective, after Gordon Brown has taxed me at 20% is 3.34%, inflation is at over 5%. That's giving a negative interest rate of over 1.4%. I give my money to the bank and it evaporates.

And yet most people seem to be calling for a reduction in interest rates to save the economy, so I guess it will happen.

So holding cash in bank deposit accounts is starting to look a little dumb, and that's before the impact of falling sterling - which perhaps has further to go with the borrowing binge Mr Brown is announcing.

I'd like to say I knew the answer to this, but I don't.

I'm thinking that in then end owning something, ie shares, may be better. Or perhaps cutting the banks out with Zorpa.

Latest interest rates

Effective from
Gross PA
Net PA




wildgoose said...

I am feeling the same pain.

I have been busily paying down my mortgage as fast a I can because the interest savings are tax free and higher than any other interest rates I could get.

Or rather, they were.

You can get 6.5% (pre-tax) on a Nationwide Bond and my mortgage rate is 6.49% - just how does that work? It just shows how insane everything is.

Of course, with inflation now running at over 5% that means the value of our mortgage debt is actually reducing automatically. It appears to be the deliberate policy of this government to quietly inflate its way out of debt problems.

And of course that also means that the absolute value of our savings is reducing at the same rate, penalising those of us who are trying to act responsibly.

There are some Cash ISAs paying RPI + 2% - but considering that housing costs are part of the RPI measure and house prices are falling what looks to be a good deal might not be too good later on. Still, it's a better deal than National Savings.

Another possibility is opening a (physical) Gold Account, just to be prepared. No interest but a good hedge against inflation if it lets rip.

It's all just so uncertain!

And with 3 children I need to save considerable sums in order to get them through University without landing them with the crippling debts that Scots and Welsh students are avoiding courtesy of the English Taxpayer - me!

Not much point saving for ourselves of course - it'll just be taken off us by means tested pensions and ultimately a 40% Inheritance Tax. In effect, government incentives are all aimed at encouraging irresponsibility.

Man in a Shed said...

Its odd because I could have sworn my bank quoted 6.4% about two weeks ago - but their web site now tells another story.

I'm coming to the conclusion that I will have to pay much closer attention in the future !

Saving is even worse than you suggest - as you are taxed on your income and then taxed on the savings you make with it - but never the debt you run up.

A Lib Dem Lord was calling for pension tax relief to be abolished - I almost have some sympathy as I suspect that the tax relief allows for the poor performance of most money purchase schemes to be slightly disguised.

But the my pension is in a bad way. In fact the only solace is that I haven't paid into a pension over the last 4 years and bought into a crashing stock market.