NS&I Pensioner Bonds
Her Majesty’s Treasury announced the new rates for the NS&I Pensioner Bonds last week. These look incredibly competitive for fixed interest rate cash deposits (bonds). These will be offered in the new year at some point in January. There will be a 1 year fixed rate of 2.80% and a 3 year rate of 4.00%. There is a maximum investment of £10,000 into each. You can have both (£20,000 in total). The interest will be added at each anniversary.
The World Is Not Enough… well £20,000 isn’t
When comparing Bond rates for cash against market equivalents, they are incredibly good – but clearly restricted to a maximum holding of £20,000 per person, I expect that there will be a high demand and as a result the offer could be withdrawn fairly quickly. Blink and you may miss it.
If you would like more information about this please consider the NS&I website. Remember that this is for cash balances that you can afford to lock away for 12-36 months. If you expect to have this money longer than that, then please consider proper investment advice as despite the fact that these rates are “good by comparison” they would be an unwise use of your money as a long-term investment plan (5 years or more). Cash is for your emergency safety net and planned expenses in the 0-48 month window.
The “Pensioner Bond” is only available to those aged 65 or over… which if you are interested would enable 4 of the living 6 actors that played James Bond, 007 to apply.
Timothy Dalton (70); George Lazenby (75); Sean Connery (84), Roger Moore (87). The current James Bond Daniel Craig is 46 and his predecessor Pierce Brosnan is currently 61. The other Bond story is that the new 007 film “Spectre” is scheduled for release in November 2015.
I’m lucky enough to have fairly easy access to London and as a consequence, some really great stuff. At the weekend I managed to spend time at the Sundance London film festival (which I also attended last year). This is a showcase of independent films, largely brought over from Utah, where the Sundance organisation, set up by Robert Redford is based. The great thing is that you get to meet and hear from people that love making films. Their common trait, forgive the pun, is their focus. There is an unmistakeable sense of “doing the thing they love”. Not simply for those in front of the camera, or whose name you may know, but a real sense of drive and desire to make something that says something of value.
David Arnold, is a successful British composer, who has already built a considerable body of work within the film world. You might know him best for his work on the more recent James Bond movies. Now I enjoy music and listen to a lot of it, but to my shame, I’m not terribly much of an expert when it comes to classical music, despite my father’s operatic background, and my years in the school choir – I’m certainly no composer. So I am in some awe of those that can create music, but I had never seen the process of scoring a film so wonderfully explained. David walked the audience (of which around 50% were composers) through his catalogue and his process. He then demonstrated the various techniques he uses to structure the music to the film and build it layer by layer, whilst all the time being mindful that changes may need to be made due to editing of the film itself. It was fascinating. There was a real sense of his humility in being able to appreciate the contributions of others, whilst also remaining focused on the task at hand – for which he has a clear passion.
Whilst I’m not making music, his explanations and processes resonated with me. When I’m constructing a proper financial plan based upon someone’s values, it is very much a layered approach, with the need for editing and re-working. I like to think that on occasion I really help people find their personal rhythm in their own lives and values, but I’m stretching things. I certainly love what I do and enjoy the creative aspect of my work, but it isn’t really a masterpiece, but I do hope that I’m helping others (my clients) to make a great work of their lives, by really thinking about how they want to live them out…. not your run of the mill financial stuff.
Dominic Thomas: Solomons IFA