New Year financial resolutions from Sandra Morrell, our Family-First Plate Spinner
Do you have any financial new year’s resolutions for 2017?
We have already started to invest a little differently, we have started to look at shares that give us a dividend income rather than looking for those with growth potential. We have gone with low risk companies such as utility companies and now dividend income is our biggest form of income.
Is there something you would like to try for the first time with your finances?
We are not planning anything new with our finances this year, we began investing in peer to peer last year so we are going to see how that works out over the longer term before thinking of doing anything else that might be slightly risky. We are just testing the waters with peer to peer at the moment, we might perhaps have been more open to risk when we were both working and we could earn any money back that we lost, but now we are on a fixed income we are more risk averse.
Is there something you have learned from the last year that you would not repeat in 2017?
We don’t feel that we have made any mistakes to learn from, although I did question whether we should still be investing in Premium Bonds as we haven’t received much of a payout from them. However we then won £50 so I am going to stick with them for now!
What is your strategy for this year’s ISA season?
We have invested our full ISA allowance already this year, so we will wait until April before we make any more decisions on ISAs for the next tax year.
Will you be opening a new account and will these be cash or investment based?
I’m not sure at the moment whether we will open a new ISA this year or will continue to top up what we already have, we will have to think about that closer to the time as there is so much affecting the economy at the moment such as the Trump Presidency, Brexit and Mark Carney’s latest speech indicates that things could still go either way with rates this year. We previously only had cash ISAs, but we put some of our investments into a stocks and shares ISA last year and we will be investing our ISA allowance in stocks and shares again this year as there is just no chance of earning any real money with a cash ISA at the moment.
What is your top tip for making the most out of ISAs?
The best thing you can do is to shop around for the best rate.
Has the ISA system become too complicated?
I think ISAs have become far too complicated, what once started off as a nice, easy way to get into saving has become very complex and is likely putting people off.