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Marks & Spencer Financial Services ISA

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      04.04.2003 02:11
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      "Young people have it so easy these days!" used to be the saying that you'd hear from some old folks. Well now that really isn't true as the past two years have started to show a complete slump in all things financial related. Pensions are getting very worrying, house prices are at the point where most people on regular money can't afford to get on the propery ladder, the list goes on. So with this in mind it makes sense for those of us in out early twenties to start putting our money away for the future before it get's any bleaker. One of the best ways to save at the moment is to put your cash into an ISA fund. This is a fund that can be made up of several things. It allows you to put away £7000 each tax year in a combination of cash and stocks and shares. The stocks part should be considered a long term investment but those looking to get a decent rate of their rainy day savings should get cracking as the Tax years ends on the 6th of april. Putting £3000 into a Cash Isa means that the government won't tax it. After taking all this on board I went looking for an ISA in a very crowded market. There are a lot of ISA's that are purely stock market related and these should be carefully considered before putting your money into one. This is purely because the market at the moment is very poor and anyone who can't afford to potentially lose cash should think twice. I went for the ISA offered by Marks and Spencers Financial Services. At the time it offered a reasonable 4.75% AER on the Cash part of the ISA. It also offered me flexability as I could put as little or as much as I wanted away each month. They give you the option to set up a direct debit each month for saving but personally I like more control. Setting up the ISA was very straightforward and all done over the phone, I've found that all advisors are very helpful and normally pretty cheery at all times. I pay money into my ISA from my Debit ca rd on my bank account. Each time the service is very quick and M&S don't have one of those endless call centre queue systems. The menu choices are short and simple and the wait is normally incredibly short. A few days later I get details of my saving without fail, M&S send out two statements per year about your investment and so far I've seen reasonable return on my investment. so far over £17 interest has been accrued in about 6 months. This may not seem like much but I haven't put in the whole £3000 and you wouldn't get that in most regular bank accounts after Tax. Later this year I'll be looking to invest a little more in the stocks side and M&S have some very helpful information on what your options are and how their funds have performed over the recent years. The interest rate has dropped since I joined but that's an indication of the current financial climate. For a good level of service and product I would reccomend them.

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