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Stumped for a newborn baby gift? What about CASH?

27/08/2010

Financial products are often overlooked as new baby gifts, but are a great investment for a child's future.

By James Tweedie

So you, a friend or relative have just had a baby, and you're wondering what to get themas a gift? Gift hampers, nappy cakes and the like are very charming and useful, but have you considered the gift of money?

Financial investments can give a newborn child a great start in life. Currently less than half of parents save for their child's future, but the cost of childrearing and university education keep rising.

Since the replacement of student study and maintenance grants in England and Wales with loans,and the introduction of massive top-up fees for degree courses at the better universities, most graduates start life after university with debts in the tens of thousands.

Furthermore, this year in the the new UK coalition government announced that it would be abolishing the Child Trust Fund scheme set up by the previous Labour administration in 2005.

So what ways exist to help give a newborn the gift of financial security?

 

Pocket Money Savings Accounts

Banks like to attract customers young, and offer reasonable rates of interest on savings accounts for children, but you should shop around and consider switching accounts if another bank offers a better rate.

You can set up a regular direct debit payment into the account and let the savings slowly accumulate until baby's 18th birthday.

The website kidstart.co.uk offers a scheme whereby parents get cashback on purchases at hundreds of shopping chains to add to their child's savings.

 

Trust Funds

If you don't mind locking away savings for a period of many years, you can start a trust fund for your child. The returns can be much higher than a savings account, but you should seek sound financial advice before opening such an account - investments of this type have no guaranteed return and can even lose money.

 

Baby Pensions

It may seem a bit extreme to start saving for retirement at birth, but the declining value of the state pension and the unwillingness of either state or private employers to provide high-value occupational pensions make a good personal pension a useful investment.

As with all financial products, buyer beware! Private pensions and trust funds are based on business and stock market investments. The recent credit crunch and ensuing global recession has shown that no investment, not even in a bank, is as safe as houses.

Newborn Gifts





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