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Emily’s dissection of deals

This week has been one for deals. Whether that comes from the new deals proposed by the government’s Autumn Statement, or the deals available over Black Friday weekend. But should a deal ever be taken at face value? When does a deal become a good deal, and when does it mask something else?

Black Friday

Black Friday has become yet another American import that has become almost unavoidable. If your inbox is anything like mine it’s been flooded with discounts, even an offer from Moneyfarm. I have to admit I have succumbed to the deals and purchased my son a drone for Christmas and saved myself 44% in the process.

Brits are expected to spend about £2 billion on Black Friday this year, and it got me thinking, has this had any impact on overall retail sales, or have spending patterns shifted? It seems that Black Friday drags forward some of that January sale spending, but do the offers encourage unnecessary spending or merely an opportunity to buy what we ‘need’ at a lower cost? Retailers would hope the former, but as an investor I would hope the latter.

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This Black Friday weekend I’d encourage you to stop and think about your purchases and consider how these contribute to your overall goals. The Moneyfarm deal gives you the opportunity to get up to £50,000 managed free of charge for a year by using the code ‘BLACKFRIDAY16’, when fees eat into your returns this gives you a fantastic opportunity to give your investment a further boost.

Philip Hammond

If there’s one word that can sum up Wednesday’s Autumn Statement, it could arguably be investment. The chancellor announced a £23 billion productivity investment fund all with the aim of improving the UK’s economic outlook. The speech started with a downward revision of growth expectations for 2017, these are now 1.4% (revised down from 2.4%). These growth figures have been much debated over the week as the information the Office for Budget Responsibility bases its predictions on has limitations. Some analysts take a slightly bleaker view and consensus among private sector economists anticipates 0.9% growth in 2017.

There wasn’t really much in the way of good news for investors or savers. The government did however draw attention to the low interest rates that UK savers are facing, by announcing a new savings bond. This savings bond will offer 2.2% interest each year, provided you invest no more than £3,000 and you lock that money up for three years. This is a conservative saving tool, with no risk of loss of capital, however it has its limitations. Will 2.2% be enough to beat inflation over the next three years, some predictions suggest not. If you took out the cash within the first year of investing you could stand to lose as much as 0.55%. However, looking at a conservative investment in short-term UK Gilts over the last three years, this could be a strong option. Ultimately this measure emphasises the need to look for alternatives and ensure that you have a diversified investment portfolio.

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