Published On: Thu, Mar 7th, 2024

Barclays investment expert on the pros and cons of investing versus cash savings | Personal Finance | Finance

New savings options announced in the Spring Budget may prompt some Britons to reassess their and investments.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt set out plans for a , a three-year fixed account through NS&I, and an extra £5,000 a year ISA allowance for a British ISA, in a bid to boost savings invested in UK companies.

Clare Francis, savings and investments director at Barclays Smart Investor, spoke to about the advantages of investing versus saving.

She said: “There’s a role for both but when it comes to growing your money over the longer term, stock markets tend to produce better returns than cash.

“So if you keep all your money in savings accounts, it probably won’t be worth as much in 10 years’ time as it would be if you invested some of it.

“However, because stock markets fall as well as rise, there is risk involved which is why it’s important to always have some money in cash.

“Over time though, you’ll hopefully be able to ride out the stock market downturns and benefit from stronger returns overall. This is why investing can be well suited when it comes to things like saving for retirement or just a general goal of trying to grow your wealth for the future.”

She urged people to make sure they use up their annual ISA allowance to take advantage of the tax-free savings account.

Ms Francis spoke about other things people can do to minimise their tax bills. She said: “Making use of your annual allowances, in particular your ISA and pension allowances, may help.

“Paying more into your pension will reduce the amount of income tax you pay and if you’re employed, you might even receive a higher contribution from your employer.”

There was some speculation there could be changes to inheritance tax in the Budget, or the levy could be scrapped altogether.

There were no major policy changes for the tax, although the process to get a grant to pay an inheritance tax bill will become easier.

From April, a representative of an estate will no longer need to seek commercial loans to pay an inheritance tax bill beofre they apply to get a ‘grant on credit’ from HMRC.

Ms Francis said: “Many people feel inheritance tax is an unfair tax but if you plan ahead, you may be able to significantly reduce your inheritance tax liability and you may even be able to mitigate it completely.

“That is because there are a number of allowances and ways to help you pass your wealth onto loved ones, rather than a large chunk of it being lost to a large tax bill. This is therefore an area where it can be well worth getting professional advice.”

For the latest personal finance news, follow us on Twitter at @ExpressMoney_.

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