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Lessons to be learned

The Government is encouraging more young people to go on to higher education and making them pay for tuition fees on top of living expenses. This means that the average student leaves college or university with a 12,609 millstone of debt around their neck.

As long as owing such big amounts is the norm, people will hardly be encouraged to save for items they cannot readily afford and the problem will spiral out of control.

According to reports, lenders need to look abroad to expand their businesses as the UK market has reached saturation report. Surely this is an irresponsible attitude? What lenders should be doing is educating borrowers about managing and repaying debt.

Encouraging people to repay loans as quickly as possible without compounding the problem should be high on the Government’s and lenders’ agenda. Time and again when lecturing in finance at higher education establishments, I see students whose grasp on budgeting and financial planning is flaky, to say the least.

If we are to avoid a national financial timebomb, we need to put managing money on school timetables from as young an age as possible to ensure the next generation adopts a mature and responsible attitude to money.

Caroline Anstee

Co-director, Elements,

Wakefield, West Yorkshire


Keeping up with the Dow Jones

Rereading last week’s column made me realise that I may have been responsible for misleading people over the performance of the US stockmarket. My reference to Wall Street moving into new high ground related specifically to the recent recovery in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. This index is almost certainly the most widely quoted in the media when it comes to remarking on how the world’s biggest stockmarket is behaving but is not representative of the market as a whole.

Open up Asps rather than axe them

Any assessment of the way the wind is blowing in Whitehall suggests that Asps will be scrapped. For months now, an argument has raged between Government and opposition parties, the regulator, pension companies and advisers over the status of alternatively secured pensions. The Government wanted them restricted to people with religious objections to annuities. The […]

Pick of the bunch

Since Ian McVeigh took over Jupiter UK growth in 2003, he has restored its fortunes as a top-performing fund. In my view, McVeigh is one of Jupiter’s most engaging fund managers and, I believe, much under-rated by the industry. At an investment dinner in 2003, attended by journalists and brokers, he was one of the […]

Final nail in the coffin

The headline, 3bn review for contracting out (Money Marketing last week), must have caught the attention, if not caused clinical depression, for many in our profession. In the same week, I have celebrated with my stepson claiming 880 windfall shares in Standard Life (worth currently some 2300) awarded as a result of setting up a […]

Jelf flexible benefits

In Focus: How to choose a flexible benefits provider — seven top tips

Jelf Employee Benefits looks at some of the key considerations employers should think about when reviewing and choosing a flexible benefits provider. Choosing the right benefits for your employees is one thing but delivering a successful employee benefits strategy is about understanding the complete picture and delivering it in a personalised way so that it resonates with each and every individual in your business. 


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