Don’t bury your loot in the garden

We may scoff at the thought of hiding cash in our mattresses or burying trinkets in the garden, but we’re not too far off doing the same ourselves, says Catherine Thurtle.

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I once heard a story of an elderly gentleman who was so distrustful of banks and the stockmarket that he kept all his cash and valuables in an old trunk. That he buried it… somewhere in his garden. Unfortunately, he was just as distrustful of his relatives, so when he died no one knew where the booty was hidden. Months later and with the garden in potholes, the family had to admit defeat.

This may sound like the unusual antics of a motley fool, but to a lesser extent many of us are taking a similar (if not quite so drastic) route with our finances.

Cash is not king

The latest research from unbiased.co.uk has found that even though there are record-low interest rates on cash savings, nearly two thirds of savers are not putting their money in anything other than cash and are staying away from investing on the stock markets. Despite the current low-interest environment and lack of inflation-busting savings accounts, some cash-savers still believe they can get better rates with a deposit account or cash ISA.

“Nearly two thirds of savers are not putting their money in anything other than cash and are staying away from investing on the stock markets”

And it’s not an issue with not having enough dough. The unbiased.co.uk research reveals that of those who currently have their savings in cash, only two in five questioned didn’t think they actually had enough money to invest.

Buckle your seatbelts

It’s fair to see why some are a little skittish of investing. With the media reporting market turbulence, nearly a third admitted that they feel it is too risky, while one in five are worried about making the wrong decisions.

Karen Barrett, chief executive of unbiased.co.uk says that the main problem seems to be that would-be investors don’t have access to the right information to make confident choices.Our research shows there is a clear appetite from cash savers to invest their money but key factors such as knowing how and when to buy and sell investments are putting people off.”

The main point is: cash savings are probably not where your money should be sitting gathering dust right now. If you’re concerned about investing, speak to an independent adviser. It may be that you pay an upfront fee but from this could mean far greater returns in the long run.

And it’ll also save your family hiring a JCB after you’ve popped your clogs.

What are your reasons for not investing? Let us know by tweeting @unbiaseduk

By Catherine Thurtle