Nov
01
2010
0

Where Can I Find Unclaimed International Money and Property?

unclaimed property assets money coin medal collection nkcrBelieve it our not, people abandon their valuables all the time, to the tune of billions of dollars of unclaimed assets sitting in accounts around the world. Perhaps someone moves away from home and forgets about their local bank account or safe deposit box. Or a property passes on to an heir who cannot be [&hel[more...]

Aug
25
2010
0

What is a Payday Loan?

monopoly board collecting salaryPayday Loan is the name given to a short-term loan or cash advance which as its name suggests is only required until the borrower’s next payday when it can be paid back. A tide-you-over loan is often seen as a quick answer to a temporary shortage of money, but it is not designed as a [&hel[more...]

Jul
29
2010
0

What is Britain’s newest bank?

piggy bankBritain’s newest high street bank has just opened. Metro Bank plc is the first new public bank to be created for over 100 years. The last public bank was the Co-operative (originally CWS Loan and Deposit Department) established in 1872. Metro Bank is completely independent and not associated with any other bank. The bank is [&hel[more...]

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Jul
15
2010
2

What is the National Savings and Investments?

piggy bankThe National Savings and Investments, also known as NS&I, is one of the largest savings banks in the United Kingdom, accounting for 10% of the UK retail savings investments market. It has 27 million customers and manages over £66 billion in investments. Unlike other banks which are ultimately owned by shareholders, the NS&I is an [&hel[more...]

Jul
12
2010
0

What are shareholders’ perks?

british airways aircraftWhen you buy a share in a company you are hoping that the company will be successful and it will offer good shareholder dividends and that the share price will also increase. But many people forget that there are a surprising number of companies which also offer perks and benefits to their shareholders. Companies offer [&hel[more...]

May
24
2010
2

Is there a problem with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme?

bank of englandAs we have all seen recently, the banking system is unstable. In the event that a bank goes bust and the bank’s liquidators are unable to repay your money, then the government’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme is available as place of last resort. However, there is a potential problem with the scheme which one must [&hel[more...]

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Apr
08
2010
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Can I give away all my money and then claim social security benefits?

british coins on table piled upThe state welfare system in the UK provides a number of benefits which are intended for the relief of, and protection against poverty. Some of these are known as Means Tested Benefits and they include Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit. As the name Means [&hel[more...]

Mar
01
2010
0

What’s the difference between a percentage, a percentage point, and a basis point?

percent-signThree terms—percentage, percentage point and basis point—are widely used in finance. Their meanings are different, and getting them mixed up can lead to an expensive mistake. A percentage is a way of expressing a ratio as parts per hundred. Five parts per hundred can be written as 20%. To convert any ratio to a percentage, [&hel[more...]

Dec
03
2009
0

What is a financial spread?

About to lose his shirt? (photo by hikingartist.com - CC-BY)A “spread”, in finance, is a pair of prices—one for buying and one for selling. The most common type of financial spread is the bid-offer spread. The offer price is the price at which a broker or market maker will sell you shares (or some other financial instrument). The bid price is the price at [&hel[more...]

Apr
22
2009
1

What traditions are there on Budget Day?

Downing Street. Seems hard to believe now that members of the public could stroll through here. (photo by dAVIDb1 CC-BY)Once a year is Budget Day in the UK when the Chancellor of the Exchequer of behalf of the government attends the House of Commons and makes a speech to the Members of Parliament outlining a summary of the current economic situation and a more detailed account of how the government intends to raise money [&hel[more...]

Apr
19
2009
2

Which countries are part of the G7, G8, G20, G33…?

Protestor with a "G20 Summit Monster" (photo by World Development Movement - CC-BY)The G-7 is an informal forum for the finance ministers of seven big industrial economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. It was formed in 1976 to discuss economic issues and seek agreement. It superseded the G-6 which didn’t include Canada. There’s also the G-8 which adds [&hel[more...]

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Mar
28
2009
0

How large is the UK insurance industry?

..The insurance industry makes important contributions to the UK’s economy, is a major employer, and source of overseas income. It is the second largest insurance industry in the world with its premium income at 11% of the world’s total. It is still some way behind the United States insurance industry which has 30 % of the [&hel[more...]

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Mar
25
2009
0

What are stocks and bonds?

Market board at the Philippine Stock Exchange Plaza in Manila.Although stocks and bonds are very popular types of investments, they are far from the same thing. Stock refers to ownership in a corporation. If you buy stock, you are buying a share in the company (in fact, the basic unit of stock is called a share, and they typically range in price from a [&hel[more...]

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Mar
16
2009
0

How many credit cards and debit cards are there in the United States?

Pile or stack of credit cards (photo by Andres Rueda CCBY)Credit cardholders According to the U.S. Census Bureau,  there were 173 million credit cardholders  in the United States in 2006 and that number is projected to grow to 181 million in 2010.(1) Number of cards There were 1,488,000,000 credit cards in use 2006 and that number is projected to grow to 1,618,000,000 in 2010. Number [&hel[more...]

Mar
03
2009
1

Is “Quantitative Easing” the same as “printing money”?

Image by azrainman - CC-BYThe phrase “printing money” is loaded with all kinds of negative connotations. It’s something we associate with Robert Mugabe, destroying the value of Zimbabwe’s currency. But now “quantitative easing” is about to begin. How does that work, and is it really the same as printing money? Most of the money in circulation is not in [&hel[more...]

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Feb
27
2009
1

How many dog and cat owners are there in the United States?

Photo by  Qole Pejorian - CC-BYAccording to the AVMA (1),  there are more than 72 million pet dogs in the U.S. and nearly 82 million pet cats. Ownership A little more than 43 million households own dogs and nearly 37.5 million households own cats. The average number of dogs per household is 1.7. Cat owning households have an average of [&hel[more...]

Feb
26
2009
0

How many pharmacies are there in the United States?

(Photo by Clean Wal-Mart CC-BY)There are more than 56,000 pharmacies in the United States. The NACDS  reports that there are over 39,000 pharmacies operated by traditional chain pharmacy companies, supermarkets and mass merchants. In addition there are  nearly 17,000 independent pharmacies. (1) Walgreens and CVS dominate the drug store chain market with the largest number of stores and the highest [&hel[more...]

Feb
26
2009
1

What is a bull market and a bear market?

Photo by jenny downing - CC-BYThe terms Bull Market and Bear Market are jargon relating primarily to the stock market, although they can be applied to any kind of investment that is openly traded and therefore has a market price. A Bull Market refers to a sustained period of time when the prices are generally rising faster than the historical [&hel[more...]

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Jan
29
2009
0

Is deflation bad, and why?

Deflationary Spiral (photo by FireChickenTA99 - CC-BY)Deflation is the opposite of inflation. Deflation is what we call it when things get cheaper. What could possibly be wrong with that? And yet some people argue that deflation is one of the worst things that could happen. How can that be? Suppose flat panel TVs keep getting cheaper. Some people will spend less [&hel[more...]

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Jan
28
2009
0

In which former tax havens do HM Customs now have access?

Fort Grey in Guernsey can no longer be used to hide your off-shore funds (photo by lostajy CC-By)The UK’s HM Customs have recently been very active in their attempts to counter and prevent tax evasion and avoidance, and track down money hidden in off-shore accounts which should have been disclosed to the tax man in the UK. In the past six months several off-shore jurisdictions previously thought of as safe tax havens [&hel[more...]

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