PERSONAL FINANCE NEWS

MS LAUNCHES NEW GROWTH PLAN
Morgan Stanley this week announced the launch of its FTSE Gilt-Backed Growth Plan 4, which offers investors a fixed return equivalent to 8.5 per cent a year, paid on the first anniversary that the FTSE records flat or positive performance. If this does not happen, then investors still have some protection providing the index does not close below 50 per cent of its level recorded on the plan start date throughout the term. The minimum investment is £3,000 and it can be included in a SIPP or an ISA.

NATIONWIDE CUTS MORTGAGE RATES
From today, mortgage lender Nationwide is reducing its rates by up to 0.30 per cent on selected mortgages for both remortgage and house purchase customers. The biggest cuts are on mortgages available up to 85 per cent loan-to-value (LTV). The average reduction will be 0.19 per cent. Existing borrowers who are remortgaging will be able to borrow up to 95 per cent LTV and first-time buyers taking out a three-year fixed or tracker product or a five-year fixed product will receive a £500 discount.

HSBC’S STOCK-LINKED SAVINGS ACCOUNT
HSBC introduced a new savings account earlier this week that could offer investors an 18 per cent return on investments over three-and-a-half years if the stock market doesn’t fall, equal to an annual equivalent rate (AER) of 4.84 per cent. Even if the stock market falls, your initial investment is totally protected. The minimum investment is £3,000.

BRITONS UNDERESTIMATE PENSION POTS
Britons are massively underestimating the income they will need to live comfortably in retirement according to Alico Wealth Management’s Financial Pressure Points research. Almost half of adults believe they need an income of between £20,001 and £40,000 per year to be able to retire in comfort. The average of £33,070 would require a pension pot of £537,900, which is more than double the £256,750 that respondents think they will need to retire. The average Brit only expects to have accrued £168,060 at the point of retirement, giving a 65-year-old woman just £10,908 a year to live on.

LONDON HOTSPOTS FOR THEFT CLAIMS
London is well known for being a crime hotspot and research from comparison website Moneysupermarket.com supports this, revealing that Londoners are the most likely in the UK to make a claim for theft on their home insurance policy. The website analysed more than 1.1m home insurance enquiries made last year and found London held 10 of the top 20 postcode districts most likely to have made a claim for theft. After Manchester’s Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, which nabbed the top spot, Blackheath and Hammersmith were the most at-risk postcode districts, with Finsbury Park coming in fourth.