Wednesday, 2 January 2019

The Desire to Be Liked

Most normal people have a desire to be liked by others. It’s natural. I have been thinking recently about this and thought that I should write a blog post about it. So here it is!

There are, it seems to me, two sides to this desire, a good side and a bad one.

The Good Side of wanting to be liked

It's true to say that we are drawn to people who display good manners, are pleasant to us and who stick to the rules in society. We tend to dislike those who are rude, break the law and mistreat people. The need to be liked by others helps people to focus on being what could be described as, a good citizen. It helps to keep our society a reasonable place to live. This leads me to write about the wrong side of wanting to be liked.

The Bad Side of wanting to be liked

"One bad apple can spoil the bunch" is a saying that we are familiar with and in life, this is so true. Just as a rotting apple can spread the bacteria that breaks down the fruit, so too can the attitudes of other people infect those around them.

Many young people who feel the need to be liked can be drawn into gangs. Rather than worrying about what most people in society think about them, the desire to fit in with the criminal element and their attitudes is greater due to being in their presence.

The desire to be liked is a powerful part of our psyche and one that we need to be aware of in our society and that it can be for good or bad. Those working with young people who can be drawn into gangs realise this. Parents and others need to make sure they help their children to integrate with the 'good apples', not an easy task, and to give their children the love and attention they crave. Sadly, so many young people today are left to find their own way in life at an early age, and often the easiest path is one that leads to problems.

I always welcome your thoughts and would be delighted if you would kindly leave a comment in the box below.

Monday, 31 December 2018

Should I Invest in an ISA?

ISA’s or in full, Individual Savings Accounts have been for many years an essential tool for saving tax-free both in cash and stocks and shares. Many banks and building societies offered better rates for ISA’s to attract the longer term saver and keep them as customers.

However, times change and since the banking crisis, we all know that interest rates fell to incredibly low levels or even in some cases zero interest on our savings.

There have been other changes too that now affect our decisions, not least that every basic rate taxpayer can receive up to £1,000 in interest tax-free each year. The majority of savers here in the UK can perhaps only dream of getting anything in excess of that amount in a year from their savings. ISA’s have varied over the years as to how much you can save each year, but it now stands at 2018/19 tax year at £20,000.

Higher rate taxpayers don’t have this allowance so the way they will choose their savings accounts will be different.

There are also special ISA’s that have a lower investment limit, such as Lifetime ISA’s which is currently £4,000 and Help to Buy ISA’s at £3,400. These ISA’s though do have something added which is a 25% top up from the Government to encourage you to save. The rules don’t allow you to contribute to other cash ISA’s in the same tax year if you take one of these out bit of course if this is going to help you but your first home that 25% bonus is worth considering.

Standard cash ISA’s

If you are not likely to pay any tax on your savings or saving for your first home, the best account for you is one that is going to pay the most interest whether that is an ISA or not. For higher rate taxpayers you will need to calculate the interest you would receive from comparable accounts and take the tax into account as to which would be the best for you.

Stocks and Shares ISA's

For stocks and shares ISA’s it is not possible to compare returns for the future but you might wish to carefully look at how well the funds have been performing, comparing like with like. For example, if you are looking at low/medium risk UK fund don’t compare past returns against a higher risk Asia fund.

ISA’s today do have a place, however, it has to be said that it might be quite likely that by regularly opening new accounts and getting introductory offers, other savings accounts can be better whether you are a standard or higher rate taxpayer. It pays to shop around, do your research and basic maths.