In cash we trust?

The information provided in this article was accurate at the time of publishing and should be read in the context of the date it was published. Views in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the view of Scottish Friendly.

I recently wrote of the fear some people have of investing in stocks and shares because they think of it as a “gamble” rather than a “calculated risk”. Is this fear of – or at least staying away from – stocks and shares investments leading to children’s savings languishing in accounts with little potential for decent growth?

A preference for security for one’s investment, a lack of knowledge or perhaps just the plain convenience of and familiarity with one’s bank or building society means that 73 per cent of Junior Isa subscriptions are being placed in cash.

Is such faith, or trust, in a bank or building society account misplaced for a long-term investment like a Junior Isa?

Holly Mackay in The Telegraph on 30 April points out the probability that investing in shares will outperform saving in cash is 75 per cent over a five-year period, increasing to 90 per cent over 10 years and 99 per cent over 18 years, as shown by the Barclays Equity Gilt Survey

The “trust” that investors have for banks – despite the banking crises of recent years – is something that the investment industry has to work harder in building if we want more people to consider investing in stocks and shares Isas.

We at Scottish Friendly have certainly been doing our best to promote stocks and shares Isas and Junior Isas as investments everyone should consider. Behind this promotion are affordable investments from £10 a month and a choice of mainly tracker funds mean investments are not hard on people’s pockets and don’t require lots of decisions.

The more we can make people more comfortable with investments, the more it will open up the potential for greater wealth generation.

Stocks and shares investments can go down as well as up and the amount invested is not guaranteed. Capital is secure in cash investments, although please bear in mind that the actual value of your money in your account could reduce due to inflation. Past performance is not a guide to future performance.

No advice has been provided by Scottish Friendly. If you are in any doubt as to whether a savings or investment plan is suitable for you, you should contact a financial adviser for advice. If you do not have a financial adviser, you can get details of local financial advisers by visiting Advisers may charge for providing such advice and should confirm any cost beforehand.