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Should you take a risk?

Oh the savers! Those who squirrel away their hard-gotten gains are having a torrid time of it. Interest rates rock-bottom, and the cost of living shooting up.

Andrew Hagger of Moneynet agrees. 'It continues to be a really tough environment for savers. With experts predicting no uplift in Bank Rate until mid 2012 it seems that savers will have to put up with short-term bonuses and restrictive conditions just to get a rate near 3 pecent,' he says.

And if you want more than that (and, to be honest, who doesn't?), you'll need to start take risks. Tim Cockerill, of Rowan Capital, thinks he's got the answer.

'Putting risk to capital to one side, the upside is that an income of between 3pc and 4.5pc can be achieved from an income fund. With the prospect of that income growing in line with inflation, if not better, it's quite a good deal,' said Mr Cockerill.

'When it comes to bonds, yields of up to 7 percent can be achieved, but of course the risks are higher than with a fund paying 5 percent,' he said. 'But a combination of funds will reduce specific fund risk.'

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