When looking for investments such as premium bonds, you might be confused by the difference between a bank and the National Savings and Investments. Banks are usually private institutions. When you save you receive an interest on your money. The interest is determined and set by the bank which generates profit off of your money. The profit is then shared by the owners or if it is a credit union, the members share in the profit. The Savings and Investments is an agency of the British government. When you invest your money goes to pay for governmental expenditures and the government guarantees the safety of your money. You can’t find that kind of guarantee at a bank.
The National Savings and Investments offer several different investment packages including the sale of premium bonds. You can either save your money in an easy access account where you can claim your cash at any time or you can go for a longer package where your money is invested for several years. These packages can be and most are tax free. A lot of people do not trust short term investments so they opt for a fixed rate savings bond. Here the bank will give you a certain interest, usually higher than a savings account, if you promise to keep your money with them for a certain length of time. You usually have a penalty fee if you take it out before it is matured.
If you want to save money and maybe even get a 500 percent interest or more you may choose the premium bonds program. Premium bonds can be bought at your local post office at that bond will be exactly worth what you paid for it when you cash it out. The good thing is that your bond number will be included in a monthly lottery where you could win as little as a million pounds and as much as a million pounds. Almost one and a half million winners will be picked out and paid each month. At 21,000 to 1 odds, you are better off saving with premium bonds then with the conventional savings account.
If you are buying for a child you can buy premium bonds for children under sixteen. If you have a thrifty teenager, then at the age of sixteen they can buy them themselves. Some people opt out of premium bonds and go for more secure, lower interest bonds that will make some money to help the child through school or to help them financially in the future.
So whether you choose a bank or National Savings and Investments, be sure to ask a financial advisor what saving program bests suits you. The investment strategy that you choose can determine happiness and prosperity in your later years or the type of education your child will be able to afford. Interest rates are variable and if there is a national financial crisis, you, your money and your future could be hung out to dry.