Barclaycard Spending Index Up 9.2% Year-On-Year in July

Barclaycard Spending Index up 9.2% year-on-year in July shows talk of Government austerity drive having little impact on consumer spending.

Consumer spending on cards saw a near double digit increase in August compared to the same month last year, challenging concerns that talk of reduced public spending is already forcing consumers to be more cautious.

According to the new figures released by Barclaycard, the amount spent on debit and credit cards, in-store and online, increased by 9.2% in August compared to the same month last year, with new autumn sales, discounts and back-to-school spending helping to keep the retail sector buoyant. The rising cost of both food and cotton may also be starting to filter through to retail prices, meaning higher spending.

This month’s increase represents the fourth month in a row that the annual growth rate has increased by more than 9%, indicating anything but a dip in confidence.

The figures challenge recent reports of a consumer spending slowdown and reduced consumer confidence, suggesting that a gap exists between what consumers say about their financial prospects and how they behave, with spending on the high street remaining strong.

Stuart Neal, head of Barclaycard UK Payment Acceptance said: “With leading retailers warning that the Government austerity drive will keep the economy in the doldrums and hit consumer confidence hard, it is good to see a fourth month of increased spending.”

“While there is some cause for viewing the near future with a certain amount of trepidation, recent indicators are good. Confidence remains relatively high, but it will be important to see how spending fares when public spending cutbacks begin to hit people’s pockets, and not just the headlines.”

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

M&S Money Warns Insurance Homework Should Be A Priority For Todays Students

A new survey by M&S Money* has revealed that, as thousands of students prepare to head to university, the average student bedroom contains a massive £1620 worth of gear – yet only half of students have contents insurance.

The poll found that the average student crams into their room almost £699 worth of electrical gadgets and appliances, £444 worth of clothes, sports equipment valued at £246 and textbooks worth £231.

The huge value of a student’s bedroom is not surprising, with over half of students (55%) owning a laptop, 48% possessing a MP3 player and 20% a widescreen television.

The survey also revealed that 27% of students have been burgled while at university with 71% being burgled more than once.

Despite this, only 52% of students who took part in the survey said that they have insurance to cover their possessions whilst the items are in their student accommodation.

M&S Money points out that many students heading to university will not need to buy a standalone student policy and should check if their parents’ home insurance policy provides sufficient cover.

Students whose parents have M&S Premier Home Contents insurance receive unlimited cover for their possessions while living in student accommodation. This covers events such as damage, flood or theft from halls.

The student bedroom of 2010 is very different from student bedrooms of the 80s. To mark the 25th anniversary of the launch of the financial services arm of M&S**, M&S Money surveyed students who went to university in 1985 to find out their most cherished items.

Andrew Ferguson, M&S head of General Insurance, said: “While the contents of a student’s bedroom have changed a great deal in the past 25 years, one thing remains the same – they have expensive tastes.

“Students of 2010 preparing for the new academic year may see insurance as an unnecessary expense on top of everything else. But as our survey shows the modern day student bedroom is a goldmine for thieves, so insurance could be the best investment students make this autumn.

“Many students would be surprised to know that their valuables may already be covered – they just need to check whether their parents’ home insurance policy covers their property when away from home.”

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

LV= Launches New Viral Game

LV= has announced the launch of “LV= Heartsville”, a new viral game that offers a number of prizes to be won.

Aligned with the theme of the current LV= TV advert, the premise of the new game is to fly a hot air balloon over the fictional town of “Heartsville” and avoid any obstacles that could ground the balloon. While the game boasts easy and user friendly game play, it becomes more challenging as the player progresses through the game.

Players can share the game with their friends via Facebook and create leagues to make it even more fun. A free prize draw is also available to users with prizes including two tickets for a Virgin hot air balloon ride, a Fortnum & Mason hamper or a £50 shopping voucher.

LV= Heartsville” has been created in order to assist the company in capturing customer data, increase LV=’s brand awareness and drive traffic to the company website, with LV=’s key products such as car insurance and life insurance getting a mention in the game.

Alan Lay, web content manager at LV= said: “We think it’s a great game, lots of fun to play, with some great prizes up for grabs and you can indulge in some friendly competition by setting up leagues with friends and family. “Heartsville” brings a little extra cheer to our audience, creating a buzz and engaging them with the brand, then driving them to our website to show them how we look after what they love in life.”

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

LV= Asset Management Equities Team Celebrates Year Of Strong Performance

One year after joining LV= Asset Management (LVAM), the fund management arm of mutual insurance and investment group, LV=, Graham Ashby and his team are celebrating an impressive set of numbers for both the LV= UK Equity Income Fund and LV= UK Growth Fund.

Graham joined from Credit Suisse and has been the lead manager of the LV= UK Equity Income Fund since 1 September 2009. During the year to 31 August 2010, LV= UK Equity Income Fund returned 12.18% versus a FTSE All Share Index figure of 10.57% and an IMA UK Equity Income sector average of 8.22%, marking it as 1st Quartile and 6th Percentile*.

Under the stewardship of Michael Crawford, an experienced manager who has worked with Graham for over 10 years, LV= UK Growth Fund returned a much improved performance of 9.29% against the FTSE All Share Index’s 10.57% and an IMA UK All Companies sector average of 8.62%*.

Graham and Michael also brought Marcus Chandler and Mira Bhogaita with them from Credit Suisse. Together with long-standing LVAM fund manager Chris Price, they make up LVAM’s UK Equities team.

The UK equity portfolios have a ‘backbone’ of stocks which have a proven record in creating value for shareholders and where fundamental analysis indicates that these high returns are sustainable.

The team also believes that UK equity portfolios should also be diversified in absolute rather than relative terms. As a result, they seek to ensure adequate diversification by limiting the exposure to individual stocks and adopting a ‘benchmark aware’ rather than a ‘benchmark driven’ approach to portfolio construction.

Recently, in response to demand, LVAM has moved to a quarterly income distribution for the LV= UK Equity Income Fund, which helps with clients’ cash flow and is also in line with the trend for UK companies to pay dividends quarterly; an institutional income share class has also been added.

In July this year, LV= UK Equity Income Fund received a Standard & Poor’s ‘A’ rating and in addition, both Graham Ashby and Michael Crawford are ‘A’ rated by Citywire.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

M&S Money Goes Back To The Future To Compare Student Bedrooms

The average student crams into their room almost £699 worth of electrical gadgets and appliances, £444 worth of clothes, sports equipment valued at £246 and textbooks worth £231, according to the poll by M&S Money*.

The huge value of a student’s bedroom is not surprising, with over half of students (55%) owning a laptop, 48% possessing a MP3 player and 20% a widescreen television.

But students’ expensive tastes are nothing new as the survey also revealed what the typical university bedroom of 1985 looked like.

While today’s students listen to music through their MP3 player and stereo, students in 1985 enjoyed the sounds of Wham and Tears for Fears through their Walkman, ghetto blaster and turntable.

In the same year that ‘Back to the Future’ hit the big screens, the students of 1985 were watching the first episodes of Eastenders on their black and white TVs.

The 1985 student bedroom was also likely to contain an alarm clock, scientific calculator, Breville toaster, and even a landline phone for the lucky few.

The survey also revealed that only 8% of the 1985 students said they were burgled while at university, compared to 27% of current students.

Andrew Ferguson, M&S Head of General Insurance, said: “While the contents of a student’s bedroom have changed a great deal in the past 25 years, one thing remains the same – they have expensive tastes.

“Our survey shows the modern day student bedroom is a goldmine for thieves, so insurance could be the best investment students make this autumn.”

The survey was carried out to mark the 25th anniversary of the launch of the financial services arm of M&S**, today known as M&S Money.

M&S Money Reveals Brits Stick To Things They Know And Love

M&S Money has revealed new research that shows when shop keepers and businesses earn the British public’s trust, customers return time and time again.

From dentists to favourite shop keepers, on average these relationships with our favourite shops and people last the test of time, according to new research by M&S Money* to mark the company’s 25th anniversary.

The results showed that people have firm favourites among their shopkeepers and other professionals, with almost 25 million Brits remaining loyal to their favourites for 20 years or more. Six out of 10 say that good customer service is the main reason they stay loyal to a person or business and over half cite reliability and good value for money.

The report also showed that 1.3 million women have stuck with the same hairdressers for over 20 years and, on average, British adults have the same doctor for almost 13 years, with over 10 million staying with the same doctor for 25 years. The research also found that despite some people’s nervousness they stay faithful to our dentists for nearly nine years. It was also revealed that men stay with their main bank for 14 years and women slightly longer at 15 years.

Colin Kersley, chief executive of M&S Money, said: “Consumers will evidently stick with businesses and people who deliver great service and look after their customers. Most people can name someone they trust completely, whether cutting their hair, managing their money, decorating their house or fixing their car.

“People clearly feel strongly about good customer service, reliability and trustworthiness as these are reasons why they stay loyal for so long. After 25 years in business, M&S Money has stood the test of time and we know how important it is to continue earning the loyalty of our customers.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Never Reorder Bank Checks with ezCheckPersonal MICR Check Printing Software

Personal check printing software has become the more and more popular owing to the efficiency and convenience it provides its users. Anyone fed up with writing checks by hand or complicated check-writing software that takes forever can find new satisfaction in the latest edition of ezCheckPersonal check writing software developed by

New features in the latest edition ofezCheckPersonal make check writing even faster and easier. ezCheckPersonal is the personal and home-use version of the popular check writing software from software developer The newly released version of ezCheckPersonal includes two new time-saving and money-saving features:

– Add a new check by duplicating an old check
– Import/Export features

The duplicating old check feature speeds up check printing for checks that are similar to previous checks. When customers write a check for a monthly bill, they can save the information so they can write checks for future months with just a couple clicks of the mouse. This can save a lot of time in paying bills or writing checks for other frequent payments. Once the old check information is imported, the user can modify amounts, dates and other information as needed.

All software from, including ezCheckPersonal, is designed to be incredibly easy to use. Customers can begin printing checks within minutes of downloading and installing the software. The intuitive graphical interface leads users step by step through the check writing and printing process.

“Simple, easy, fast. That’s what computer software should be,” said founder Dr. Ge. “You shouldn’t need a programming degree or accounting background to use personal finance or check writing software. That’s why we made ezCheckPersonal so simple and easy to use.”

The best of all, customers can try ezCheckPersonal for free , even get the full version forFREE.

Customers can go online to and try ezCheckPersonal free for 30 days. This is a risk-free way for customers to see whether they like the software and make sure it meets their needs. The software customers download is fully functional for 30 days. After 30 days, customers must purchase a license key to unlock ezCheckPersonal for unlimited use. License keys can be purchased online for just $24 per installation.

Additionally, a special offer through TrialPay allows customers to get the full, unlimited version of ezCheckPersonal for free simply by trying products and services from partnering companies. Details are online.

ezCheckPersonal Software Feature List
– Support unlimited bank accounts
– Print your own checks on blank computer checks
– Print image logo and signature on checks
– Edit check layout and create customized personal checks
– Easy to use reports
– Easy data import/export
– Support multiple blank personal check formats (3 or 4 checks per page)

For more information about ezCheckPersonal and, please visit ezCheckPersonal software page online at

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

LV Announces Strong Performance In First Half Of 2010

LV=, the mutual insurance, retirement and investment group, has announced a strong performance in the first half of 2010, with sales and trading profits significantly up on the same period of 2009.

Life cover sales are up 40% to £63.5m on an APE (Annual Premium Equivalent) basis, compared to £45.2m in the first half of 2009. This includes retirement business seeing a 36% increase with an APE of £48.3 (H1 2009: £35.4m) while protection and savings businesses saw a 55% increase with an APE of £15.2m (H1 2009: £9.8m).

General insurance GWP (Gross Written Premiums) were up 37% to £546.4m (H1 2009: £397.5m), this includes including new business GWP up by
39% to £85.0m (H1 2009: £61.3m). The results also confirm that LV= is now fourth biggest private car insurer (according to FSA returns 2009).

In asset management (LVAM), investment performance shows continued strong outperformance against benchmark for the with-profits portfolio. 85% of eligible funds are ranked in the first or second quartile of their peer groups for performance in the first six months of 2010 while H1 2010 sales exceed the total for 2009 (excluding third party institutional sales).

Mike Rogers, LV= group chief executive, commented: “Although the market environment remains challenging, our focus has paid off enabling us to
continue to grow profitably across the LV= Group. Our trading performance in terms of both sales and profitability was significantly up on the same period last year.

“In the life business, pensions and annuities spearheaded a strong performance, driven partly by legislation change moving the retirement age from 50 to 55. Profitability in life was also enhanced by improved cost control and by our development of new IFA accounts.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

LV= Research Suggests That Poor Sighted Drivers Put Lives At Risk

LV= has revealed new research conducted amongst motorists that shows many drivers are still getting behind the wheel, despite having poor eye sight.

The research conducted by LV= car insurance reveals that 4.2 million drivers who don’t currently wear glasses admitted their vision was ‘not perfect’ although they still drive and 1.1 million drivers who are prescribed glasses or lenses for driving said they don’t always wear them whilst behind the wheel.

Among the 53% of motorists that don’t currently wear prescribed glasses or lenses, the statistics reveal that nearly a quarter (23%) confess that their eyesight is ‘not perfect’, and around one in ten (11%) admit to finding it difficult to see at night and one in twenty (6%) say they struggle to see in poor weather.

Yet despite these problems a third of these motorists say they haven’t had their eyes tested in the last five years with a further one in eight (13%) saying they either had a test over ten years ago or they have simply never bothered.

Aside from the number plate reading test in the driving exam, drivers are not currently legally required to have an eye test until they are 70 years old, although medical experts recommend that all drivers have an eye test at least every two years, regardless of whether they think their eyesight is okay for driving.

And in a test among 256 randomly selected drivers, one in ten (9%) were unable to make out a number plate just over 20 metres away on their first attempt. This rose to 18% of all drivers aged 55 and over5.

If motorists drive when they cannot see clearly and do not meet the visual requirements, they could be fined £1,000, receive three penalty points or be disqualified from driving. If drivers are involved in an accident caused by their lack of vision they could be charged with reckless or dangerous driving and potentially face a prison sentence.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

LV European Ex-UK Growth Fund Adds Sterling Hedged Share Class

LV= Asset Management (LVAM), the fund management arm of insurance, investment and pensions group LV=, is enhancing its LV= European ex-UK Growth Fund with the addition of a Sterling hedged share class, in response to growing demand from institutional and discretionary clients.

The new Institutional Income GBP Hedged Share Class is a further designation of the Institutional Income Share Class launched last month. It allows clients to mitigate currency risk on their investments but also to express any strong currency views by providing for free switching between hedged and unhedged share classes without having to realise the investment or incur any capital gains tax liability.

Julian Thomas, Head of Product Development and Management, LVAM, commented: “LV= European ex-UK Growth Fund has achieved a remarkable track record of consistent performance for its clients over a number of years. In order to widen its appeal to investors, the Sterling hedged share class aims to reduce the underlying currency risk of the portfolio’s assets by hedging currencies to which the portfolio has material exposure.

“We believe this gives LVAM a competitive advantage by offering a product that few others do, allowing a greater number of potential clients to access the Fund’s strong performance.”

Matthew Wright, Head of Sales, LVAM, said: “We know that there is demand for this type of product from clients and indeed, we already have strong pipeline interest ahead of bringing it to market. This is further evidence that LVAM is prepared to extend the investment options of an impressively performing fund to meet client needs.”

LV= European ex-UK Growth Fund was launched in 2003 and is managed jointly by Mark Page, Richard Falle and Laurent Millet. Last month it secured an OBSR ‘A’ rating and it carries an ‘AA’ rating from Standard & Poor’s. It is the only fund to have outperformed both the benchmark index and IMA Europe sector average in every year since 2004*.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Continued Progress And Growth For The Co-operative Group

Financial and operational highlights

* Strong performance across the Group, driven by continued investment
* Balance sheet strong and cash position well managed
* Somerfield and Britannia integration processes on track and progressing well
* Root-and-branch overhaul of the business continues with ongoing investment in the brand and transformation of the entire estate
* Food business delivers strong result in tough market conditions

o Sales up 11.5% to £3.9bn
o Underlying trading profit up 12.6% to £169.7m
o Total like-for-like sales down 1%, impacted by disruption of Somerfield integration
o Like-for-like food sales in rebranded and refitted stores up 2.5%
o 2,500 food stores converted to new brand including over 50% of Somerfield stores
o Fairtrade made available to millions more shoppers at Somerfield as part of the range integration programme
o 1 billion less carrier bags given away in stores over past three years

* Financial services business produces strong result

o CFS Operating profit up 34% to £109.3m (£81.4m)
o CFS total deposits up by £1.4bn
o New general insurance policies up 32%
o Like-for-like mortgage applications up 31%
o Total impairments down 41%
o Customer funding ratio strengthened further to 110%
o Core products aligned across Co-operative and Britannia channels

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Experian Launches ProtectMyID

ProtectMyID offers a comprehensive online service to allow consumers to keep track of where their personal information is being used to secure credit. The launch of the service follows research by Experian that shows identity fraud is on the increase and is more widespread than ever. Experian revealed that the number of identity fraud victims who sought help from the company last year leapt by nearly 20% compared to the year before.

ProtectMyID provides credit report monitoring with text or email alerts if any credit is applied for in the user’s name. Details of the activity and advice on what to do is then posted to the user’s personal and secure online account. As part of the service users also have access to a dedicated Experian caseworker who can offer individual advice to help resolve the suspected ID theft or other fraudulent activity. Other benefits of the service include free fraud insurance to cover the cost of resolution up to £75,000 (provided by ARC, underwritten by AXA) and the option for CIFAS Protective Registration.

The Experian research revealed that in 2009, people were taking longer to discover that they have become a victim of fraud, indicating that fraudsters are getting better at covering their tracks; the average time taken is now 416 days, up 17 days compared to 2008. Year on year, reported fraud rose most sharply in early summer, rising by 57% in May and by 74% in June – the highest number ever reported to Experian in any single month. The average financial loss per victim was £1,100 in 2009 and the most extreme loss reported to Experian was for almost £59,000.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Saxo Bank Launches New Morning Markets And Trading Notes On

Saxo Bank, the specialist in online trading and investment, has launched two new European morning publications entitled the ‘Morning Kickoff @ Saxo Bank’ and the ‘Saxo Bank Charts of the Day’ which will be published through the site.

The trading Morning Kickoff @ Saxo Bank will deliver analysis and trading commentary on both short-term intraday events and the longer-term trends which are important to traders dealing Forex – foreign exchange or equity markets.

The Saxo Bank Charts of the Day, on the other hand, provides a snapshot of key graphical indicators traders should be watching to detect any changes in market trends and sentiment.

David Karsbol, Saxo Bank’s Chief Economist, said, “The creation of these two notes marks our (Saxo Bank / desire to provide readers with a comprehensive overview of the market drivers without cluttering up an already information-overloaded world.

“We have balanced the need for fundamental information on what has happened, what is about to happen and what could transpire, with a set of charts to help understand the relationships between key instruments and indicators.” is a website bringing traders insightful commentary, analysis and research to keep them informed on strategies and news in Forex, FX-options, stocks,commodities and CFDs. Some of its key publications and channels include:

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

MidCountry Financial Hires Chief Accounting Officer – Adds Additional Planning, Compliance, And Industry Experience To Seasoned Executive Team

MidCountry Financial Corp. (MCFC) is pleased to announce that Darren Cantlay has joined the executive team as Vice President of Accounting and Finance, and Chief Accounting Officer. In this newly-created position, Cantlay will manage all financial reporting, budgeting, financial systems, and tax functions for MCFC, among other things, and will also assist with strategic planning and overall financial management for the organization. Cantlay begins his new role Sept. 1, 2010.

“We’re extremely excited to have Darren join the MidCountry Financial family,” said David Hall, chief financial officer for MCFC. “He brings a diverse and extensive set of financial skills to the company, and he will be a valuable asset as we continue to grow and expand our organization.”

Cantlay has more than 15 years of experience handling a variety of accounting, compliance, planning, and operational issues for a variety of financial institutions, including McIntosh Bancshares, the Bank of Ellijay, Appalachian Bancshares, and United Bank Corporation. He has previously held the positions of chief financial officer, chief operating officer, controller, and accountant.

A graduate of Valdosta State University, Cantlay has been an adjunct faculty member at Griffin Technical Institute, where he taught both accounting and tax courses. He is a member of the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Institute of Management Accountants, the Georgia Bankers Association Asset Liability Committee, and was Secretary of the Gilmore County Rotary Club from 2008-2009.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Possible £2.7bn Bill for PPI Reclaim Compensation

The Financial Services Authority has announced that compensation for mis-sold PPI reclaims could reach as much as £2.7bn and involve 2.75 million people in the UK. Complaints regarding PPI reclaims are expected to rise to over 550,000 per year for the next five years, with compensation for PPI reclaims varying from £900 – £1,800 per person.

The FSA found ‘wide and deep evidence of weakness in PPI sales’ over the last five years and warned lenders they have until December 1st 2010 to adopt a new set of rules that deal with PPI reclaim complaints, key features of which include:

  • If the customer would not have bought the policy in the first place, the PPI premiums plus interest should be reimbursed.
  • If the customer was persuaded to buy a premium with a single up-front payment instead of a regular premium policy, the customer should be reinstated to the position they would have been if they had done.

Dan Waters of the FSA said: “The rules are the culmination of months of hard work and now, with these measures, we look forward to consumers being treated fairly whether they are buying or complaining about PPI. Since we took over the regulation of PPI we’ve carried out 24 investigations and three thematic reviews, issued warnings, halted the selling of single premium PPI with unsecured personal loans, visited over 200 firms, and handed out some very significant fines.”

Lenders up in arms about new PPI reclaim rules

Many have argued the new PPI reclaim rules are unnecessary and disproportionate, with lenders waging a behind-the-scenes campaign to stop the new regulations from being instated.

However, the FSA is adamant the new rules are necessary given the behaviour of some lenders when faced with dealing with PPI reclaims. Some lenders have been automatically turning down almost half of the PPI reclaim complaints they receive with others have been rejecting every single one. Of those customers who had their PPI reclaims rejected, 1 in 3 turned to the Financial Ombudsman Service for help and 80% had their complaints upheld. Such is the extent of the problem, last year the FSA instructed lenders to open up 185,000 rejected PPI reclaims and review them.

For claims comparison site,, the behaviour of the lenders is nothing new. “The new FSA rules are incredibly welcome, For years lenders have been mis-selling PPI insurance alongside loans to everyone they could. Often they knew the premiums to be unnecessary or that the customer would be unable to claim on the policy because they were exempt from doing so when they took them out. Sometimes they didn’t even bother telling the borrower they were adding a PPI premium. Customers had no idea they even had an insurance policy.”

The spokesperson added; “The numbers of people coming to us for help with PPI reclaims has risen dramatically over the last 12 months and some of the stories we are hearing are quite shocking. It’s quite obvious the lenders are banking on people being disillusioned and put off when they repeatedly reject their PPI reclaims. That’s why many people need a helping hand from companies like ours to deal with the tactics of these unscrupulous lenders who have simply instated a blanket ban on dealing with PPI reclaims regardless of the merit of the customer’s case. Luckily we understand PPI reclaim law and aren’t so easily put off by the tactics of lenders”.

The Competition Commission is also expected to announce a ban on selling PPI policies at the point when someone is granted a loan. Some lenders however have realised the game is up and have already stopped offering polices, including HSBC and Lloyds.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

Saxo Bank Releases New Monthly Equity Research On Value Stocks In

Saxo Bank, the specialist in online trading and investment, has launched a new monthly equity research publication entitled “Global Value Equity Strategy” focused on highlighting the most undervalued stocks from around the world. It will appear each month on the Equities section of

The “Global Value Equity Strategy” will highlight a value portfolio on 30 of the most undervalued stocks from around the world according to a proprietary equity screening model. Each issue of the publication will included back testing results and performance evaluation of the live portfolio.

“One of the many advantages of such a value strategy is that the investment horizon is longer, usually one year or more, eliminating short-term volatility currently prevalent in equity markets,” said Christian Blaabjerg, chief equity strategist at Saxo Bank. “Equity related investment letters are widely distributed on the Internet nowadays. Few of them, however, focus on undervalued securities.”

The “Global Value Equity Strategy” report includes a brief introduction to value stocks, how to recognize them and why investing in them is likely to generate superior returns compared to widely used benchmarks. The phrases “growth stocks” and “value stocks” appear fairly often in financial reports and publications and the “Global Value Equity Strategy” explains that a growth stock is a company, often large and well-known, which has generated high and stable earnings growth over a longer period of time. Investors tend to value such stocks higher as they extrapolate historical growth into the future. The problem is that only few stocks are able to maintain such earnings growth for a long time and competition typically results in a slowdown, eroding margins and market share for growth companies. This seems to explain why they tend to be inferior investments.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases

LV= Reports Kids Come First As Parents Increase ‘Back To School’ Spending To £709 Million

LV=’s new Cost of a Child study has found that parents will spend £709 million* on ‘back to school’ basics including uniforms, stationery, sportswear and winter coats as parents prepare to kit their children out for the start of the new school year. This is equivalent to parents spending an average of £122 on their children. This rises to£139 for secondary school aged children, compared to £96 for infants. Parents living in London spend the most preparing for their kids to go back to school at £158 on average.

Despite many families continuing to feel the squeeze in the current economic climate, 46% of parents expect to spend a greater amount this year on ‘back to school’ items than last year. When asked to consider the financial pressures of kitting their kids out for school, 48% said they are feeling the strain of having to spend ‘excessive amounts’, rising to 64% among parents in the North East.

54% parents are considering using low cost suppliers for back to school items, such as supermarkets to buy basics like uniform and stationery, and 23% are considering second hand items, including hand-me-downs and goods from charity shops or eBay. This rises to 70% and 41% respectively for families in the South East.

Mark Jones, LV= head of protection, said: “It is surprising that many parents are responding to increased money pressure this year by spending more on back to school basics; clearly kids come first despite the downturn. And it’s even more surprising that many parents are spending more despite looking at ways to be frugal and economise, by purchasing from cheaper suppliers such as their local supermarket or eBay.”

The annual LV= Cost of a Child study shows that parents are now likely to have to shell out more than £201,000 on raising a child from birth to the age of 21**. This equates to £9,610 a year, £800 a month or £26 a day. Education (not including private school fees) remains the second biggest expenditure behind childcare, costing parents £52,881 over a child’s lifetime – an increase of 4% on last year.

Via EPR Network
Financial press releases