by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Expat Investor : November 2007
The average Brit shells out £386 to attend a wedding, splurging on gifts, clothes, accommodation, travel and reception drinks. Of this, £130 is often spent before the wedding day itself on stag and hen parties. New research published by CreditExpert.co.uk reveals the cost of other people's nuptials -- even if we don't really know or like the person getting hitched. In fact, a fifth (20%) often attend weddings of people they barely know (such as a distant family member or friend of a partner), leading to one in seven (16%) of us actually resenting the investment. The research, conducted to highlight the financial implications of wedding fever, also exposes that Brits are likely to significantly underestimate the cost of their own wedding, believing it will set them back only £9,000, whereas recent research shows that the actual average cost of a wedding is £17,000. This disparity may be due to the increasing coverage of celebrity weddings where costs regularly spiral into tens of thousands of pounds. This survey of 1,500 British adults also found: 6% of Brits (1.6 million people) have gone into debt so they could attend a wedding -- for Londoners the figure is 9%. 45% of Brits have felt pressured by family and friends to attend a wedding. despite the growing trend for overseas nuptials, over one in four (44%) guests will be there under duress, claiming they resent having to attend. "The cost of getting married and attending other people's weddings is often underestimated, but it's a significant outlay that often hits hardest those who are first time property buyers or those still burdened by student debt. "As a result, attending lots of weddings in a short space of time can mean your credit rating is adversely affected," says Jim Hodgkins, Managing Director of CreditExpert, the credit monitoring and identity fraud protection service from Experian. Where does it all go? Stag / hen party -- £130 Wedding gift -- £70 Outfit / Clothing -- £64 Travel -- £49 Accommodation -- £48 Drink -- £26 STATISTICS AND ANALYSES £386 -- the cost of attending a wedding unveiled Beware new trend in financial astrology A medley of statistics and analyses revealing much about our responses to saving, investing and spending our money. Do you have a creaking joint account? Phishing scams: is the reality different from the perception? According to new research from Abbey Current Accounts, 5.5 million joint account holders (20%) use their (joint) account to make purchases for themselves without telling their partner. Yet, this is still less than the 24% of people who suspect their partner of doing so. While men and women were equally to blame for blowing joint funds behind their partner's back, men were more suspicious of their partner's behaviour -- as 26% believed their partner to have spent joint account money inappropriately compared with 23% of women. Given the levels of dishonesty and suspicion amongst joint account holders, it is hardly surprising that one in five said they'd fallen out with their partner over how their joint current account is being used. Most people are happy to use their joint accounts to pay for household bills such as gas and mortgage payments (93%). Supermarket shopping (83%), home and kitchen appliances (75%) and holidays (72%) were also acceptable areas for spending joint account cash. However, most couples weren't happy with their shared money being spent on gadgets, with just one in three (33%) believing that joint funds should be used to buy items such as games consoles, MP3 players or mobile phones. More men (34%) than women (32%) believed that their joint account should be used in this way. Interestingly, men were also more willing than women to spend money on 'flowers for the home' using joint funds (37% compared with 32%) -- suggesting that women still believe that flowers should come out of their partner's pocket. In response to its research, Abbey is urging more couples to establish proper ground rules for using their joint current accounts. While the study showed that two- thirds of couples (65%) were sensible enough to establish spending rules at the start of their joint account relationship, almost one in ten couples have never established rules that they are comfortable with. A further 10% said they'd taken between two and six months to do so. Nearly half of people in the UK (46%) do not know what a phishing email is, new research by secure online payment provider PayPal reveals. Just over half of women (54%) claim to understand what the term means, compared to three quarters of men (74%). PayPal is calling for greater consumer awareness and education. The research into our knowledge and awareness of phishing scams also revealed that people in the UK are so confused by phishing that just 4 in 10 of us (42%) would be confident enough to explain what a phishing email is to someone else. Phishing emails are bogus emails sent out widely to a host of email addresses asking the recipient for personal information, usually regarding their online credit card or bank accounts. Anyone responding to these emails is likely to find that money has been fraudulently withdrawn from their account. When it comes to solving the problem of phishing emails, 64% of people believe that better education for people who shop online will solve the problem, whilst 39% say personal signing and encryption of all emails would prevent phishing emails arriving in their in-box. Despite nearly half of people in the UK not fully understanding what a phishing email is, six out of 10 people (60% or 27.4 million) say they have received a phishing email at some point, with 66% of these people (18.1 million) receiving an email asking for personal information regarding their account that looked as though it had come from their bank account. When these emails hit their in- box, 71% of these people just deleted the email straight away, a quarter (25%) forwarded it to their bank, whilst just 5% forwarded the email on to an anti-phishing internet site to be dealt with. The good news is that just 2% of people say they were fooled into responding to a phishing email. How to spot a phishing email Generic greetings. Many spoof emails begin with a general greeting, such as: "Dear PayPal member". If you do not see your first and last name, be suspicious and do not click on any links or button. A fake sender's address. A spoof email may include a forged email address in the 'From' field. This field is easily altered. A false sense of urgency. Many spoof emails try to deceive you with the threat that your account is in jeopardy if you don't update it ASAP. They may also state that an unauthorised transaction has recently occurred on your account, or claim PayPal is updating its accounts and needs information fast. November 2007 EXPAT INVESTOR 5 Essential guide to tipping abroad Less than a quarter of people know what is customary to tip when they go abroad is the finding from a new study by Post Office Travel Services. Almost half of people who go on holiday (44%) say they always tip the same -- wherever they go. But different cultures dictate that every country in the world has a unique approach when it comes to tipping etiquette. For example, while the UK standard reward for good service is Country Restaurants Hotels Bars Guides Taxis Spain Locals don't tip -- it's seen as bribery! Yes Yes, a few coins. Usually 5-10% for most Drivers of metered taxis But for tourists 5 -10% is customary. services, including guides. expect tips of 10-15%. Portugal Service is normally added to the bill 5%-20% or 1-2 euros Tip by rounding the No Tip by rounding the bill but it is customary to tip 1%. for concierge and por ters. bill to the nearest euro. to the nearest euro. France Services charge of between 12 --15% is added 1 -1.5 euro Service is usually included, but 1 --1.5 euro Tip 10 --15% of the fare. to the bill in hotels, restaurants and bars, it's customary to round up the charge. but it is customary to leave small change. Italy Normally 10% service charge and tip 10%. No No No No US / Canada Good service in a restaurant should be Generally tip a few dollars 2-3 dollars N/A 15% tip is expected 15-20%. Only unsatisfactory ser vice for housekeeping, in deserves 10%. In cities, top more expensive hotels, . restaurants expect up to 25% 15% tip is expected. Eastern Europe 10% is fine. In Romania, expect to give N/A Tip at your discretion No atipupto5%. Egypt Tipping is known as 'baksheesh' and is A ser vice charge is added N/A Its about £1 per day -- Tip is normally about 10% a way of life. 5% -15% tip is to most hotel bills but on Nile cruises usually but normally during normally expected, a 5% tip is expected. have to pay up front, the bargaining process. Australia / New Zealand Can be considered insulting as implies workers No No No Told to keep the change. are not paid well enough. But in large tourist resor ts like the Gold Coast, tipping is expected, Japan Don't tip -- it's considered rude. No No No No around 10%, in some countries that level of tip would be an insult. Restaurants in the US expect 20 to 25% for great service. In contrast, the act of tipping in Japan is considered rude. POST OFFICE GUIDE TO CUSTOMARY TIPPING ETIQUETTE FOR OVERSEAS DESTINATIONS Plotting financial fortunes on the back of readings from the stars is a worrying trend now gaining momentum in the UK, warns investment funds analyst Moneyspider.com. Immensely popular in the US -- where many financial fads originate -- financial astrology, as the term suggests, uses planetary movements to predict the performance of currencies, stock markets, property prices and other financial asset classes. Websites, predominantly based in the US, are currently targeting potential UK investors with spam email inviting them to invest via this unconventional methodology. "It is also worrying that there are now specialist fund managers, such as The Astrologers Fund, incorporating planetary movements within their standard calculations, and this is in our view quite frankly dangerous for investors," said Moneyspider.com Managing Director Bill Ross. "It is one thing to have a bit of fun with the likes of Mystic Meg et al, but would anyone in their right minds seriously want to invest their hard earned cash on the basis of the relative positions of celestial bodies," asks Mr Ross. A recent study by The British Association for the Advancement of Science asked a professional investor, a financial astrologer and a five-year old child to invest a fictional £5000 on the FTSE100. The investor chose shares on the basis of his experience, the astrologer based her decisions on the 'birthdate' of companies and the child chose her shares randomly. The child lost the least amount of money and the financial astrologer made the largest losses.