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Expat Investor : March 2008
Eldest children are more likely than their younger siblings to start their own company, according to a survey of small business bosses conducted by Barclays Local Business. The survey reveals that more than a third of UK entrepreneurs (41%) are the first born. In comparison, only 27% of respondents admitted to being the 'baby of the family'. However, there is no evidence to suggest that an entrepreneurial gene runs in the family as 61% of those questioned do not have another family member who runs their own business. Firstborns are typically characterised as conscientious, organised, responsible, high achievers and competitive; all qualities which are key to the successful running of a business. They also frequently score higher on intelligence and achievement tests in comparison to younger and middle children. Celebrity examples of this trend include Richard Branson, JK Rowling, and Tim Campbell, winner of BBC's 'The Apprentice'. John Davis, marketing director for Barclays Local Business, said, "Perhaps the experience of helping to look after younger brothers and sisters early in life is a breeding ground for good management skills giving our oldest children a head start when it comes to business?" The survey also found that more than 90% of current entrepreneurs have owned more than one business. This suggests that when it comes to being a successful boss of your own company, practice really does make perfect. STATISTICS AND ANALYSES Big sibling knows best when starting up in business 3m Brits turn hobbies into professional pastimes A medley of statistics and analyses revealing much about our responses to saving, investing and spending our money. Bogus Brits bump up holiday claims Monday money management Stock market turmoil not a deterrent for first timers Research from Direct Line Travel Insurance reveals that many travellers exaggerate and falsify their holiday 'losses', with more than one in 10 (11%) admitting to increasing the value of their claim and five per cent to adding extra items. Thirteen per cent of Britons have made a travel insurance claim and 15% admit they have stretched the truth. A 'white lie' or exaggeration on an insurance claim is fraud, yet many fail to realise the severity of their actions.To justify these claims and clear their consciences, two in 10 (18%) say they are owed the money because they haven't claimed before. Others (10%) substantiate their dishonesty by saying everyone else claims more than their due, so why shouldn't they, and 13% refuse to take responsibility for their actions, blaming their partners instead. Furthermore, this dishonest minority aren't doing things by halves either -- 16% are enhancing claims by £200 and six per cent by over £500. Top False Claim Items Jewellery (25%) Camera (23%) Cash (14%) Digital camera (12%) Clothes (12%) Mobile (10%) Video/DVD (7%) Ipod/MP3 (5%) Designer glasses (5%) Bag (5%) Wo rryingly, the younger generation (18--29-year-olds) are the worst offenders, with 33% admitting to telling (white) lies on claim forms compared to more than two in 10 (21%) of 30--50s and 7% of over-50s. Chris Price, Business Manager at Direct Line Travel Insurance, says, "Contemplating committing fraud is a serious matter and we would urge anyone about to claim on their travel insurance not to take this lightly. "In order to protect the interests of our honest, genuine customers we do have systems and processes in place designed to detect these fraudsters." New research released by Halifax Unsecured Personal Loans shows that when it comes to getting a loan online, Monday afternoons are the most popular time to apply. The Halifax statistics show that almost three times as many people apply for an unsecured personal loan on a Monday than either a Saturday or Sunday. Weekdays prove far more popular than weekends for applications, with the number of applications per day gradually reducing through the week and Sunday proving the least popular day to apply. The Halifax Unsecured Pe r sonal Loans research also revealed that we are most likely to apply online between 1pm and 2pm. the ability to access information 24/7 is a major benefit. Neil Chandler, Head of Halifax unsecured personal loans, comments, "Our results show that although weekday afternoons are the time most of us look to apply, an increasing number of people choose to make use of our 24-hour online service -- often sorting out their finances into the small hours of the morning." "For many, this may be because of shift patterns or the availability of internet access. With an online application typically taking less than 10 minutes to complete, many customers prefer managing their finances online." March 2008 EXPAT INVESTOR 5 Cater Allen exposes financial secrets and lies Cater Allen Private Bank's new research looks at the financial secrets of the UK's spending population, as part of its survey into modern financial etiquette. It found that 25 to 34 year olds are most likely to withhold financial details from their partners, with a secret stash of cash proving the most popular deception. Those in Wales and the South West are the least likely to keep financial secrets from their partners, whilst those in Scotland and the South East of England are the most likely to lie about their salaries. Richard Dunn, Managing Director Cater Allen, says, "Since we were founded in 1816, financial etiquette has undoubtedly changed. Nevertheless, while it has traditionally been considered bad manners to talk about money, this research shows that modern Britons are not comfortable with being upfront about their financial affairs too." One in four Brits (25%) admit to having aspirations to leave their current job behind and start a new job or business based on their hobby, according to research from Friends Provident, the FTSE 100 life and pensions company. Just like the current Formula 1 world championship leader, Lewis Hamilton, who turned his childhood go-karting passion into a successful career, and JK Rowling, whose childhood passion for writing spawned the global phenomenon Harry Potter, three million people in the UK have turned their favourite hobby into a professional pastime. Nearly half would like to improve their skills and over a third have been involved in their hobby since childhood. People surveyed said their favourite childhood hobbies were largely low- cost activities such as bike riding or being a Boy Scout or Girl Guide. However 21st century children are costing their parents far more as they explore more high maintenance hobbies -- 1.8 million parents in the UK spend between £600 and £12,000 per year on their children's hobbies. Lewis Hamilton's father, Anthony, may be able to identify with this, as he held down three jobs to fund his son's go-karting passion. Most people (77%) pay for their hobby out of their wages or savings. One in 10 (9%) people spent more than £500 just to get their hobby off the ground. A third of people (32%) spend more than £250 each year on their main pastime, while 6% of people spend more than £1,000. A quarter (25%) of people say their hobby is a strong part of their identity, while more than two-fifths (44%) say their hobby helps them forget the stresses of everyday life. South Midlands North Wales & Scotland East England South West Secret stash (current account, savings account) 10% 11% 10% 4% 12% Secret credit card balance 7%10%11%5%8% Secret loan 3%5%3% 3% 5% Lied about my salary 4%1%3% 2% 4% Secret assets (proper ty, investments etc) 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% Lunchtime onwards is our favoured time to log on, with the number of applications only beginning to fall significantly after 6pm. When it comes to getting a loan online, men are more likely to apply over the internet than women -- with 13 % more men choosing this channel. According to Mintel research, over a quarter of UK adults have at least one financial account registered or held online. This equates to approximately 14 million people. Around two-thirds (65%) of these internet users say they are more likely to compare prices online than they would otherwise do. Just over half (53%) of all internet users say that Research from the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) shows potential investors are more deterred from stock market investment because of a lack of understanding, than fear of the risks involved -- despite the recent global stock market turbulence. The AIC surveyed 2,110 adults in June 2007 and 2,230 adults again in September 2007, and found only a 3% increase in non-investors avoiding the stock market because it was too risky (15% in September compared to 12% in June). Affordability was unsurprisingly still the most common reason cited for not having any stock market exposure (47%). However, a lack of knowledge about stock market investment was another frequently mentioned drawback -- much more so than the prospect of being exposed to the stock market's ups and downs. Some 32% of potential investors say they don't understand enough about the stock market to feel confident enough to invest, whilst nearly a quarter (24%) are put off stock market investment as they simply don't know how to go about it. In fact, over half (55%) of respondents do not have any stock market exposure at all, and many adults consider property to be a safer prospect. June's research showed that just under half (48%) of respondents thought bricks and mortar was the best place for long- term growth. Over a fifth (22%) thought cash was king by preferring building societies and bank accounts as a home for their cash, and only a tenth (11%) of respondents considered the stockmarket to be the best place for long-term growth. A small minority, 1%, said the best place for their cash was under their mattress! Women are more cautious then men when it comes to stock market exposure. Of those who hadn't invested in the stock market and were currently considering it, considerably more men (42%) were keen than women (27%). Surprisingly, only 6% of women surveyed in June thought the stock market was the best place for their cash for long term growth, compared to 16% of men. Just over a third (38%) of respondents surveyed in June had no idea what the minimum lump sum for stock market investing was, and a similar amount (36%) were unaware of the minimum regular saving contribution. A quarter (25%) of those polled thought the minimum lump sum amount is over £1000, way above the £250 that most investment company savings schemes require as a minimum lump sum. Whilst over half (52%) of potential investors were put off from investing as they thought they couldn't afford to, interestingly, when they were presented with the idea that they could invest through the stockmarket in a pooled investment fund from £30 a month (or a £250 lump sum), over a third (35%) of respondents said they would be more likely to invest.
January February 2008