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Zadkiel

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About Zadkiel

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  1. I took A-level biology [Human & Nuffield] and can agree that I found both easier than mathematics & physics. Chemistry wasn't too bad and was a good match with biology. Anyway, biology has been useful in my non-professional life - anatomy specifically and generally what I learnt gave a good foundation to understand more about the complex physical world we live in. IWriting about this also reminds me about all the ethical debates we had as 17/18 y'o's about experimenting on animals, rats, frogs, locusts etc.
  2. If he does that, the great, unwashed, public will [hopefully] awake to the mockery parliamentary 'democracy' has become and there could well be rioting in the streets. Perhaps he would end his days as Mussolini did. April 28th, by the way.
  3. My Oma (Grandmother) does. And I have a few 100 Million Deutsche Mark notes; worth about as much as Zimbabe dollars
  4. [subject to future tax legislation changes], up to 25% of your pension fund can be taken [at time of age-compliant retirement] tax free. Unless you use an IFA and have to pay him/her, , there should not be a 'fee' when selling your fund and purchasing an annuity [there are, of course, other options other than taking an annuity (income drawdown etc. etc.]. Note that the investment provider normally gives the worst annuity rates and an open market option usually will result in a higher pension. The pension forms part of your income and is taxed according to the tax thresholds that apply to all tax-payers. Pension contributions are particularly tax efficient even for basic rate tax payers (esp. so for 40% tax payers! unless you earn £130k + pa). SIPPS do not necessarily have to be labour intensive - you can make equity or fund investment choices that you only review as and when you feel you can - you can even chose managed funds or funds of funds. Remember pension contributions are long-term investments, so if you feel that over decades the tax benefits and growth will lead to greater capital growth than simple savings accounts [i do!] - go for it. Contributions can be set up via standing order to 'drip in' month by month. For example, have a look at the HL website - not that I'm specifically recommending them, but they explain the concepts quite well. http://www.h-l.co.uk/pensions/sipp
  5. I'd guess at an NI incremental increase rather than a straight-forward PAYE tax. BTW, stuffing extra in pension funds (where allowed) is capped by Lifetime Allowances (unless qualifying for exemption) and contributions above £20k per year (for those with incomes above £150k and not qualifying for an exemption) are taxed at a punitive rate, so not many will use that as a route.
  6. It is part of a Roman Catholic prayer... GLORIA PATRI, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen. ... As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, without end. Amen
  7. I was also convinced that interest rates would rise and I still am. That is to say an initial drop followed by a gradual increase to tackle inflation, high rates being maintained for 4-5 years. I fixed for 10 years at 5.59% in 2008. Come 2018 I should have 'broken the back' of the mortgaged amount. The decision was also based upon a desire to avoid the remortaging fees every 2 or 3 years (sometimes as high as £1k as the amount borrowed is v. large) and avoid having to prove income/full employment etc. every time. So, indeed, at present rates it seems a bad move. I would have been saving very considerable sums each month; enabling overpayments [sigh] c'est la vie. However......... I am still absolutely convinced rates will rise. The triggers could be obvious, rampant price inflation [imported food & goods], increased rates in the EU & US, falling purchases of UK govt debt requiring increases in yields i.e. triggering BOE rate increases AND/OR the cost for mortgage providers acquiring funds from the international credit markets and a corresponding increase in the rates they need to charge. Either way, I guess that, even for those with 25%+ equity, UK re-mortgage rates will increase beyond the 6% level within the a 2-3 year window from now - maybe as soon as 2010 and stay 'high' for many years. What do I think 'high' will be? well, I recall mortgage rates in the range of 8%-12% during the 80' & 90% and these levels may well return. Let's see where we are in a year's time !
  8. Aha ! I am ahead of the game. I am practising my gurning and already have at least 7 different faces. I am not a number, I am a free man.
  9. Congratulations on the birth of your daughter!. When my daughter was born I took out an equities CTF (FTSE All Share), but hedged a little by splitting my voluntary monthly contributions between the CTF (75%) and some (25%)into a straight-forward cash savings account. With regards to equities you have to consider that the investment will be for 18 years. Yes, markets are down now, but over the 18 year term the potential for growth is good. Good funds will also offer 'lifestyling' i.e. gradually moving out of equities and into cash based investments a few years prior to maturity and thus (hopefully) reducing the risk of fund values falling near maturity. BTW another (admittedly uncommon) way to save for a child is to take out a SIPP (pension investment) for them. OK they can't touch it for (currently) a min of 55 years but the extended period of time means that smaller investments in the earlier years have great growth potential and in later life they may not need to contribute quite so much themselves to retirement savings plans, thus freeing up more disposable income !
  10. "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State". Joseph Goebbels
  11. Thank you - what you've said makes perfect sense to me now.
  12. Apologies to TheWolf for sidetracking a little.... Dear The Conveyancer, excuse my ignorance.... why is a freeholding such an undesirable thing for a flat, when the opposite is true for a house? thanks,
  13. .... or maybe he'll just come out of the closet ? More than likely he'll end up in the European Parliament, following in the footsteps of Kinnock.
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