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Reading the Financial Pages for Dummies® by Michael Wilson

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Introduction

If you've been feeling the need for a bit more financial savvy in the last few years, you can rest assured that you're not alone. Let's face it, your company's pension fund provisions aren't what they used to be, and so you need to think harder about securing your long-term prosperity. You're also painfully aware that you're probably going to need to have to plan for your own care costs as you get older and live longer. Meanwhile, your kids need to be supported through school and university. And, with every upward lurch in the government's budget deficit, the chances of us ever getting any of those state benefits back recede further into the distance.

Fortunately, investing is getting easier. You can set up a tax-efficient savings plan or a pension plan that will give you 100 per cent tax relief on your payments – and needn't cost you more than £50 a year to run. Your children will get government assistance if you set up Child Trust Funds on their behalf. Everybody is keen to get you investing for your pension.

Best of all, we have the internet, which has revolutionised savings by making it possible to do your own research instead of paying some fool in a blazer to sell you the wrong products and then charge you a fat management fee for the privilege. And you'd really love to do the job yourself, but ...

The trouble is, you're a busy person, and you really don't relish the thought of having to tangle with all those City people with their obscure language and their convoluted ...

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