Slime

Image by Frank Kunert

I am gross and perverted
I’m obsessed and deranged
I have existed for years
But very little has changed
I’m the tool of the government
And industry too
For I am destined to rule
And regulate you

I may be vile and pernicious
But you can’t look away
I make you think I’m delicious
With the stuff that I say
I am the best you can get
Have you guessed me yet?
I am the slime oozing out
From your TV set

You will obey me while I lead you
And eat the garbage that I feed you
Until the day that we don’t need you
Don’t go for help…no one will heed you
Your mind is totally controlled
It has been stuffed into my mould
And you will do as you are told
Until the rights to you are sold

~ Frank Zappa “I’m The Slime”

Credit Unions can offer CTFs

Thanks to a bit of synchronicity I just found this statement from the Inland Revenue:

The present regulations were laid on 24 March [2005]. These make changes to the CTF regulations to allow credit unions to offer their cash deposit accounts for the CTF.

I think this is good news and could well be the best place to put those pesky government cheques — get them invested in your local community. Sure, cash deposit is low return, but also low risk. Doesn’t seem to have been much publicity about this, perhaps unsurprisingly. Well, you know now. Spread the word!

Are Child Trust Fund accounts the best investment?

Having read through some information sent to me by The Childrens Mutual, and done some more digging, it looks to me like non-stakeholder CTF accounts (which are the only option for those wanting a truly ethical/eco investment), seem to offer very poor value for money — and even stakeholder accounts aren’t that great. If you intend to put aside a regular monthly payment for your children, you might be best to put it somewhere other than a CTF account. Continue reading Are Child Trust Fund accounts the best investment?

Trading Nothing

Reading through lots of financial rubric in search of an ethical/eco Child Trust Fund, I am struck firstly by how the fund managers ensure that they make a profit whether or not the investment does, taking both an initial charge and an annual charge; and secondly by the extent to which a huge proportion of the financial industry is a house of cards on foundations of sand.

The complex instruments which the industry has created have no basis in existence — they are so many stages removed from anything tangible or truly important to humanity that they might as well be vacuum. The whole thing revolves around finding ever more inventive ways to re-package and re-sell money itself, with everyone taking a percentage at every opportunity. But money itself, divorced from the goods for which it might be exchanged, is ultimately worthless. Unfortunately, the people who usually find this out the hard way are the people at the bottom, the small investors, the impoverished pensioners etc. The system is designed to move wealth from poor to rich, as if by gravity.

So I somewhat despair at having to put a CTF into one of these dodgy investment vehicles in the first place… but since we have no choice about that part, it’s all the more important to choose one which does have a connection to the real world, so that if/when the markets collapse, perhaps it won’t be the end of the world.

Ethical and Ecological Investments for the Child Trust Fund

So, your youngster(s) have just got their cheque for £250 from that nice Mr Brown. Now, what to do with it?

Many people will want to put their child’s trust fund into ethical and environmentally sustainable investments. After all, there’s not a great deal of point in them having a pot of money in 18 years time if the planet has gone to hell by then. You want to invest in their future, right?

Unfortunately, the vast majority of CTF accounts do not assess any criteria of ethical, ecological or social responsibility. And, depressingly, most people probably won’t realise that their CTF is being invested in arms, tobacco, environmental destruction and oppression.

So… where are all the CTF funds to cater for our requirements? Continue reading Ethical and Ecological Investments for the Child Trust Fund