Tag Archives: build

Savings: Consumers have less than £500 set aside – best accounts to build habits shared

Savings habits have been focused on once more as the UK enters the second half of 2021 and coronavirus restrictions are pulled back. New research from Moneyfacts.co.uk warned that while some consumers built up disposable income during the lockdown, there are still those out there with no savings stashed away for emergencies whatsoever.

Rachel Springall, a Finance Expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk, commented on these difficulties.

Ms Springall said: “Building a savings pot for the future is a vital way to avoid short-term credit and instil a positive habit.

“In a low interest environment, it would not be too surprising to find savers apathetic to open an account or chase down a better savings rate, but it’s important that they shake off this attitude and instead seriously consider how they will afford to cover unexpected purchases or a sudden increase in their monthly expenses, such as the cost of the festive season.

“Consumers may have amassed extra disposable income through the UK lockdown but whether this savings behaviour will last over the months ahead is unknown and on the other hand there could be savers who have very little tucked away.

“Indeed, recent research from Yorkshire Building Society revealed that more than a quarter of consumers had less than £500 saved and one in ten had no savings at all.

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“If someone were to put away just £25 a week for the next 20 weeks, they would amass £500 and still have enough time to do their Christmas shopping.

“Those on a low income could open a Help to Save account, which is an initiative from the Government designed to encourage working people on Tax Credits to save.

“The scheme pays 50p per £1 saved up to a maximum bonus of £1,200 over four years. HMRC statistics indicated that more accounts have been opened and deposits rose, which is positive to see, but as part of the same research, thousands of accounts were opened but no deposits were made.

“The financially unstable would be wise to work out their overall household expenditure and where they can cut back and save. There are simple ways to start budgeting, for example by using a free mobile app like Money Dashboard.

For those able or willing to leave their savings untouched, the following accounts were also shared:

Top notice accounts

  • Secure Trust Bank 120 Day Notice Account: Gross rate at £1,000 – 0.75 percent
  • Shawbrook Bank 120 Day Notice Personal Account Issue 48: Gross rate at £1,000 – 0.72 percent
  • Hampshire Trust Bank 95 Day Notice (Issue 8): Gross rate at £1,000 – 0.71 percent

Top regular savings accounts for new customers

  • NatWest Digital Regular Saver: Gross rate at £1,000 – three percent variable
  • West Brom BS Adult’s Fixed Rate Regular Saver (Issue 4) – 12 Month Term: Gross rate at £1,000 – two percent fixed
  • Coventry BS Regular Saver (5) – 12 Month Term: Gross rate at £1,000 – 1.05 percent variable

Top fixed term regular savings accounts for existing customers

  • Cambridge BS Loyalty Regular Saver – 1 Year Term: Gross rate at £1,000 – three percent fixed
  • Saffron BS 12 Month Fixed Rate Member Regular Saver (Issue 8) – 12 Month Term: Gross rate at £1,000 – 1.5 percent fixed
  • Ipswich BS 1 Year Regular Saver (31.05.2022): Gross rate at £1,000 – one percent fixed

Author: Connor Coombe-Whitlock
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Playground – Empowering young people in Ghana to build their dreams

On 2 July 2021, in Jamestown, Accra, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Delegation of the European Union to Ghana, the Sports for Education and Economic Development (SEED) Project (www.SEEDProject.org) and DUNK Grassroots, together with some 200 youth, inaugurated the newly renovated basketball court at the GaMashie Development Agency.

The renovation and inauguration are part of a project titled “Playground” that was created to empower young people to create viable alternatives to irregular migration. It leverages the educational power of basketball to equip the youth with life skills and self-resilience.

“Using basketball as a vehicle to foster life skills, is a fantastic approach that will be beneficial for the youth of Jamestown and neighbouring communities. Our youth has a lot of potential, and they need safe spaces to grow and thrive. This is an opportunity to allow them to create their own alternatives to irregular migration,” said the Mayor of Accra, Honourable Mohammed Adjei Sowah.

The Playground project is a partnership made possible through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

“Playground has the youth and community at its heart. We work with our partners to inform about safe migration options as well as the dangers of irregular migration,” said Abibatou Wane-Fall, Chief of Mission IOM Ghana. She added: “Together, we bring the vision of an open and inclusive space to life – a space for girls and boys, young women and young men, from all walks of lives and backgrounds, migrants, returnees, neighbours, and locals. Everyone is invited to play and learn and grow together.”

The Playground project partners work together to empower young people to make well-informed migration choices, to decide on their own futures and to build their dreams. Together with local partners, it builds a culture of self-development and pride on and beyond the court.

“Ensuring youth have access to safe places to play is fundamental, as it’s the place where all the life skills programmes, games and community outreach occur – it all begins on the court,” explained Mactar NDiaye, Director of Operations, SEED Project. “This is why we at SEED are incredibly honored to have worked on the ground with the community of Jamestown to refurbish this basketball court, which also helps better secure their actual needs and ownership.”

This inauguration event concludes a series of youth engagement initiatives designed to empower young people. Implemented under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative since 2017 in 12 countries in the region, these activities mostly happen in public spaces using sports and art. IOM has supported over 1800 Ghanaian migrants to voluntarily and safely return home. Over 700 returnees have completed their reintegration to date, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19. Overall, over 300 awareness-raising sessions have taken place in communities and schools across the country, while radio and TV broadcasts have reached approximately 1,100,000 Ghanaians nationwide.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Sports for Education and Economic Development (SEED) Project.
For more information: Visit: https://yenna.org/playground

Juliane Reissig Public Information at IOM Ghana [email protected] +233 (0)302 742 930

Begay Downes-Thomas Global Partnerships SEED Project [email protected] +221 78 292 93 44

Author: Aalto University
Read more here >>> The European Times News

Texas Says It Will Build Border Wall With Mexico

McALLEN, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas said on Thursday that the state would build a border wall with Mexico, providing few specifics about construction that would extend one of former President Donald J. Trump’s favored projects.

It is unclear if the state has the authority to build a wall in an attempt to deter immigrants, a majority of whom have been fleeing poverty and violence from Central America.

Speaking at a meeting with state law enforcement officials in Del Rio, a small border city that has seen a large influx of immigrants since President Biden took office in January, Mr. Abbott said he expected to announce more details about the wall next week.

Mr. Abbott explained that he would start by setting up barriers to identify people trying to cross the border and by deploying additional law enforcement agents to assist the Border Patrol. He has blamed the increase in migrant crossings on Mr. Biden’s unwinding of Mr. Trump’s restrictive border rules.

“It is out of control and a change is needed,” he said. “Some of these border barriers will be built immediately.”

Then the governor revealed, to thundering applause, that Texas would also build a border wall.

“While securing the border is the federal government’s responsibility, Texas will not sit idly by as this crisis grows,” Mr. Abbott said, adding, “Our efforts will only be effective if we work together to secure the border, make criminal arrests, protect landowners, rid our communities of dangerous drugs and provide Texans with the support they need and deserve.”

In March, Mr. Abbott put into action what he called Operation Lone Star, which allows the deployment of hundreds of agents and resources along the southwestern border to combat the smuggling of human beings, drugs and guns, said Victor Escalon, a regional director with the Texas Department of Public Safety. But deciding to build a border wall may be a first for a state executive.

Mr. Abbott’s announcement was quickly criticized by immigration advocates, who said it would most likely face legal challenges.

“There is no substantive plan,” said Edna Yang, co-executive director of American Gateways, an immigration legal aid and advocacy group in Texas. “It’s not going to make any border community or county safer.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas tweeted, “To be clear, this is an attempt to distract from his governing failures while targeting vulnerable immigrants.”

Mr. Trump made the border wall a signature campaign promise and often pressed his homeland security officials to speed the construction of the project, waiving federal contracting and environmental laws in the process.

During his campaign, Mr. Trump promised that Mexico would pay for the wall, but he instead redirected billions from Defense Department funds that were initially meant for anti-narcotics or construction programs. His administration eventually built more than 450 miles of new wall, primarily in areas where dilapidated barriers once stood. Most of the construction was in Arizona, where migrants already struggle through rough terrain to cross the border, rather than in South Texas, an area prone to illegal crossings.

Private landowners in South Texas emerged as an obstacle to Mr. Trump’s construction, with many resisting the administration’s efforts to seize their land through eminent domain. And then Mr. Biden suspended construction of the wall on his first day in office, part of a series of actions to roll back Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda.

The Biden administration and Mr. Abbott have clashed over how to handle the thousands of unaccompanied minors who have crossed the border in recent months. The administration was unable to redirect federal funds designated for disaster aid to assist in border processing when Mr. Abbott refused to provide his consent.

At the time, Mr. Abbott said that the federal government, not Texas, was responsible for asserting control over the border.

When the migrant children filled detention facilities run by the Border Patrol, the Biden administration responded by opening temporary facilities in a Dallas convention center, a San Antonio sports arena and other vacant sites around the country. While Vice President Kamala Harris was in Guatemala this week, she discouraged potential migrants from traveling to the border, telling them, “Do not come.”

The Biden administration still uses a pandemic emergency rule, known as Title 42, that empowers border agents to rapidly turn away most single adults and many families crossing the border into the hands of Mexican authorities. Mr. Biden has exempted unaccompanied minors from the policy, which prevents most other migrants from having a chance to apply for asylum.

Some families, however, have been able to cross into Texas because of a change in Mexican law that barred the detention of small immigrant children, and a lack of shelter capacity south of the border. Instead of detaining those families, U.S. authorities release many into Texas communities.

Author: Edgar Sandoval and Zolan Kanno-Youngs
This post originally appeared on NYT > U.S. News

Gov. Abbott says he’ll share plans next week for Texas

share plans next week for Texas

DEL RIO, Texas (Nexstar) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he’ll share plans next week for the state to build a wall along the Mexico border, but he offered no other specifics about how the project would proceed.

This particular announcement drew a standing ovation and cheers Thursday evening from the crowd gathered at Abbott’s border security summit in Del Rio. He also discussed several other initiatives he said would “secure the border and restore order.”

Abbott held up a stack of papers and told the crowd Texas lawmakers allocated $ 1 billion in the latest budget to fund border security efforts. He also announced the formation of a new governor’s task force on border and homeland security, which he said will meet every two weeks to come up with “every solution to make your border safer.”

That task force, Abbott explained, would include members of his office, the attorney general’s office, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Division of Emergency Management, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the state commissions on law enforcement and jail standards.

Abbott invited local landowners like John Paul Schuster to the summit as well. He said he encounters migrants on his ranch in Kinney County, 25 miles from the border, almost daily in recent weeks.

“The other day at the house was a gentleman, he was by himself. He was dirty. He had been traveling through the brush,” Schuster explained. “As he approaches the house, there he is got a long sleeve hoodie on jeans and a backpack. Okay, good guy or bad guy? What’s in that backpack?”

“You only got just five or six seconds to make that decision. Good guy. Bad guy. Yeah. Are they gonna stop and talk to me? Are they gonna keep coming at me?” Schuster said, adding he and his wife carry a gun almost all of the time, even at home at the dinner table.

“I don’t want to have to kill somebody, and I don’t want to,” Schuster said, tearing up.

Ahead of the governor’s summit, he said the government needed to come up with a better plan to help.

“I don’t ask a lot of the government, I work hard, we work hard, pay our taxes, that’s justifiable. But we need help,” Schuster said.

Following the summit, Schuster said he was hopeful Abbott’s new proposals would help.

The summit also included county sheriffs, police chiefs, county judges and mayors to talk about how the state is trying to secure the U.S./Mexico border, a press release from Abbott’s office said. It also focused on “collaborative strategies between state government, local city and county officials, law enforcement, and landowners to secure our border communities and ensure a safer future for all Texans.”

Along with Abbott, TDEM Chief Nim Kidd, Texas Military Department Maj. Gen. Tracy Norris and Texas DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at the Del Rio Civic Center.

The summit came after Abbott made comments to FOX News’ Sean Hannity that he wants to arrest “everybody coming across the border.” Two law enforcement members that confirmed the summit last week to our news partners at Border Report are hoping the summit “sheds light” on Abbott’s comments.

Abbott said Thursday he’ll sign another disaster declaration next week to create this plan.

“What this will do, it will focus on making arrests,” Abbott said. “The Department of Public Safety will work with local officials to arrest anyone who enters our state illegally and is found trespassing against them. We will be arresting a lot more people in the future, so more jail space will be required.”

Abbott made disaster declarations in 34 border counties due to the influx of migrants trying to cross the border. In response, migrant advocates in the Rio Grande Valley issued their own counter-declaration, saying Abbott’s move was “a transparent attempt to distract from his failed leadership,” and unfairly mischaracterized the border communities. It pressed for more support for those communities, not more law enforcement.

Migrant advocates criticize Abbott’s approach, pointing to other Republican state leaders who have tried ramping up enforcement during surges in the past.

“This isn’t a new tactic, necessarily. And Texas governors in the past have also tried to sending National Guard troops or Department of Public Safety officers to the border. We’ve seen little, if any effect of that. Most of the changes in migration flows at the U.S.-Mexico border come either from changes in U.S. federal policy or changes in the degree to which Mexican immigration authorities are enforcing immigration laws in the interior of that country,” Jessica Bolter with the Migration Policy Institute explained.

While Abbott largely pointed the finger at the Biden administration for the current crisis, Bolter explained that’s not the only factor weighing on migrants flocking to our border.

“Their plans to migrate depend much more on the conditions that they’re experiencing in their home, in their home countries, and then what they’re hearing about, whether that’s from smugglers or from others in their social networks, about who’s being able to cross the border at the moment,” Bolter said.

Kate Huddleston, a staff attorney at the ACLU of Texas, said in a statement Abbott’s plan is “unlawful” and threatens to harm families at the border, creating trauma for young kids.

“Abbott is also undermining the right to seek asylum by jailing those fleeing danger and punishing them for seeking refuge in the U.S. Additionally, Abbott’s proposed border wall will harm border communities and the environment,” Huddleston’s statement reads. “In this plan, Abbott is yet again scapegoating immigrants in an effort to distract from his own failures in governing and managing actual crises in Texas — like the historic winter storm that led to the deaths of more than 150 Texans  — with cruel results.”

Author: Will DuPree
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Altcoin Roundup: Post-crash prices give investors a chance to build a diversified portfolio

Welcome to Cointelegraph Market’s Altcoin Roundup, an in-depth newsletter that focuses on investing from the perspective of fundamental analysis and seeks to identify emerging blockchain projects and tokens that fill niche demands within the growing cryptocurrency market.

The concept of multi-sector investing has long been advocated in traditional finance as the conventional approach to building a balanced portfolio. Typical allocations include representation of stocks, government and corporate bonds, commodities and real estate.

Now that the cryptocurrency market has grown to a multitrillion-dollar ecosystem with numerous emerging assets, clear sectors are beginning to emerge. Savvy crypto investors looking to apply portfolio diversification practices to their holdings should begin to pay attention.

Total cryptocurrency market capitalization. Source: CoinMarketCap

The previous Altcoin Roundup discussed some of the top layer-one solutions and coins like Polkadot/DOT, Cosmos/ATOM and Solana/SOL that have been gaining prominence over the past year, but these projects could also fall under the large-cap investment umbrella alongside high-profile assets like Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and Cardano’s ADA.

Once an investor has an adequate representation of blue-chip projects, other emerging sectors like decentralized finance (DeFi), oracles and stablecoins can be considered.

DeFi: Uniswap, Aave and PancakeSwap

Decentralized finance emerged during the summer of DeFi in 2020, and the sector helped kick off the current bull market by bringing a new level of excitement to the crypto ecosystem, which was in need of the next big innovation.

One of the best metrics used to demonstrate the rising success of DeFi as a whole is the total value locked (TVL) ranking, which collectively reached an all-time high at $ 157.63 billion on May 14, according to data from Defi Llama, and stands at $ 116.62 billion at the time of writing.

Total cryptocurrency market capitalization. Source: CoinMarketCap

The release of Uniswap’s decentralized exchange (DEX) interface — which enabled new projects to immediately launch and made tokens available to the general public — helped ignite a wave of growth and innovation across the market that continues to expand to this day.

In less than a year, Uniswap evolved into the top DEX serving the crypto community, seeing an all-time record of $ 5.74 billion in 24-hour trading volume during the market sell-off on May 19 and $ 5.37 billion in total volume locked on the platform.

Daily DEX volume. Source: Dune Analytics

The vast array of liquidity pools is the primary allure for investors looking to diversify their crypto portfolio. Through these pools, stakers have the ability to earn a yield by providing liquidity for the exchange in return for a portion of the trading fees. A number of pools offer staking returns ranging from 25% to 2,000%, and traders are able to select pools based on a variety of factors, including their appetite for risk.

While Uniswap has led the way for DEXs, there are other options like Aave’s lending platform that has emerged as the highest-ranking DeFi protocol by total value locked, with more than $ 14.1 billion in TVL at the time of writing.

Aave’s recent decision to offer layer-two (L2) access on Polygon has brought renewable energy to the AAVE ecosystem, as traders and liquidity gladly migrated to the lower-fee environment offered on Polygon. This resulted in a significant boost in TVL for both AAVE and Polygon’s native token, MATIC, which is now the second-ranked protocol by TVL, with $ 11.08 billion locked on the protocol.

Every balanced portfolio also has a small 1% to 5% allocation reserved for higher-risk assets, and the crypto market has no shortage of high-risk, high-growth assets.

For tokenholders who are open to a little more risk in return for higher yields, the Binance Smart Chain-based PancakeSwap boasts a TVL of $ 7.67 billion, and offers annual percentage rates (APR) of up to 482.54%, according to the project’s website, with all rewards paid out in the protocol’s native CAKE token.

Stablecoins are the new “savings accounts”

Though a token that stays pegged to a fixed value may not sound like the most attractive opportunity for investors, stablecoins have evolved to play a crucial role in the functioning of the wider cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Stablecoins often serve as the backbone of trading pairs on centralized and decentralized exchanges, as well as offering traders a simple way to lock in gains.

The two most prominent stablecoins are Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC), which have circulating supplies of $ 60.9 billion and $ 21.6 billion tokens, respectively. Tether is currently the most traded crypto token, boasting 24-hour trading volumes that range from $ 100 billion to $ 290 billion.

Tether (USDT) vs. USD Coin (USDC) vs. DAI circulating supply. Source: CoinGecko

Other popular stablecoins include Binance USD (BUSD), the stablecoin created for use within the Binance Smart Chain ecosystem, as well as the algorithmically controlled stablecoin DAI, which is minted via pledging collateral on the Maker protocol.

For those looking to earn a little extra yield while in the safety of stablecoins, there are multiple options available such as depositing tokens into a lending protocol like AAVE to earn up to 5% on deposits or the decentralized stablecoin exchange Curve, which offers yields of up to 50% for some stablecoins pools offered.

Other popular options include supplying liquidity for the various decentralized exchanges like PancakeSwap, which offers 8.64% for its DAI-BUSD liquidity pool, or QuickSwap, which offers a reward plus fee of the annual percent yield of 15.01% for its USDT-USDC pool and 26.75% for its DAI-USDC pool.

Oracles

In a world that is becoming increasingly dominated by digital data, no cryptocurrency portfolio would be complete without access to an oracle provider. These entities are the industry’s heavyweights that facilitate the secure exchange of data and information within the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as well as wider financial markets.

Currently, Chainlink is one of the most dominant oracle projects and a key player that comprises a thriving open-source community of data providers, node operators, smart contract developers, researchers and security auditors.

While the Chainlink network doesn’t currently offer a direct way to earn a yield through a simplified staking or governance mechanism, it is easy for tokenholders to put their stash to work in DEX liquidity pools and DeFi protocols like Aave.

For investors who are not ready to trust decentralized exchanges and DeFi platforms, centralized yield-bearing companies like Nexo, Celsius and BlockFi are also available for crypto investors looking to earn a return on their holdings.

Centralized exchanges like Coinbase and Binance also offer direct staking capabilities. For example, investors could stake BAND for up to 11.7% APR on major exchanges.

As a result of the May sell-off, which saw more than $ 1.2 trillion in value wiped out of the cryptocurrency market, many of the top projects are now well below their all-time high values and trading at what some investors would describe as “bargain bin” prices.

While market participants remain unsure as to which way prices are headed in the short term, it would be wise to investigate these opportunities sooner rather than later, as the notoriously volatile crypto market can make significant moves at the drop of a hat.

Want more information about diversification into the above mentioned projects?

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.