About this time last year we received a statement from Engage Mutual Assurance, the company the British government “invested” #4’s Child Trust Fund in, showing that it made a 6.2% loss. I reiterated my belief that the Child Trust Fund is “a fucking rip-off scheme designed to make rich companies richer”.
Today we’ve had the latest statement. The British government has “invested” some more money with Engage so the £210 that was left last year after Engage took their 1.5% mismanagement fee is now worth £439.99. Great stuff.
Unfortunately, it’s a tad difficult to track how bad the performance of the fund is because the statement we received in August last year said the fund had £210 left in it but according to this statement it had £494.48 in it. So, at some point between the statement being produced for August last year and the end of the financial year for the fund on 10th August, the British government pumped an unspecified amount into the failing fund which has still lost 11% of its value after the mismanagement fee had been taken.
Amusingly, Engage have enclosed a leaflet with the statement inviting us to make further payments into the fund which they describe as “a great way of helping to build up a fund to help pay for further education, or perhaps help buy a first house or car, or even to start up in business”. The only thing this scam is good for is pissing taxpayers money up the wall. Putting the £500 or so that’s been given to this bunch of wasters into a savings account with a bank would have made more money and if all the Child Trust Fund money had been put into high street banks instead of being distributed randomly amongst incompetent investment companies then we might not have had to hand over so much money to stop them going bust.
I phone HMRC this morning to ask if they could tell me if there’s a Child Trust Fund that’s making money but they apparently don’t know and advised me to go and see an Independent Financial Advisor. So I phoned Engage to ask them if they have another Child Trust Fund that isn’t losing money but they only have this one. Searching for other Child Trust Fund providers, I came across HMRC’s Child Trust Fund calculator that makes the hilarious assumption that the fund is going to make a profit and could be as high as £1,270 in 13 years time even if we don’t make any additional payments into it. The only time we’re going to see those sort of numbers on this fund is when it’s in the red.
Although I don’t think the Child Trust Fund will ever be a good investment, I’m buggered if Engage are going to carry on ripping off the taxpayer with their crap investments so I’ve done some research and decided to transfer the lot to Yorkshire Building Society’s CTF savings account which works just like a normal savings account so they’ll pay interest if they make money but don’t take money away if they don’t. Interestingly, their stakeholder CTF account is run by none other than Engage Mutual Assurance. The only Child Trust Fund rated higher than Yorkshire Building Society was Henley Building Society but they don’t do them over the phone, internet or by post and I’m not driving to Stoke just to open a Child Trust Fund!