Offers

Free Fifty Quid

Selftrade have an offer on at the moment (UK Only) whereby one can get a free 50 quid for opening an account. This is something which virtually anyone can take advantage of (even if they ultimately don't want the account). I've used this service when they were comdirect, then squaregain and have had no problems.

Essentially, they're an 'execution only' broker. They buy and sell shares when told to by the customer. They do this reasonably cheaply. As I write, for ishares there are no fees at all when buying.

To get the 50 quid, you need to be recommended by an existing client (I'm one) - to do this the existing client needs to log in and enter your email address (a 'throwaway' can be used if you're concerned about spam - I've never had spam from them).

Then the new person needs to do one of three things (don't discount these, see below!):

  1. make one trade worth at least £500
  2. transfer an account from another broker
  3. deposit some share certificates worth at least £500

For people without existing shares, the easiest to do is the first option. Even if cash is tight.

If I've read this right, here's how to do it:

  1. Open a dealing account (free).
  2. When convenient (e.g. After payday) transfer in £500 using a debit card.
  3. Buy some ishares (e.g. ISF, a FTSE 100 tracker) (this is no commission for ishares, for regular shares there would be)
  4. Soon thereafter 50 quid is deposited (I get 50 quid at this point too, which is why I'm posting about it at all!)
  5. Assuming you don't want to keep the equities, then you'd sell the ishares (costing £12.50). You can transfer your cash out by BACS (so the cash would be out of your current account for three or four days)
  6. Net profit to you is roughly £37.50 for about 5-10 minutes work. (I say roughly as there may be some price movement between buying and selling - the market would have to drop 7.5% to wipe out the profit - if the buy and sell were close together then it's not impossible, but it would be extreme!

Of course, it'd be up to you what you do with the account, you might decide to keep it going, to not sell whatever it is you bought... it's none of anybody's business but your own.

If you're thinking 'it sounds to good to be true', what's in it for selftrade is that they're hoping that you keep the account going, and buy/sell shares through them in the future. Essentially, they're spending £100 trying to acquire your business, hoping you'll stick around long enough to repay them in fees several times over - it's up to you whether you actually stick around!

To take advantage of this, I would need to know which email address you'd like me to use (if you use the comment form below, the email address will not appear on this site).

The current deadline to fulfil the condition and be eligible for the offer is October, though they periodically extend this.

Digiguide

DigiGuide, the best TV guideFor several months now, I've been using 'DigiGuide' - and I have to say that it's pretty good. It's a Tv listing piece of software, which allows for flexible alerts (not like the radiotimes system which requires you to find the programme first).

One can set alerts based on actor, title, 'new episode', genre... generally, if you can find something to search on, you can search for it.

Clicking the above link gets to a free trial. I took a free trial and found it to be so useful that I signed up for the software.

YouGov

If you've ever heard of YouGov polls, and wondered who these people are, then follow the link. YouGov are a polling organisation which maintains a panel of internet users. From time to time, they email you a link to a poll, typically they pay 50p for each poll completed - though this can vary. Sometimes they pay more, sometimes it's a 'prize poll' - I don't like those myself (i.e. I've not won).

Whether you're emailed a link or not depends upon your profile, they try to get responses that reflect the demographic of the public.

Each poll is opt-in, there's no obligation. I've been doing YouGov polls myself for a while now, and they're pretty quick to do. There have been a few times where I've aborted as I was unhappy about the questions, but for the most part it's fairly innocuous.

Why am I making this post? Well, if you sign up using this link, I get some credit when you complete surveys (at no cost to you).Well, I'm not going to give them a free plug out of the goodness of my heart, am I? At the time of writing, you get £1 for signing up in the first place, plus any regular payments for completing surveys.