Kingston Unity Mythbusters

From bulls’ apparent dislike of the colour red, to whether lightning strikes in the same place twice, we’re tackling everything you’ve ever wondered (or worried!) about. Well, not everything – but some burning questions nonetheless.

We’ve also answered a couple of questions about ISAs, with the aim of demystifying some of the current confusion surrounding savings accounts, including the conception that investing always has to be risky.

Read on and prepare to be enlightened….

We swallow up to eight spiders per year – in our sleep…

Those who fear the eight-legged critters can sleep easy tonight, as according to this scientific article, it simply isn’t true. It states:

“Luckily for all of us, the “fact” that people swallow eight spiders in their sleep yearly isn’t true. Not even close. The myth flies in the face of both spider and human biology, which makes it highly unlikely that a spider would ever end up in your mouth.” 

Hooray to that!

Lightning never strikes in the same place twice…

This myth isn’t just wrong, it’s dangerously wrong. Lightning can- and often does – strike in the same place twice. So make sure if you’re outside, you don’t stand in a spot where it has just struck.

Instead, you need to find shelter, stay away from windows and avoid touching anything metal or electrical.

The numbers on a toaster represent the number of minutes you’re toasting your bread for

This rumour was flying around social media some time ago – but it is just that: a rumour. We’re sorry to disappoint you, but these chaps actually tested the theory and found that their toast popped up a whole lot earlier than expected. Who knew!

You’re never more than six foot away from a rat…

It’s been around for more than a century, but this misconception is just that. Even if you live in a city centre, it just isn’t true that you’ll be within six feet of a rat. Let us rejoice because the BBC’s statistical team has actually put some work into examining the number of rats in cities: outside and around houses, in sewers, and anywhere else for that matter.

“[we’ve estimated there’s] around 3.1 million rats in the UK in urban areas”, The Guardian reports, “Even if they [rats] were spread out absolutely evenly (though, of course, they’re not), that would represent a good 5,000 square metres for each rat.”

So, you’d be 164ft from a rat at any one time – which has got to be a bit better than 6ft, right?


If you wake a sleepwalker, they could go into serious shock…

According to Information is Beautiful, this isn’t the case. “They’ll be really confused, but it’s okay”, the site’s team suggests. In fact, it’s likely to be more detrimental to their health if you don’t wake them, as they could hurt themselves. Or worse for you, they could start eating all your chocolate.

Well, they could just say they didn’t know what they were doing because they were asleep. Any excuse!

Bulls hate red

Now come on; what do bulls really know about fashion – and what colour top you’re wearing?! Truth be told, bulls are colour-blind, says Information is Beautiful – and in the traditional bullfighting sense, they react to the motions of a bull fighter’s cloth as a perceived threat, and not the colour itself. Who knew?!

Cats are unloving

We’re sobbing for cats everywhere – and so is The Blue Cross, who say that a cat’s purr is evidence enough that he or she loves you, and wants to be loved back. Everyone say: ‘ahhhhhhh’.

The site says:

“A recent study by the University of Lincoln found that cats don’t show signs of distress when their owners leave and aren’t particularly bothered when their owner returned to them. But, as anyone who’s come home from a hard day’s graft to have their cat jump on to their lap for a fuss will testify, cats do show affection towards their owners and many do like to be stroked and patted.”

My money may not be secure in a Stocks and Shares ISA…

There’s a lot of noise online which suggests a Stocks & Shares ISA option means your money isn’t secure. You only need to look at this Money Saving Expert forum to see there are a few misconceptions being bandied about.

That said, there are some risky products out there, of course. But some Stocks and Shares ISAs, like ours, guarantee 100% of your initial investment, plus bonuses, minus any withdrawals you make, after 10 years or each 5th year anniversary after that.

When researching ISAs, you may have seen the word ‘risk’ bandied about. Rest assured, though, that our ISA invests in our With Profits fund. This type of fund is built to avoid the volatility of riskier investment options by using a range of investments. These include property, shares and government bonds. Just one element of our investment ethos, it allows us to deliver steady, consistent growth for our members without any unexpected twists and turns.

On top of that, your ISA savings could be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000.

With Profits’ accounts are always risky, too …

Sure, With Profits certainly isn’t a simple concept, but there are plenty of useful guides out there which will help savers get their head around how accounts like this work.

A type of ‘pooled investment’ fund, a With Profits account sees you pay into the account along with several other investors. Your money (and the other members’ money) is combined and invested in stocks, shares, equities, properties and bonds – and this is the case over a set timeframe.

With Profits funds can help people pay for their retirement, for instance, thanks to the potential of lump sum at the end of your savings period. The FT Advisor points out: ‘…many organisations do still offer with-profits funds, as a more basic savings vehicle or in the form of a pension, and according to industry analysis, they still offer useful returns.’

Martin Shaw, the chief executive of the Association of Financial Mutuals offers some more assurance for anyone thinking about a With Profits account. He says: “My mother had six With Profits policies and they paid nearly double the term. For an awful lot of people that’s a really positive story. Where they weren’t relying on the With Profits to pay off the mortgage people have had really positive results.”

If you’re looking to invest, but don’t like the idea of pooling all your money into a high-risk ISA option, a Stocks & Shares ISA that invests in a With Profits fund may be an option worth considering. These aim to give you a return linked to the stock market, but with fewer risks than you’d experience if you invested directly in shares. They can seem a more complex form of investing, though.

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Please Note: You must confirm you have read the key facts, before downloading this document.

Key Facts about our services and costs

1. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

The FCA is the independent watchdog that regulates financial services. This document is designed by the FCA to be given to consumers buying certain financial products. You need to read this important document. It explains the service you are being offered and how you will pay for it.

2. Whose products do we offer?

We offer products from the whole market

We only offer products from a limited number of companies

We only offer our own products

3. Which service will we provide you with?

We will advise and make a recommendation for you after we have assessed your needs.

You will not receive advice or a recommendation from us. We may ask some questions to narrow down the selection of products that we will provide details on. You will then need to make your own choice about how to proceed.

We will provide basic advice on a limited range of stakeholder products and in order to do this we will ask some questions about your income, savings and other circumstances but we will not:

  • conduct a full assessment of your needs;
  • offer advice on whether a non-stakeholder product may be more suitable.

We can only offer products from Kingston Unity Friendly Society. These products will enable you to:

  • protect yourself and your loved ones in the event of death
  • save and invest with the added benefit of protecting yourself and your loved ones in the event of death
  • provide benefit cover in the event of sickness

4. What will you have to pay us for our services?

Normally, if you buy a financial product direct from us, there will be no payments such as commission or fees payable. If there are any commission or fees payable, we will tell you how we get paid and the amount before we carry out any business for you.

5. Who regulates us?

Kingston Unity Friendly Society, 9 Navigation Court, Calder Park, Wakefield, WF2 7BJ is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and .the Prudential Regulation Authority. Kingston Unity Friendly Society’s FCA Registered Number is 110056.

Kingston Unity Friendly Society permitted business is advising and arranging life assurance and pensions business.

You can check this on the FCA’s Register by visiting the FCA’s website or by contacting the FCA on 0845 606 1234.

6. What to do if you have a complaint

If you wish to register a complaint, please contact us:
…in writing Write to Kingston Unity Friendly Society, Complaints Department, 9 Navigation Court, Calder Park, Wakefield, WF2 7BJ. …by phoneTelephone (01924) 240164

If you cannot settle your complaint with us, you may be entitled to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

7. Are we covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)?

We are covered by the FSCS. You may be entitled to compensation from the scheme if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim.

Most types of insurance business are covered for 90% of the claim with no upper limit.