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[Editors Note: The text version of the story is below.]

A growing financial conservatism among Americans signals a deepening deflationary trend.

Despite meager returns on savings accounts, households are socking away cash. Heres a chart and comments from the December Elliott Wave Financial Forecast:

In October, the US personal savings rate as a percentage of disposable income rose to 5.6%, its highest level in almost three years. ... Back in 1999, by contrast, households were emptying their piggy banks to jump into stocks and other assets. The trend continued until July 2005, when the savings rate hit a low of 1.9%. Naturally, the percentage rose as the 2007-2009 bear market grabbed hold, but over the course of the subsequent rally in stocks, a critical divergence has developed.

The Feds efforts to nudge investors away from cash will probably continue to fail as a deflationary psychology deepens.

The June Financial Forecast provides another perspective on the savings rate trend:

This chart shows how the urge to save has grown steadily over the last 15 years ... . According to Gallup, Nearly two in three Americans now say they enjoy saving money more than spending it, further establishing the pro-savings trend that developed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. With 65% saying they prefer savings and 33% voting for spending, the gap is easily at the widest since Gallup first asked the question in 2001.

Savers will probably endure paltry returns from their accounts awhile longer (The New York Times, June 15):

The Federal Reserve did not raise its benchmark interest rate on June 15, and the central bank said it expected to raise rates more slowly in coming years, an acknowledgment that economic growth had again disappointed its expectations.

The good news is that cash will be a boon to savers when prices fall across the board.

As we see it, the Fed will be powerless to stop a deflationary trend that is already underway. Now is the time to get our outlook.



Sean Verdecia came up with the idea of AbleNook, a modular dwelling designed for disaster relief purposes, in 2011 with fellow University of South Florida student Jason Ross.

Five years later Ross has moved on to work for his family business and Verdecia has two new partners, Brian Wolfe and Thai Vo. Now the trio, partners at Wolfe Architects, is ready for a new phase at the company: sales

AbleNook is an easy-to-build home, less than 200 square feet, which can be collapsed and conveniently stored. That makes it an obvious product for disaster relief organizations. That potential use has remained, but Verdecia sees a wider customer base. "The market wants it for other uses, too," he says. "Personal offices, Airbnb, tiny houses. It has many applications."

The company is preparing to build a full-scale prototype to launch sales. But as architects, the trio knows everything has to be perfect before a deal is closed. "For us, health, safety and welfare all matter, so there's been a lot of development," Verdecia says.

The process was also delayed, says Verdecia, because the principles were focused on building their architecture careers. Funds to develop AbleNook have come from personal savings and Wolfe Architects.

The disaster relief market, projected to reach $103 billion by 2018, Verdecia says, is a big opportunity for the business. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is a top target customer, in addition to the US Army. Competition comes from trailers.

But AbleNook wants to go deeper than trailers. That's why each AbleNook unit gives the feel of home and can be permanent. As an extra element, front porches are mandatory, Verdecia says. "If a hurricane or an earthquake hits your home, people generally go to a trailer or dome," Verdecia says. "They don't know how long they'll be there, and there's nothing on the market to give them dignity after a disaster."

The business model for AbleNook is the company orders the parts, packs and ships them, and the end-user assembles the unit. In disaster relief cases, Wolfe says it could be a group effort to assemble the units. He says "hypothetically, if a country is hit by an earthquake," the military, volunteers or people who lost their homes could assemble the AbleNooks. He figures the United States would use the National Guard.

One of the key challenges in getting to market has been taking the "architect's ego" out of it, Verdecia says. "The easiest thing to do is make something more complicated. The hardest thing you can do is simplify it."

Simplifying meant cutting as many steps as possible without sacrificing functionality. Assembly for the end-user takes about two hours. But the pieces pin together and no tools are involved.

Those pins are multi-functional. Correctly assembled, the electrical is automatically connected and walls are fully insulated. Unlike trailers, the pins allow AbleNook units to attach together horizontally or on top of each other, say company officials.

AbleNook units, also unlike a trailer, can be taken apart, repacked and stored, Wolfe says. A standard 192-square-foot unit fits on two pallets. "You can fit eight units on a truck," he says, "or stack them and store a whole community in one warehouse."

With development continuing and the disaster relief market growing, AbleNook seeks between $1.5 million and $2 million to build the prototype and fund initial orders. The company is considering taking 100 preorders as an option to help with funding.

Because of the mixed uses, an exact price point has not been determined for an AbleNook. "For disaster relief, they would be priced to compete," Verdecia says. "Trailers range from $50,000 to $130,000. Ours would be less and would offer comparable options."

But when people get a chance to customize their orders, that per-unit price goes up. "The bespoke market could be anything," says Verdecia. "One person wants ostrich leather walls."

Follow Steven Benna on Twitter @steve_benna



Pensioners willnowpay tax on interest they havent yet received due to new Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) rules, which could force them to face a drop in their income.

Higher rate taxpayers were able to earn interest on savings up to pound;500 tax free, and basic rate taxpayersup to pound;1,000 thanks to the PSA which launched in April. But, anyone who goesover the allowance willpay tax at their marginal rate.

However, some savers going over their allowance are finding they owe tax on savings they dont have access to as it is tied up in a fixed-rate bond. Thats because tax on interest is due in the year it is paid, so you will have to shell outeven if the bond hasnt matured.

Older savers that exceed their PSA are particularly at risk from this tax bunglebecause HMRC will adjust their tax code to deduct money from their monthly pension or salary to clawback tax on the interest they are due to get from bonds that year.

This strange rule could leave them many hundreds of pounds out of pocket for up to 12 months or until their bond reaches maturity, which could be as long as five years, until the cash from their savings interest is paid.

[Related story:How does the Personal Savings Allowance work and how will it benefit you?]

How pensioners are being hit

BeforeApril 2016, banks and building societies took 20% tax off the interest it paid before reaching your account. But now they pay interest without taking any tax off at all.

This is great news - aslong as you receive less than pound;1,000 as a basic rate tax payer or pound;500 as higher rate taxpayer. However, if you earn more than your allowance, HMRC will start to collect what you owe by adjusting your tax code.

This has a significant impact on those with savings in fixed-rate bonds where the interest is paid annually. This is proving to be a big problem for many savers, especially pensioners, who tend to put their money into fixed-rate savings in order to generate an income.

The interest on NSamp;Is pensioner bonds, for example,is only paid when they mature.

The three-year 65+ Growth bond, which pays 4%, would return pound;400 a year based on the maximum pound;10,000 being put in.

So a basic rate taxpayer would see pound;6.66 a month taken from their salary or pension, even though they will only get the interest at the end of the three-year term.

Money cant be taken out of fixed-rate bonds without incurring a penalty so pensioners are being forced to pay out and live on less while they wait for their provider to pay out.

[Related story:How much tax should you pay on interest from savings and current accounts?]

What HMRC says

This loss of monthly income can have a major impact on pensioners who are already squeezed on their monthly income. However, HMRC stands by the practice.

A HMRC spokesperson told Money Mail: Changing an individuals tax code to collect tax due is a well-established means of collection that removes the need for many taxpayers to complete a tax return or contact us.

If anyone believes they will pay too much or too little tax, they can get their code changed.

Compare bank accounts



One of the best ways to grow your money is to put it in a high-yield savings account. But with so options out there, it can be hard and time consuming to figure out which is the best to grow your money.

Luckily,Wallethub.com did all the research for you. The consumer websites money experts compared more than 480 savings and money market accounts from 233 banks and credit unions.These banks are either online-only or at a brick-and-mortar location.

Here are some of the winners:

Wallethubs Best Overall Savings Account is one you might not have heard of but you can get to online. Its from Salem Five Bank.

It has the highest yielding savings account on the market-at 1.1%

While that doesnt sound like much, financial expert Matt Logan says it is above average.

[1.1%] is high yield these days. Its frightening to see that thats the number but it is, he said.

WalletHub says the rate offered by Salem Five Bank wont change until next year.That means, unlike most savings accounts you wont have to worry about the rate randomly dropping on you.The icing here is that there are no monthly or withdrawal fees and the minimum deposit is only $100.

If youre more of a brick and mortar person, an Alliant Bank savings account might be a great option. The Annual yield rate is 1% if you have more than $100 in your account. There are no monthly fees and you only need a $5 deposit to open the account, according to WalletHub.

GE Capital Bank and Barclays bank also make the WalletHub list of the best savings accounts out there. Neither of them requires a balance to open the account. They also dont require a minimum balance to keep the account open. Plus, you dont get charged monthly or ATM fees.

Logans advice for you when picking a bank?

You want you funds to be FDIC insured, he said. Use something thats reputable. Dont try to get creative with your savings because somebody else might get to spend it.

The Wallethub experts say no matter which bank you decide to go with keep in mind, online-only personal savings accounts offer the highest interest rates and lowest fees. That keeps more money in your pocket and thats what we all want.

Wallethub has more tips to help you decide on the best bank for you needs.Like, the fact that you shouldnt overlook Credit Unions and the fact that sometimes checking accounts, prepaid cards and brokerage accounts can sometimes be a better option for you.Heres a link to their full survey result.

Copyright 2016 WFMY