Merryn's blog

Cash rich and bored? Be careful what you do with your money
Family out walking in Tehran
Investment strategy

Cash rich and bored? Be careful what you do with your money

As the pandemic has left many people with more time on their hands but little opportunity to spend, they have been speculating in the markets. But don…
19 Oct 2020
Negative interest rates and the end of free bank accounts
Cash machines
Bank accounts

Negative interest rates and the end of free bank accounts

Negative interest rates are likely to mean the introduction of fees for current accounts and other banking products. But that might make the UK bankin…
19 Oct 2020
Private vs public sector pay: who really gets more?
London's City Hall © Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
UK Economy

Private vs public sector pay: who really gets more?

The general consensus is that public sector pay is lower than in the private sector, but staff have better working conditions and job security. The re…
13 Oct 2020
Pandemics, politicians and gold-plated pensions
Houses of Parliament © Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Pensions

Pandemics, politicians and gold-plated pensions

As more and more people lose their jobs to the pandemic and the lockdowns imposed to deal with it, there’s one bunch of people who won’t have to worry…
12 Oct 2020
UK stocks will bounce back – make sure your portfolio is adequately positioned
London Stock Exchange © Jack Taylor/Getty Images
UK stockmarkets

UK stocks will bounce back – make sure your portfolio is adequately positioned

UK stocks are more unloved than they’ve ever been. When they recover – and they will – they will move quickly so you need to have positioned your port…
5 Oct 2020
How the stamp duty holiday is pushing up house prices
Stamp duty

How the stamp duty holiday is pushing up house prices

Stamp duty is an awful tax and should be replaced by something better. But its temporary removal is driving up house prices, says Merryn Somerset Webb…
25 Sep 2020
Why the FCA should sit back and do nothing for now
Funds

Why the FCA should sit back and do nothing for now

The Financial Conduct Authority has asked for ideas on how to improve the consumer investment market. But perhaps the best thing to do right now would…
21 Sep 2020

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Why China appeals to good investors
China stockmarkets

Why China appeals to good investors

China is one of the few places left to good investors hoping to make a decent return, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
14 Sep 2020
Dealing with the debt: big tax rises are not the answer right now
UK Economy

Dealing with the debt: big tax rises are not the answer right now

Tax rises can’t do much to reduce the two-trillion-pound hole in our public finances. And the economy is too fragile for a tax grab now anyway. So whe…
7 Sep 2020
Ordinary investors are missing out as private equity takes over
Stockmarkets

Ordinary investors are missing out as private equity takes over

Companies are turning their backs on public stockmarkets and raising more and more money from private equity. Merryn Somerset Webb explains why this i…
1 Sep 2020
Europe’s magic works better in the dark
EU Economy

Europe’s magic works better in the dark

Europe’s latest fiscal intervention looks like the kind of muddle-through that makes a United States of Europe more likely, says Merryn Somerset Webb.…
28 Aug 2020
Should you take advantage of the UK’s new breed of domestic holidaymakers?
Buy to let

Should you take advantage of the UK’s new breed of domestic holidaymakers?

With Britons choosing to holiday in the UK this year, the owners of the country’s holiday cottages are cleaning up. Should you buy in, too? Merryn? So…
10 Aug 2020
Listed companies are dying out, and that could have serious consequences
Stockmarkets

Listed companies are dying out, and that could have serious consequences

Private equity is taking over from public stockmarkets as the biggest provider of capital to companies. That’s bad for investors and bad for society a…
3 Aug 2020
Income investors: here’s what to do as dividends shrink
Income investing

Income investors: here’s what to do as dividends shrink

Dividends may never die, but they are certainly shrinking. And may not return to the levels we saw in the past. Merryn Somerset Webb explains what inc…
28 Jul 2020
How to have a low-tax retirement in the sun
Pensions

How to have a low-tax retirement in the sun

Greece is to offer a ten-year tax incentive to foreign pensioners. That’s a pretty good offer, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But it might not last.
20 Jul 2020
Prepare yourself for a rise in capital gains tax
Tax

Prepare yourself for a rise in capital gains tax

With the UK desperate to raise more money to cover the massive rise in public spending, squeezing more revenue out of capital gains tax looks like an …
20 Jul 2020
Four excellent books to get your teeth into while you remain holed up
Books

Four excellent books to get your teeth into while you remain holed up

Whether you’re going on a staycation (or even an actual holiday) or remaining holed up at home. Merryn Somerset Webb has four perfect books to educate…
6 Jul 2020
How “pent-up demand” could drive a V-shaped economic recovery
Global Economy

How “pent-up demand” could drive a V-shaped economic recovery

“Pent-up demand” is usually a myth. But not this time. The Covid lockdown has created genuine pent-up demand, says Merryn Somerset Webb. That’s now be…
29 Jun 2020
Why it can pay to keep your investments in the family
Investment strategy

Why it can pay to keep your investments in the family

Family-run businesses make up a huge percentage of the UK’s private companies. Buy into a listed family firm, and you’re likely to net a healthy retur…
22 Jun 2020
UK house prices holding up as city folk flock to the country
Property

UK house prices holding up as city folk flock to the country

The number of city-dwellers pursuing their dream of a rural idyll is on the rise. And despite the pandemic, house prices are holding up well, says Mer…
15 Jun 2020
We could be at a pivotal point in the growth/value cycle
Value investing

We could be at a pivotal point in the growth/value cycle

Growth stocks have been on an extraordinary run as central banks have inflated markets. But as economies shift from recession to growth, value will wi…
9 Jun 2020
“Stealth” debt jubilees are here – and that’s a very good thing
UK Economy

“Stealth” debt jubilees are here – and that’s a very good thing

We may not have had a full-scale debt jubilee, but many Covid relief measures quietly amount to “micro-jubilees”. That’s something to celebrate, says …
1 Jun 2020