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Merryn Somerset Webb rss

Scotland Prepares For Independence Vote

What it means for your savings if Scotland votes yes

13 September 2014

I bet that until a few days ago you thought the referendum in Scotland was a mildly amusing sideshow. Perhaps you still do. Perhaps you are convinced that the ‘silent… Read more

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They made me sit an exam on giving financial advice. And I'm glad

There was a time, not that long ago, when financial advisers as we know them today didn’t really exist. Pension and tax advice came from accountants. If you bought shares… Read more

INVESTMENT_SPECIAL

How to make money from the Scottish referendum

2 November 2013

The best time to buy an asset is when no one else can stomach it. Great fortunes are made in uncertainty. The self-made rich aren’t the ones who hung around… Read more

Money Lending Firm Wonga Report Profits Of Over £1m Per Week

If only more banks were more like Wonga

5 October 2013

I know a lot of people who work in the financial industry. One on one, they are decent and kind. I’d trust them to look after my handbag in the… Read more

Housing-Bubble

George Osborne's property bubble will lead to disaster

Imagine, if you can bear it, that you are a first-time buyer in the UK. You go to look at a 500-square-foot box masquerading as a two-bedroom flat in an… Read more

A Tokyo sunrise, circa 1870, by Hiroshige

Investment special: How Shinzo Abe has revived Japan

Thank goodness for Shinzo Abe. Back in 2007, I wrote here that ‘over the next two to five years Japan will turn out to be one of the best investments… Read more

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Reform at last

3 November 2012

A decade ago I wrote here about the way financial advisers are paid. I told you how, instead of giving you a bill, your adviser is allowed to sell you… Read more

An Island of One’s own

22 September 2012

Every August, my family and I leave the city and head for our private island. There we spend much of the month walking, fishing, barbecuing and generally lounging around. We… Read more

Capital Gains

23 June 2012

What’s happening with house prices in London? That depends what you mean by London. Last year prices in the best areas rose fast — by 10 per cent or so… Read more

Golden Rules

31 March 2012

Surely everyone holds gold by now? Strangely, they don’t. The price has gone from $250 an ounce to $1,700 an ounce in ten years and the metal is much discussed… Read more

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Investment Special: Searching for income

17 March 2012

The outcome of last week’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting came as no surprise, but if you’re trying to live off income generated from capital, it was still bloody irritating. Once… Read more

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INVESTMENT SPECIAL: The kids can wait

15 October 2011

The government wants you to save more. You might think that odd for two reasons. First, because if you are an average person you’re unlikely to have much extra to… Read more

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Any other business

27 August 2011

The shocks won’t end with the summer The world’s stock markets have had a ­pretty gruesome August. Listen to most of the financial press and you might think the reasons… Read more

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INVESTMENT SPECIAL: Sell the East, buy the West

12 February 2011

The end is nigh for the Asian boom – but parts of Europe look perky At the beginning of 2010 I was asked to announce my ‘trade of the decade’.… Read more

My crystal ball sees disappointment ahead

14 December 2009

Merryn Somerset Webb doubts that markets will go on rising — and advises us how not to get poorer in 2010 Back in early 2007, an interviewer challenged my stance… Read more

Private education

School fees: a luxury you can’t afford The credit crunch is taking a terrible toll on the middle classes. They’ve started to give up their organic boxes (sales are down… Read more

You wouldn’t buy Britain in this state, so why hold your cash in pounds?

13 February 2008

A few minutes reading the Daily Mail and you might think that there wasn’t a person left in Britain with a penny to their name. But it isn’t so. Half… Read more

The City’s fascination with farming

31 October 2007

Everyone’s an expert on agriculture these days. Talk to anyone in the City: when they’re not boring you with how much copper wire it takes to build a satellite city… Read more

The price of sex in the City

18 July 2007

Morgan Stanley has just hosted its first ‘early access’ event for young women: 75 girls from 15 top schools were taken on a tour of the trading floor (I bet… Read more

Women and money make a perfect match

The City summer party season has begun. I kicked it off with a fifth-anniversary party for Neptune Investment Management last Thursday. I like Neptune: they’ve got good funds and a… Read more

Sell Madrid, buy Berlin

For some years now it has been fashionable for fund managers investing in Europe to consider the entire Eurozone as one great big market divided up not by national boundaries… Read more

Not so dark continent

28 March 2007

In Bond Street tube station an ad catches my eye every morning: ‘140 million people, 9th largest market in the world, 42 billion tonnes of bitumen, 3rd largest movie industry… Read more

Money really can grow on trees

22 February 2007

With the endless talk about private equity these days you could be forgiven for thinking it must be the only sensible investment out there. Not so. In fact some of… Read more

A slow dawn but not a false one

17 January 2007

For fund managers who specialised in Japan, 2005 was a fantastic year. After more than a decade of dealing with a market in the doldrums they suddenly found themselves in… Read more

Ignore your conscience: big oil still beats green power

23 November 2006

If you are the kind of person who believes the things the City says, you might by now be almost convinced that we don’t really need oil any more. If… Read more