A cheap Christmas turkey

Tim Bennett rounds up this week’s personal finance news, including where to buy your Christmas roast, why you should still beware trailing commissions, and tax advice for 'accidental' landlords.

If you're looking for a cheap turkey this Christmas, head to Morrisons, says Thisismoney.co.uk. In the site's annual Christmas turkey poll, the supermarket came in lowest with a price of £9 for a frozen bird (that's £2.80 per kilo). Morrisons even beat discount supermarkets Lidl and Aldi to the top spot they charge 99p more. However, if you want a fresh bird, try Aldi, where a medium-sized one comes in at £19.99.

If you think that trail commissions an annual commission paid by financial product providers (such as fund groups) to financial advisers for up to 20 years after a product is first sold will be banned from January, you need to think again, says Holly Thomas in The Daily Telegraph.

Trail commissions on existing products bought before the end of this year will be allowed even after the retail distribution review (RDR) regulatory changes kick in. On some products (such as life assurance and critical illness cover), it has yet to be banned even on new product sales after the new year. So, be wary of advisers pushing products this side of Christmas, and even after the RDR starts, check how commission works on any new product you are recommended.

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Accidental' landlords: watch out. The tax office is on the hunt for landlords who aren't reporting rental income. Classic examples include renting out a property that's waiting to be sold. Declare this income on your self-assessment tax return, even if property expenses (ie, maintenance costs) then reduce it.

Most big pension-fund managers should be dumped, says Emma Simon in The Sunday Telegraph. Over the last decade, 14 of the 20 largest actively managed funds (including those run by Scottish Widows, Friends Life and Barclays) have delivered below average returns.

For example, Aviva's UK Equity pension returned 98% versus 120% for the FTSE All Share and 183% for Neil Woodford's Invesco Perpetual Income.

Travelling by train this Christmas? Don't assume a return fare is always cheapest. Sometimes the cost of two singles works out cheaper, so check.

Tim graduated with a history degree from Cambridge University in 1989 and, after a year of travelling, joined the financial services firm Ernst and Young in 1990, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1994.

He then moved into financial markets training, designing and running a variety of courses at graduate level and beyond for a range of organisations including the Securities and Investment Institute and UBS. He joined MoneyWeek in 2007.