In MoneyWeek this week: Look ma – no hands!

Robot cars, the case for and against Brexit, and a plea to help save capitalism – Ben Judge looks at what’s inside this week’s edition of MoneyWeek magazine.


We've got a packed edition of the magazine this week we look at robot cars, the case for and against the EU, and what peak connecting' is and why it spells trouble for tech.

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How you can help save capitalism from itself

Merryn kicks off the issue with a plea for MoneyWeek readers to help rescue capitalism. There's a heated debate raging all over the papers, TV and radio and in the cinema, with the release of the film The Big Short (which Matthew Partridge calls "one financial film you should definitely watch" in his review).

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Capitalism is the best system we've found yet. But it's being undermined by corporations getting away with murder, says Merryn. Or at least, getting away with not paying their taxes. At the same time, they're paying workers low wages, and handing over millions of pounds to top executives.

What capitalism needs is good, responsible shareholders, says Merryn. And that means asking your fund manager or whoever's looking after your money to step up and start demanding that the companies they invest in behave.

Merryn's not alone in her desire, it seems. James Anderson of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust (one of the trusts in our investment trust portfolio) gets it. Just this week he's come out and demanded that Google owner Alphabet (his trust owns a £120m chunk) start paying its taxes properly or face a huge public backlash.

Why we should stay in the EU

We're for Brexit here at MoneyWeek. But that doesn't mean we won't give you both sides of the story. This week, Merryn interviews journalist, author and founder of the Breaking Views website, Hugo Dixon.

He's a committed Europhile, and while he recognises its flaws, he believes that Britain must stay in the EU if we are to have any influence at all on shaping the rules that we will almost certainly have to follow anyway if we want to trade with Europe even if we vote to leave. Giving up a certain amount of sovereignty is inevitable, but it's a price worth paying, says Hugo, such are the rewards of staying in.

..and why we must leave

Charlie Morris, on the other hand, is a committed eurosceptic. The investment editor of the Fleet Street Letter says the EU is "the Vatican of our time" and a modern-day Reformation is needed to free us from the shackles of centralism.

The EU is a huge drain on Britain's economy. While Britain is creating jobs, Europe is destroying them. Britain's exports to the world outside the EU are growing twice as fast as our exports to the EU, as the eurozone economy is too weak to provide the demand for our goods.

The EU is "dominated by France and Germany", says Charlie. And, far from having a say at the table, Britain is "frustrated" by its "lack of influence" over decision making.

"Spread the word", says Charlie. "Vote leave."

The future of motoring is electric and driverless

Petrolheads beware. Driverless cars are coming, says Matthew Partridge. They're not here yet the closest you can get at the moment is a Tesla Model S but it won't be long. Many of the big carmakers are spending huge sums on self-driving technology. Right now, you can get a modest family car that can park itself and brake automatically to avoid a collision.

Along with the family runabout, public transport and road haulage could be transformed by the new technology, says Matthew. The best way to play it isn't necessarily to buy carmakers, though. Matthew looks at the companies that are behind some of the high technology needed to make robo-cars a reality, and pics seven of the best stocks to buy now.

But in other areas, tech stocks could soon be in trouble

Forget peak oil, peak gold or even "peak stuff". It looks like we've hit "peak connecting" says Matthew Lynn, as people reach a physical limit on the amount of posts they can make on social media, or messages they can send to friends.

This could make a huge dent in the stockmarket, as the share price of companies such as Twitter crater. It's not just the headline names, says Matthew, there are "the companies that mine them for data, run games on them or use them to reach customers" that could get caught up in the next tech bubble and bust.

If you want to avoid getting caught out yourself, take out a subscription now.

Elsewhere in the magazine, Alex Williams looks at how to bet on a bear market; Sarah Moore examines the performance of active funds and names the worst ones; and Natalie Stanton reports on yet more changes to the pension rules, and how they could affect you.

Plus, there's Chris Carter on cheap rooms at top destinations, a round-up of properties to buy for £1m, and the key to buying classic cars, if you're not quite yet ready to cede the road to robo-cars.

Ben Judge

Ben studied modern languages at London University's Queen Mary College. After dabbling unhappily in local government finance for a while, he went to work for The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh. The launch of the paper's website,, in the early years of the dotcom craze, saw Ben move online to manage the Business and Motors channels before becoming deputy editor with responsibility for all aspects of online production for The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News websites, along with the papers' Edinburgh Festivals website.

Ben joined MoneyWeek as website editor in 2008, just as the Great Financial Crisis was brewing. He has written extensively for the website and magazine, with a particular emphasis on alternative finance and fintech, including blockchain and bitcoin. As an early adopter of bitcoin, Ben bought when the price was under $200, but went on to spend it all on foolish fripperies.