Over the last few months we've been taking a good look at ourselves. We liked what we saw. But not quite enough. So we've made a few changes. Eagle-eyed readers will notice a couple of new fonts, a few different colours, some new features on the regular pages and several entirely new pages. We look exclusively at investing in property, for example (key message: avoid London!) and you will find the first in a series of beginner's guides for those who are just starting out in investing. I hope you'll like the new look and that you will (as ever) feel free to complain vigorously if you do not.
However, I also hope that as you read this week's issue, you will see that our core values remain unchanged. We are committed to cutting through the endless stream of nonsense that pours out of the financial sector; to finding you the best investments we can (whether you are a passive investor, an active fund investor or a stockpicker) at the best prices; to keeping you up to date on the endless changes to the tax regimes around all your investments (your pension in particular right now!); and helping you to build wealth even in the face of government policies that seem determined to stop you doing so. We want all our readers to end up rich.
So you can find out more about the best (and most undervalued) industrial stocks in the UK. Then move to where Matthew Lynn looks at a couple of exciting but almost entirely overlooked European economies. It is, he says, time to stop thinking of Prague and Bratislava as top city-break destinations and to start thinking of them as homes to the stockmarkets that might perk up your pension.Also in the magazine, I interview Gary Channon, manager of the Phoenix UK Fund (which is not open to retail investors) and, as of a few months ago, the Aurora Investment Trust (which is).
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Channon is a rare thing a genuine value investor (everyone says they look for value, almost no one is brave enough to really do it) making proper money for his long-term investors out of careful, concentrated stockpicking. His new fund (Aurora) also suggests he and his firm have sufficient confidence in their abilities to be genuinely imaginative on fees: you won't pay a fee to them at all if they don't outperform.
Not all managers will be able to match this bet quite so boldly Phoenix makes more than enough money on its other fund to keep it going while it sees how this one does. But I suspect we will soon see other managers having a go at cutting their fees too read the articleon the rise of robo-advisers, something that should be a major catalyst for this. Finally, for those who can still cope with reading about Brexit, we look at how it would affect Britain's farmers.
Merryn Somerset Webb started her career in Tokyo at public broadcaster NHK before becoming a Japanese equity broker at what was then Warburgs. She went on to work at SBC and UBS without moving from her desk in Kamiyacho (it was the age of mergers).
After five years in Japan she returned to work in the UK at Paribas. This soon became BNP Paribas. Again, no desk move was required. On leaving the City, Merryn helped The Week magazine with its City pages before becoming the launch editor of MoneyWeek in 2000 and taking on columns first in the Sunday Times and then in 2009 in the Financial Times
Twenty years on, MoneyWeek is the best-selling financial magazine in the UK. Merryn was its Editor in Chief until 2022. She is now a senior columnist at Bloomberg and host of the Merryn Talks Money podcast - but still writes for Moneyweek monthly.
Merryn is also is a non executive director of two investment trusts – BlackRock Throgmorton, and the Murray Income Investment Trust.
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