This week in MoneyWeek we look at the rise of the robots and explain how to profit; what Brexit would mean both on a global scale and for consumers back home; and explain the ins and outs of monetary policy.
Plus, the latest property news, an unusual way to boost your income, and how to play a bounce in Japanese stocks. To find out more, take out a subscription to the magazine now.
How robotics will make the world a better place
In our cover story this week, Eoin Treacy, investment director of MoneyWeek Research's new Frontier Tech Investor newsletter, looks at the approach of the robot revolution. Not the nightmarish scenarios of murderous rampage envisioned so often by Hollywood, but the coming of the friendly, helpful robots.
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They're not coming to take out scalps. They're not even coming to take our jobs. They are coming to help us do the things too dangerous for humans to do, to help us be more productive at work, and do all the dull mundane things we'd rather not do ourselves.
The idea that "many roles currently filled by people will be taken over by robots that can do the same job cheaper, for longer and without complaining" is "entirely wrong", says Eoin.
Eoin looks at the fields robots will be put to use in, and picks the six best stocks to buy now if you want to get in at the start. If you want to know what they are, sign up for MoneyWeek now.
Trade in the EU isn't free, just "free-ish"
This week, Merryn talks to Peter Hargreaves, co-founder of online stockbroker and wealth manager Hargreaves Lansdown, to get his view on the Brexit campaign. Peter (who was talking to Merryn in his capacity as a private individual) voted "in" in 1975 because of the one thing pretty much everyone agrees on free trade.
Trouble is, says Peter, trade isn't free any more. The EU imposes such a vast amount of regulation that trade is only "free-ish", and even then, only for those who can "cope with a lot of rules". To find out what else he has to say, sign up to MoneyWeek magazine now.
Sarah Moore, meanwhile, looks at what effect leaving the EU would have on consumers' rights, and explains what would change if EU regulations ceased to have legal force in the UK.
Four trends to watch if Britain left the EU
The opinion polls are still showing a fairly even split between voters who want to leave the EU and those who want to stay (the bookies are rather more definite about the outcome, however "Leave" is at around 2:1, while "Remain" is at 2:5 but the odds are shortening).
This week in his City View column, Matthew Lynn takes a look at what would happen if the "badly organised and incoherently led" Leave campaign were to carry the day. Brexit, he says, would be a "major global event". It might not actually make that much difference to Britain, he says, but it "could have some huge knock-on effects elsewhere". He looks at four things to watch for.
The best way to play Japan's rebound
Japanese stockmarkets have not had a good start 2016, that's for sure the Topix is down some 12% so far, and investors took $100bn out of equity funds last month alone. But funds expert David C Stevenson thinks they will come good in the second half of the year. If you think he's right and you're up for a punt, sign up to MoneyWeek to find out which three funds he thinks are the best ways to play it.
Sarah Moore looks into "enhanced income funds", which pay out larger than average dividends to investors (up to 8% or 9%). How is that possible, you might ask. Well, you have to give up some capital gains. They "could be worth a look" Sarah concludes, but "it is extremely important to make sure you understand the risks" of such specialist funds.
On the shares pages, Alex Williams runs his expert eye over the prospects for one of the world's leading sportswear brands, picks a gamble on world trade, and brings you the rest of the best share tips from the country's financial press.
Matthew Partridge looks at what the M&A boom is telling us, and asks if it's a red flag for the markets. And Natalie Stanton rounds up the latest pensions and property news. If you're fond of swinging cats, or indeed just stretching, you probably won't like what she has to say about the London housing market "relaxed planning rules" have led to the latest "peculiar" development "micro living" as desperate young professionals squeeze themselves into flats as small as 29 square metres.
And on our beginner's page this week, Merryn explains what monetary policy is, and how it affects the various things in your portfolio.
There's no travel this week, as wine expert Matthew Lynn brings us his 2015 Bordeaux report. He's taken on the dirty job of testing 300 of the region's wines to bring you his verdict on which ones are worth buying "en primeur" in the barrel before it makes it to market, in the hope of bagging a bargain.
If all that's whetted your appetite for more, why not pick up a subscription now?
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, scotsman.com, 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.
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