This week in MoneyWeek: why it's time to buy gold miners; could Isas replace pensions; and should you buy a pub?
Plus, Alex Williams on the Korean tiddlers taking on the multinational cosmetics giants, the technological revolution threatening the City, and the assets you should be buying now.
All this for a remarkably reasonable price. Sign up now.
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A buying opportunity for gold miners
I don't think it's any secret to readers that we're fans of gold here at MoneyWeek. It certainly has a lot to recommend it. As a store of value, it's hard to beat, which makes it excellent portfolio insurance. To many people, it's the only real money there is. But most importantly of all, it's shiny. And people do like shiny things.
And there's probably no bigger fan among us than Dominic Frisby. At the beginning of this year, he made some bold calls. "Gold's time is coming again", he said and "gold miners have never been this cheap". It seems he was right. Since then, gold has had a great time of it, and gold miners have soared.
This year has been "an absolute belter" for gold mining stocks, says Dominic in this week's cover story. They've beaten every other asset class. Gold itself has been "a great hedge against post-Brexit disorder" and has risen by 25%-30% against the dollar.
In August, however, both gold and gold mining stocks saw a "healthy correction". That's as it should be, says Dominic. "We needed a pullback" after tiny explorers tripled in value "without actually having done anything". And with "newsletter pump and dump operations aggressively tipping stocks", things had "all got too frothy".
There may be "a rocky few weeks ahead", says Dominic, but some judicious buying could pay off handsomely. He picks ten investments to snap up now, and one to avoid. Find out what they are with a subscription to the magazine.
Will Isas replace pensions?
The popularity of stocks and shares Isas is growing and, according to David Prosser, they "could be on track to replace personal pensions as the standard way to invest for the long term". Pensions still have the edge because of tax breaks, but they are "becoming less generous", and "the advantage pensions have is narrowing and will shrink further if the government launches Lifetime Isas" as planned. But many leading investment firms are calling for their introduction to be delayed, and other experts are expressing concerns as well. David looks at the outlook for both.
Should you buy a pub?
As any right-thinking person will tell you, a good pub represents the pinnacle of a civilised society. No finer institution has ever been devised by humankind, and probably never will. But the sector has been in "slow decline for decades", says Natalie Stanton. Now there are just 50,800 left, according to the British Beer and Pub Association, as pubcos continue to sell profitable pubs to property developers for huge sums, depriving communities of an essential asset.
But communities are fighting back. Getting a pub listed as an "asset of community value" gives them the option of buying it should it be put up for sale. But, asks Natalie, "is this ever a good idea?"
Find out buy getting a subscription to the magazine.
Private prisons, Korean beauty products and the decline of cashback
Private prisons are a relatively new phenomenon in the UK. But there are now 14 of them in England and Wales, and two in Scotland, which together account for about 15% of the country's prison population. In the US, they've had them for much longer. But now they're having a change of mind, and have taken steps to reduce their numbers. Should we do the same here? Simon Wilson reports
Alex Williams looks at the cosmetics industry in Korea, which is booming as their products spread across Asia. And Ruth Jackson looks at the best deals still available as "the days of bumper cashback earnings" draw to a close.
All that, plus Chris Carter's look at adventurous holidays in the frozen north (think Svalbard, not Stonehaven), houses to buy with secret gardens, and a cracking wine for a tenner that is sure to "impress fastidious wine bores".
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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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