This week in MoneyWeek: Buy British

In MoneyWeek magazine this week: it’s time to buy British stocks; how to choose a “robo adviser”, and would a universal basic income work?


In MoneyWeek magazine this week: it's time to buy British stocks; how to choose a "robo adviser", and would a universal basic income work? All that, plus an emerging-market fund that goes where others fear to tread; why it pays to go passive and how to save money when buying flights.

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As the PM calls an election: buy UK stocks

Investors hate UK stocks, says Max King. He was at an investment conference not so long ago and not a single one of the people there favoured them. And if you look at the FTSE 200, he says, that's not surprising. Compared with US stocks, UK equities have underperformed dramatically. But the FTSE 100 isn't the UK Stock market. But go beyond the blue chips, and you'll find that the small- and mid-cap sectors are in rude health the FTSE 250 has performed much better than its big brother. Now is a good time to get in, says Max. He picks a dozen or so funds to buy now. Find out what they are with a subscription to the magazine.

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Picking a good robo-adviser

"Many of us haven't got the time, knowledge or the disposition to pick great funds on a regular basis", says David C Stevenson. Often, he says, the solution is to go for a "solid, all-round fund". But actively managed funds can cost a fair bit, and as they can't guarantee to beat the market, "low charges are a priority". The answer, he says is to look at the fast-growing "robo-advice" sector. Robo advisers are online platforms, such as Nutmeg, Scalable Capital or Wealthify, that uses software algorithms to assess your risk appetite and invest accordingly, usually in passive exchange-traded funds. They're good for people who really don't want to think about their investments. David looks at what they are, how they work, and how you go about picking a good one. Find out what he says by signing up to the magazine.

Why it pays to go passive

Every year, says John Stepek, US index provider S&P looks at how active funds have performed compared to passive funds (sometimes called tracker or index funds). "It usually makes gloomy reading for active managers", says John, "but this year was worse than usual". This year, it looked back over 15 years and founds that 82% of active funds failed to beat the index. It's yet another reason to favour passive investing.

Could a universal income work?

With the combination of increasing wealth inequality and ever more complex benefits systems, the idea of paying everyone in the country a universal basic income is getting a lot of airtime. It's even being trialled in Finland. It sounds lovely. Everyone, no matter how much they earn, gets a guaranteed minimum income to keep them off the breadline. Is it just pie in the sky or could it really work? MoneyWeek's Stuart Watkins looks into it find out his conclusion with a subscription to the magazine.

Forget emerging markets, head for the frontier

Most emerging market fund managers ignore "frontier" markets completely, says Max King. In many ways, that's understandable. The value of emerging markets is some $1.4trn. For frontier markets, that number is just $17bn. But "there is great opportunity in these countries and companies that others overlook to their detriment", says Max. one fund he likes has returned over four times more than the MSCI Emerging Markets Index since late 2010. Find out what it is in MoneyWeek magazine.

Of course, there's much more than this. Simon Wilson looks into London's controversial "Garden Bridge". Is it, as many people think, an ill-conceived, unwanted, expensive white elephant, or is it, as Joanna Lumley puts it, "a tiara on the head ofour fabulous city"? Matthew Lyyn explains why elections shouldn't worry investors, and Ruth Jackson explains the tactics you should employ if you want to bag a cheap flight.

All that, plus share tips, politics, economics and markets news; travel, toys, houses for sale, and Matthew Juke's wine column. Why not sign up now?

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.