This week in MoneyWeek: the stocks that can grow for decades

In this week’s MoneyWeek magazine: five FTSE “aristocrats” to buy now; where money really does grow on trees; and the algorithms undermining democracy.


In this week's MoneyWeek magazine: Richard Beddard picks five FTSE "aristocrats" to buy now; where money grows on trees; and the algorithms undermining democracy.

Plus, why you should switch out of buy-to-let; fix your mortgage until after Brexit; and why we should give the poor a tax cut. All that can be yours if you sign up now - you'll get the magazine delivered to your door; full access to the MoneyWeek website; and our smartphone and tablet app. Why not give it a go now?

Don't buy IPOs, back the stockmarket's old-timersinstead

Investors get very excited by IPOs (initial public offerings, where a company floats on the stock exchange for the first time). But more often than not, they're a disappointment. A study by the London Business School found that investors who bought newly floated stocks and held them for two years underperformed the market by 9%. True, some become as successful as Google or Amazon, but generally, writes Richard Beddard in this week's cover story, IPOs are "sub-par investments" that represent the "triumph of hope over experience", writes Richard Beddard in this week's cover story. Investors are much better off putting their money into "seasoned" companies. This week, Richard picks five of the very best to buy now. Find out what they are with a subscription to MoneyWeek magazine.

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Forestry: where money really does grow on trees

If you're looking for a good, long-term way to diversify your portfolio, you could do worse than look at forestry, says Sarah Moore. It has a low correlation to other asset classes, so it doesn't collapse in value when everything else does, and it's predictable. And l while gains have slowed somewhat, the market has held up well through recent volatility in other markets. There can also be significant tax benefits to owning commercial woodland. So, if you just want to buy a couple of acres to build a treehouse in and pass on to your heirs, or if you're after a commercial plantation of Sitka spruce, how should you go about it? Sarah explains it all in this week's magazine.

Fake news and the algorithms undermining democracy

There been a lot of talk that the results of both the EU referendum and the US presidential election were influenced by "shadowy consulting firms dominated by wealthy right-wing backers", says Simon Wilson. But how is this possible? "Psychometric modelling" uses social media posts and data harvested from other sources and likes to build a "very accurate picture" of your personality. Ads and messages are then tailored towards susceptible voters, virtually free of any scrutiny. What's the problem, you might ask? Simon goes into it in depth to find out why it really is a very worrying trend indeed. Find out more with a subscription to the magazine.

Make sure you know what's in your ETF

The boom in passive investing has been made possible in large part by the growth in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). But they've been the subject of a fair bit of scaremongering recently. Much of that is down to "the active fund industry's strawclutching efforts to discredit low-cost rivals", says John Stepek. But, as revealed by problems with one popular ETF earlier this month there are some things that investors should be aware of. John Stepek explains what they are.

Fixed-rate mortgages; alternatives to buy-to-let; tax cuts for the poor

Elsewhere Ruth Jackson looks at fixed rate mortgages. The most popular tend to be over two years. But if you take one out now, you'd be looking for a new mortgage just as we leave the EU. And who knows what that would do to interest rates? It might be worth thinking about fixing it for longer. Ruth picks some of the best deals available at the moment. Max King explains why you really should switch out of buy to let investments, and suggests a couple of listed real estate investment trusts that property investors could buy instead. And Matthew Lynn explains why cutting taxes for the worse off is one of the best ways of boosting economic growth

All that plus, much much more. Al the best share tips from the rest of the UK;s financial commentators. News and vies from the markets, politics and economics. And our section in the back on how to spend it eight of the best properties to buy with woodlands attached; the world's best train journeys; an "otherworldly" sherry to buy now; and a look at the new Bentley Mulsanne Speed the "ultimate in automotive luxury".

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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.