This week in MoneyWeek: can Macron fix France?

In this week’s MoneyWeek magazine: Emmanuel Macron’s bid to transform France, five funds for a global portfolio, and how to save money without even thinking about it.


In this week's MoneyWeek magazine: Emmanuel Macron's bid to transform France, five funds for a global portfolio, and how to save money without even thinking about it.

Plus: the best ways to invest in cybersecurity; how to prepare for a US-UK trade deal, and how has selling off all our utility companies worked out? All that, plus the usual news, views, comment and analysis; share tips; personal finance; pensions and property. Sign up now and you'll get the magazine delivered direct to the letterbox of your choice, plus full access to the MoneyWeek website, ereader and the smartphone and tablet app.Why not sign up now?

Macron the marvellous

In the last few years, says Frederic Guirinec in the week's cover story, France has slumped into "unremarkable mediocrity". The economy is stuck in the doldrums, with growth barely averaging 1.2% since 2000, and industry struggling against competition from Germany. It still has many advantages, including "amazing infrastructure", a sound legal environment and one of the highest levels of productivity in the world, but it is still "rapidly losing ground", says Frederic.

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Enter Emmanuel Macron. France's business friendly new president, with "grand ambitions to reform France". However, says Frederic, Macron's programme is "unclear" and "does not seem highly ambitious". Still, there are a few interesting points, he says. Will these be enough to bring vigour back into France's economy ? Find out what Frederic thinks, and the stocks he thinks should profit, in this week's copy of MoneyWeek magazine.

Five funds for international stocks

Holding international stocks is one of the best ways to build a balanced portfolio, says our managing editor, Cris Sholto Heaton. But how do you pick quality foreign stocks? For many investors, picking individual stocks can be tough more so when it comes to international companies. So the best way is to buy into a fund. But many global funds are clogged up with mediocre companies, says Cris only a handful follow the kind of strategy that he thinks will perform well over the long term. Find out what they are in this week's MoneyWeek magazine.

The apps that build up your savings without you having to think about it

Saving money is tough for most people. By the time you've paid your accommodation costs, bills and food, there's often not much left over. If you want to build up a nest egg, it requires a discipline and determination many people just don't manage to do it. But there is a new crop of fintech companies that have found a novel way to solve this problem. Using sophisticated algorithms, an app on your smartphone will monitor your spending, keep a close eye on your bank balance, and then, when it decides you can afford to spare a little they will quietly move money from your current account into your savings account. If it looks like you're spending more than usual, they'll hold off for a bit. If it looks like you've got a little spare, they'll stash it away safely for you. It's an interesting concept, and they're proving very popular. Find out more in this week's MoneyWeek magazine.

Beware high mortgage fees; investing in cybersecurity: and has privatisation worked?

Elsewhere, Ruth Jackson looks at the mortgage market. Lenders are dropping their headline rates to entice new customers, but are countering that with ever higher arrangement fees the most expensive come in at jus shy of £4,000. Ruth looks into the market, and finds some of the best deals around at the moment.

With companies "scared rigid" by the recent wave of ransomware attacks, we are probably "midway through a huge cyclical increase in spending on cybersecurity", says David C Stevenson. David thinks the sector is the "single most compelling" idea for investing right now. He picks two funds to buy to get exposure.

Since the time of Margaret Thatcher, most of the country's publicly owned utilities have been sold into to private hands. Many people call would like them brought back in to the public sector. But is that sensible? Alex Rankine looks at whether privatisation has delivered the benefits that were promised, or whether we should just renationalise the lot. Find out what he thinks by signing up to MoneyWeek magazine now.

There much more than that of course. Our usual roundup of the best share tips from the rest of the UK press; advice on pensions, personal finance, and investing in property. And, at the back, five pages on toys, wine, travel and the best houses for sale. 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.