In MoneyWeek magazine this week: how to cash in as marijuana goes mainstream; get bigger profits with mini bonds; and cautious investing in China and India.
Plus, making the most of cashback sites; should you use a "no-fee" estate agent; and beware the calm in the markets. And, of course, plenty of share tips, insights into the markets, politics and economics; company news and five pages of how to spend it. Oh and a crossword, sudoku and bridge.
Below, we're giving you taster of some of the best article in the magazine. And for a limited time only, we're letting you click through to read them on the website without a subscription. If you like what you see, why not sign up for MoneyWeek magazine now.
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Legal cannabis brings plenty of opportunities for investors
Next year will see two very significant milestones in the transformation of cannabis from illegal narcotic to mainstream recreational drug. By July, Canada is expected to have fully legalised marijuana at local and federal level, opening up a whole new market.
That's exciting enough. But before that happens, a much bigger market will open up when recreational cannabis becomes legal in California. If California were an independent country, it would have the sixth-biggest economy in the world. The size of the legal marijuana market there has been estimated at some $5bn a year. So you can see there are going to be plenty of opportunities for business there.
It's not all plain sailing, however. There is the little matter of cannabis still being a Schedule 1 controlled substance at the federal level. But even so, these are exciting times for the industry. I pick some of the best ways to profit in this week's cover story. Find out what they are click here to read this week's cover story free of charge.
Small bonds; bigger profits
"Many investors are sitting on bond portfolios or in funds where the average
yield on good-quality credit is below 3% a year", says David C Stevenson. But in recent years, there has been "an explosion of retail-friendly bonds", also known as "mini-bonds", offering higher yields. The trouble with these, says David, is that most have been "absolute junk". Thankfully, that is now changing, and we're seeing "A steady rise" in bond quality as "reputable alternative asset managers have moved in with asset-backed propositions". David looks at some of the best on offer - find out what they are in this week's MoneyWeek magazine.
Cautious investing in China and India
China and India are emerging from their "long economic slumber", says Max King. And while that fact might at first glance appear to offer investors easy profits, the lesson of history is to tread carefully in these countries" despite two decades of economic growth of over 10% a year in China for example, the return to investors has been "miserable". Investors in India have hardly fared any better. Now, however, there are two "outstanding" investment trusts that are available at "attractive discounts to net asset value".
Beware the calm in the markets
You may or may not have heard of the "Vix" index. It measures volatility in the markets and is popularly known as "Wall Street's fear gauge" and, says John Stepek on his analysis page this week, it . When it's low, investors are happy that everything is well, and expect markets to remain calm. When it spikes, investors expect trouble. It's been remarkably low for some time now, and, coupled with low interest rates, that means investors have been taking bigger risks than they might otherwise have done. But are investors right to be so complacent? "A Vix-induced market slide could shatter that calm", says John, and drive stocks down. Find out more about the fear gauge and why you should be wary of the current market calm in this week's MoneyWeek magazine. Right now, we're giving you free access
Personal finance, property and pensions
There's much more than that, of course. Ruth Jackson investigates how to make money while shopping, with judicious use of cashback sites. Emma Lunn looks at the rise of "no-fee" estate agents, and asks: are they any good? And David Prosser explains why "five million deferred members of final salary pension schemes are missing out on valuable opportunities to make the most of their saving because of poor communication from their former employers".
Max King looks at why Cornwall is doing a lot better than many would have you think. And, of course, there's our usual round-up of share tips from the rest of the rest of the UK press - invaluable for time-short investors. All that and much, much more, in this week's MoneyWeek magazine. Sign up here if you haven't already done so.
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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