Merryn's Blog

Brexit Brings Only Pain for FTSE 100 Without Pound Magic

Why you should own UK stocks – and what to buy

The UK’s stockmarkets are unusually cheap compared with the rest of the world. If you don’t have substantial holdings in UK stocks, you should, says M…
16 Dec 2019
Corbyn and Johnson © JEFF OVERS/BBC/HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Britain is actually in pretty good shape

The UK may have its problems, but not nearly as many as people seem to think, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
12 Dec 2019
Jeremy Corbyn  © Leon Neal/Getty Images

What are the best ways of raising more money in tax?

Given that whoever wins next week's election will be going on a massive spending spree, we're going to need to raise at least some of that money throu…
5 Dec 2019
Man Throwing Paper Currency In Room

What level of income really makes you “rich”?

The one-percent club may not be quite as exclusive as you think, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Many people can drift in and out throughout their lives.
2 Dec 2019
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Running out of human workers? Better buy robots

Record high employment means that businesses are turning to automation – Merryn Somerset Webb asks Walter Price of the Allianz Technology Trust about …
30 May 2019

Investing for a new cold war? Grab some gold

China and America’s changing relationship could derail economic growth. Merryn Somerset Webb asks global strategist Russell Napier how to protect your…
8 Mar 2019

Want to understand the European Union? Start with Vichy France

Merryn Somerset Webb talks to economist Bernard Connolly about Brexit, the true nature of the EU project, and what’s gone wrong with global capitalism…
21 Feb 2019

It’s time to take power back from the plutocrats

Tony Blair and Bill Gates aren’t big fans of author Anand Giridharadas. But Merryn Somerset Webb finds he has a lot of good points on plutocrats and t…
7 Feb 2019

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What’s wrong with capitalism? Too little competition

Powerful corporations have grown too used to dictating terms to consumers, workers and suppliers. Merryn Somerset Webb talks to Jonathan Tepper about …
27 Dec 2018

The real threat to our global economic and political order

Economics and history didn’t end with the fall of communism after all. TS Lombard’s Charles Dumas tells Merryn Somerset Webb where they’re going next.
26 Oct 2018
Stock markets

Where to find Japan’s small, cash-rich bargain stocks

One of the few big opportunities in global markets is Japan’s small-cap value sector. And now there is finally a fund that focuses directly on this ni…
21 Sep 2018

Why China is set to hit the Great Wall of Debt

The engine of global growth is set to slow sharply and that will have implications for investors all around the world, author Dinny McMahon tells Merr…
22 Jun 2018

The top contrarian bets for your money today

Japan is set to surprise investors, Alasdair McKinnon of the Scottish Investment Trust tells Merryn Somerset Webb.
8 Jun 2018

How to build a better democracy – have less of it

Author and economist Dambisa Moyo has ten proposals to make our democracies more fit for the modern world. But you may not like all of them, warns Mer…
25 May 2018

Dambisa Moyo: inequality, growth, and the failure of liberal democracy

Merryn Somerset Webb talks to economist Dambisa Moyo about her new book, and how to improve democracy and deliver prosperity not just in the West, but…
24 May 2018

The balance between value and growth

Investors need to go a long way to find sensibly priced stocks today, but Japan and the US still offer pockets of value, Simon Edelsten tells Merryn S…
9 Mar 2018

Batten down the hatches: a Corbyn government could be on the way

Theresa May’s government is so inept that our next PM is quite likely to be Jeremy Corbyn. Not to prepare for that would be very foolish, says Merryn …
5 Dec 2017

Whatever Brexit deal we end up with, the City will carry on regardless

There’s a lot of panic and hysteria about the number of City jobs that will be lost after the UK leaves the EU. But in reality, there’s very little to…
2 Nov 2017

How to solve the problems with Britain's property market

Merryn Somerset Webb believes she may have might have a partial solution to the many problems of Britain's dysfunctional property market. It involves …
19 Oct 2017

Richard Thaler: the less attention you pay, the more money you'll have

Merryn Somerset Webb talks to author, academic and fund manager Richard Thaler about pensions freedom, central bankers and fund management fees.
9 Oct 2017
Emerging markets

Where to search for hidden gems

Funds are getting so big they can’t stoop to pick up smaller firms. That’s great for nimbler players such as Nick Greenwood, says Merryn Somerset Webb…
6 Oct 2017
House prices

How changes to landlords’ tax rules could force house prices down

Changes in the tax relief afforded to landlords could wipe out much of the profit from buy-to-let, and drag down house prices across the board.
4 Oct 2017
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Michael Lindsell: Why I snapped up Man U for my investment fund

Lindsell Train has notched up considerable success by focusing on a few core stocks. Merryn Somerset Webb talked to Michael Lindsell about his strateg…
22 Sep 2017

One rule for ordinary Americans, another for American hedge fund managers

Most US citizens are taxed on all their income no matter where on earth it is earned. The only ones who aren’t, it seems, are hedge-fund managers.
24 Jul 2017
Tech stocks

iWar: the battle between big tech and big government

Google’s €2.4bn fine by the EU should leave nobody in any doubt that the carefree days of the big tech companies are numbered, says Merryn Somerset We…
4 Jul 2017

If the rich leave the country, we will all miss them

Many people are not fond of rich people domiciled elsewhere for tax purposes. But they still pay a lot in tax, and if they go, the country will miss t…
3 Jul 2017

Why you can never be paranoid enough: Downing Street's plans to complete the war on cash

When we talked of the “war on cash” many accused us of being paranoid. But Downing Street’s plans for a cashless society went far beyond what we feare…
3 Jul 2017
Merryn's Blog

The FCA should get tough on the fund management industry

The financial regulator has taken a swipe at high fund management fees. The industry will resist change, but the FCA needs to act quickly and decisive…
3 Jul 2017
Merryn's Blog

Chinese A-shares, emerging markets, and the myth of passive investing

MSCI’s decision to include Chinese “A-shares” in its emerging market index shines a fascinating light on the passive vs active investing debate, days …
28 Jun 2017
Merryn's Blog

How to keep your money safe: stay away from “interesting” investments

When everything is expensive and things are changing faster than you can keep up with, the safe thing to do remains the boring thing to do, says Merry…
22 Jun 2017
Merryn's Blog

What to buy for the long term in this politically charged climate

If you feel wrong-footed by endless elections and uncertain about the future, what should you buy if you want to invest and forget about it for ten ye…
12 Jun 2017

Should you cut and run before the vote?

The Conservatives will probably win the general election, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But the actual outcome is very tricky to predict. So now might no…
7 Jun 2017

Why buying tech stocks is betting on politics (and a bad idea)

The world’s big tech companies are prime targets for government meddling. They’re not as good a long term bet as you might think, says Merryn Somerset…
6 Jun 2017

The robots are not coming for your job (probably)

Many people are panicking about robots taking away all the jobs. But that won’t happen, says Merryn Somerset Webb. New jobs will appear – and in many …
6 Jun 2017
Merryn's Blog

Big tech firms beware: big government is coming for you

One problem with big tech stocks is that they’re very expensive. But another is the threat from overzealous regulation, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
5 Jun 2017

Could Britain rejoin a much-improved EU?

The EU desperately needs wholesale reform. If it gets it, there is no reason why the UK shouldn’t join the new version at some point in the future, sa…
2 Jun 2017

The UK can’t afford free university tuition – but Japan can. Here’s how

Japan’s government wants to dramatically boost domestic consumption in Japan by offering free higher education for all 18-22 year olds. Merryn Somerse…
1 Jun 2017

Where to get £900m to spend on social care

Get rid of inheritance-tax relief on gifts to charities – and you’ll have an extra £900m to pay for social care, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
25 May 2017

How a pension deficit could be costing you £200 a year

Workers in companies with defined-benefits pension deficits are paid on average £200 a year less than those in firms without them, says Merryn Somerse…
22 May 2017

Sirius Minerals and the case for a land-value tax

Why should people who have done nothing in particular receive a huge windfall just because they happen to own land in the right place at the right tim…
16 May 2017

How car finance and diesel emissions could be the carmakers’ undoing

The collapse in diesel car prices and the popularity of personal contract plan car financing will combine to cause a lot of pain for the carmakers, sa…
15 May 2017

Pension deficits aren't real - here's how to fix them

Pension deficits threaten the survival of otherwise healthy companies, damage productivity and hold down wages. But there’s a much simpler solution th…
8 May 2017

Want to be a middle earner paying 52% in income tax? Move to Scotland

Living in Scotland could cost the country’s not-particularly-high-earners the equivalent of a family holiday in extra taxes, says Merryn Somerset Webb…
3 May 2017

Fund managers are beginning to act like responsible business owners

There are signs that the world’s big shareholders are finally grasping that, as the technical owners of listed companies, they have long-term financia…
3 May 2017

Corporations must prepare for interventionist politics

High-revenue but low-tax-paying tech companies could be targeted as the government mollifies voters with interventionist politics, says Merryn Somerse…
1 May 2017
Merryn's Blog

Even if Macron wins the French election, there could still be chaos

If Emmanuel Macron wins the French election by a small margin, it could cause chaos. It could even make France ungovernable, says Merryn Somerset Webb…
25 Apr 2017

The SNP’s clever but nasty politics

Nicola Sturgeon’s response to the benefits cap is a clever one, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But it’s as unpleasantly cynical as politics can get.
21 Apr 2017

The real reason to worry about Turkey

There are lots of things to be frightened of in the world of finance. But Turkey should probably be top of the list, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
21 Apr 2017

A snap general election makes sense for everyone

Theresa May’s snap general election makes sense for her, for the Conservative party, and for the country, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
18 Apr 2017