AUTHOR

Merryn Somerset Webb

Merryn Somerset Webb started her career in Tokyo at public broadcaster NHK before becoming a Japanese equity broker at what was then Warburgs. She went on to work at SBC and UBS without moving from her desk in Kamiyacho (it was the age of mergers).

After five years in Japan she returned to work in the UK at Paribas. This soon became BNP Paribas. Again, no desk move was required. On leaving the City, Merryn helped The Week magazine with its City pages before becoming the launch editor of MoneyWeek in 2000.

Twenty years on, MoneyWeek is the best-selling financial magazine in the UK and Merryn remains as its editor-in-chief. Merryn also has a weekly column in the FT and is a regular TV/radio commentator and speaker on financial matters.

She is a non executive director of three investment trusts – the Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon Trust, the Montanaro European Smaller Companies Trust, and the Murray Income Investment Trust – and of Netwealth.

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Editor's letter

How to vaccinate your portfolio against coronavirus

The spread of coronavirus could pose a threat to your portfolio, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Make sure it's protected
27 Feb 2020
Visit/personal-finance/pensions/pension-tax/600877/why-it-makes-sense-to-scrap-higher-rate-pensions-tax
Pension tax

Why it makes sense to scrap higher-rate pensions tax relief

The point of pensions tax relief is to keep you out of the means-tested benefits system. The current system is ridiculously generous, says Merryn Some…
24 Feb 2020
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Economy

The UK is doing fine

The small matter of the productivity problem aside, the UK economy is doing fine, and should carry on being fine.
20 Feb 2020
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Share tips

Six investment trusts for long-term investors

It’s no change once again as Merryn Somerset Webb delivers the latest update on our investment trust portfolio.
30 Dec 2019
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Stockmarkets

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
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Economy

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
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Films

Six contrarian books for Christmas

Merryn Somerset Webb picks six of her favourite contrarian books to help you look clever and perhaps win a few arguments over the Christmas dinner tab…
9 Dec 2019
Visit/519223/how-can-we-raise-more-money-in-tax
Economy

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
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Economy

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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Economy

The free-spending policies that will never leave the virtual world

Our politicians are all promising voters the world. But mostly, it is just pointless showing off, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
28 Nov 2019
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Personal finance

Who should pay the costs of banking fraud?

Around 78,000 people it in the UK last year fell victim to “authorised push payment fraud” – where fraudsters persuade you to transfer money from your…
25 Nov 2019
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Economy

The biggest threat to capitalism right now isn't Jeremy Corbyn

The greatest danger to capitalism isn't a far-left Corbyn government, it's the rise of powerful corporations distorting the free market.
21 Nov 2019
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Funds

Investment trusts – the perfect product for a reliable retirement income

If you want a very long-term investment that produces an income into your retirement while preserving your capital, buy an investment trust, says Merr…
18 Nov 2019
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Economy

How to invest in a world of relentless political risk

Global geopolitics has become a "black swan" machine. Unexpected things just keep happening. How are you supposed to invest in a world full of politic…
14 Nov 2019
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Stockmarkets

Japan has seen plenty of false dawns – but this time it’s for real

Japan suffered one of the most spectacular bubbles in financial history. But today, the market is so cheap that it’s practically the opposite of where…
14 Nov 2019
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Stockmarkets

Want to lose all your money? Invest in an IPO

If you feel yourself getting swept up in the excitement of a new disruptive stock coming to market, watch out. Buying into an IPO nearly always involv…
11 Nov 2019
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Economy

Fixing inequality is a tricky business

The gap between rich and poor is a growing problem. But fixing inequality isn't as simple as just squeezing the rich till they squeak, says Merryn Som…
7 Nov 2019
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Economy

How debt has broken the breakdown recovery business

Both the RAC and AA have been saddled with huge debts by private equity owners. It;s not done them any favours at all.
4 Nov 2019
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Economy

This election is all about Brexit – but then what?

All anyone will be voting on in the upcoming election will be Brexit. But what happens after that? What happens, for example, if Jeremy Corbyn wins?
31 Oct 2019
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Economy

Why are charities not spending the money they’ve raised?

Rather than spend their donors’ money on charitable causes, a huge number of charities are hoarding cash and investing it. They should be spending it …
29 Oct 2019
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Economy

Woodford, WeWork and the perfectly legal but morally outrageous “bezzle”

Neil Woodford and Adam Neumann have pulled off spectacular examples of the “bezzle”, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Hoodwinking investors and walking off …
28 Oct 2019
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Neil Woodford

Neil Woodford: no silver lining for his investors

Neil Woodford made every mistake it is possible to make as a money manager. And his investors have been stiffed. But however wrong it all went, Woodfo…
24 Oct 2019
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Economy

Cash machines are dying, and it’s not all down to debit cards

Cash machines are dying. And it’s not all down to people using debit cards, says Merryn somerset Webb. Rock-bottom interest rates are playing their pa…
24 Oct 2019
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Personal finance

One example of the madness of our inheritance tax rules

Our system of inheritance tax is needlessly complicated, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Here, she outlines one way in which the well-off could save over £…
14 Oct 2019
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Economy

The answer to our woes is to reverse quantitative easing

Quantitative easing isn't doing what it is supposed to do. Reversing it might, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
10 Oct 2019
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Economy

The dangers of negative interest rates

Negative interest rates could spark the next financial crisis. And central bankers could end up the object of the public's wrath, says Merryn Somerset…
7 Oct 2019
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Economy

Brexit conspiracies make no sense at all

Boris Johnson really isn't being controlled by a mysterious cabal of international financiers working to force a no-deal Brexit so that they can make …
3 Oct 2019
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Personal finance

The unpleasant but necessary business of planning for your death

Death comes with an awful lot of admin, says Merryn Somerset Webb. And if you don’t plan it right, it can come with an awful lot of expense, too. Here…
30 Sep 2019
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Economy

Cash is dying, but we'll miss it when it's gone

Most people now pay with debit or credit cards rather than cash. It might seem to you that this doesn’t matter much. But it does.
26 Sep 2019
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Economy

Labour’s plans for non-doms could prove costly for the UK

The Labour Party has said that in its first Budget it would abolish non-domiciled status. But non-doms do pay tax, and they do have a choice where the…
24 Sep 2019
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Personal finance

What next for claims management firms after the demise of PPI?

Merryn Somerset Webb looks at the areas the claims management firms could turn their attention to now that PPI claims can no longer be made.
23 Sep 2019
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Funds

The gradual disruption of the wealth management industry

Wealth management is in the main a very traditional industry – with traditionally high and unacceptably opaque charges. But that is slowly changing, s…
23 Sep 2019
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Stockmarkets

Why the demise of public markets should have you worried

Too many companies are either not listing or going private, says Merryn Somerset Webb. That diverts the returns to the few, not the many.
19 Sep 2019
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Stock markets

There’s plenty of life in oil stocks yet

If you’re looking for a reliable source of income for your retirement, you might be better off with high-yielding resources stocks than with an annuit…
16 Sep 2019
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Tech stocks

Proof that the tech-unicorn IPO bubble is bursting

The valuations of WeWork, Peloton and little-known Australian unicorn iSignThis all point to the fact that the IPO bubble for so-called "tech" firms i…
13 Sep 2019
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Funds

All financial miseries start with misaligned incentives

From Neil Woodford to St James's Place, skewed financial incentives mean investors' well-being may not necessarily be a wealth manager's top priority.
12 Sep 2019
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