AUTHOR

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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.

In UK stocks, the market has chucked us a bone – we should grab it
Economy

In UK stocks, the market has chucked us a bone – we should grab it

UK stocks are trading at their biggest discount to global equities in 40 years. You should probably be looking to buy, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
22 Oct 2020
Cash rich and bored? Be careful what you do with your money
Investment strategy

Cash rich and bored? Be careful what you do with your money

As the pandemic has left many people with more time on their hands but little opportunity to spend, they have been speculating in the markets. But don…
19 Oct 2020
Negative interest rates and the end of free bank accounts
Bank accounts

Negative interest rates and the end of free bank accounts

Negative interest rates are likely to mean the introduction of fees for current accounts and other banking products. But that might make the UK bankin…
19 Oct 2020
The silver lining to the coronavirus debacle
UK Economy

The silver lining to the coronavirus debacle

There isn’t much obvious upside to the Covid debacle. But perhaps there will be a long-term silver lining, in the form of a push for reform of the gov…
15 Oct 2020
Private vs public sector pay: who really gets more?
UK Economy

Private vs public sector pay: who really gets more?

The general consensus is that public sector pay is lower than in the private sector, but staff have better working conditions and job security. The re…
13 Oct 2020
Pandemics, politicians and gold-plated pensions
Pensions

Pandemics, politicians and gold-plated pensions

As more and more people lose their jobs to the pandemic and the lockdowns imposed to deal with it, there’s one bunch of people who won’t have to worry…
12 Oct 2020
Why the government should stop messing about and just abolish stamp duty
UK Economy

Why the government should stop messing about and just abolish stamp duty

If Boris Johnson is serious about getting more people on the housing ladder, he should stop messing about with complicated incentives that only reward…
8 Oct 2020
MoneyWeek’s investment trust portfolio – should we keep the Law Debenture trust?
Investment trust model portfolio

MoneyWeek’s investment trust portfolio – should we keep the Law Debenture trust?

The MoneyWeek’s investment trust portfolio has been performing well. But one trust – Law Debenture – has performed particularly poorly. Merryn Somerse…
6 Oct 2020
UK stocks will bounce back – make sure your portfolio is adequately positioned
UK stockmarkets

UK stocks will bounce back – make sure your portfolio is adequately positioned

UK stocks are more unloved than they’ve ever been. When they recover – and they will – they will move quickly so you need to have positioned your port…
5 Oct 2020
Prepare yourself for negative interest rates
UK Economy

Prepare yourself for negative interest rates

There is a lot of talk about negative interest rates coming to the UK. They're a terrible idea, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
1 Oct 2020
Are we really in a stockmarket bubble?
US stockmarkets

Are we really in a stockmarket bubble?

The rise of “cash shell” companies, sky-high valuations – everything seems to point to a stockmarket bubble. But all may not quite be as it appears, s…
28 Sep 2020
How the stamp duty holiday is pushing up house prices
Stamp duty

How the stamp duty holiday is pushing up house prices

Stamp duty is an awful tax and should be replaced by something better. But its temporary removal is driving up house prices, says Merryn Somerset Webb…
25 Sep 2020
Why things are a little different for investors these days
Investment strategy

Why things are a little different for investors these days

The demise of stockmarkets in favour of private equity; the rise of passive investing; the hit everyone's taking from Covid – strange times indeed for…
24 Sep 2020
Why the FCA should sit back and do nothing for now
Funds

Why the FCA should sit back and do nothing for now

The Financial Conduct Authority has asked for ideas on how to improve the consumer investment market. But perhaps the best thing to do right now would…
21 Sep 2020
Are we losing the moral high ground on Covid?
UK Economy

Are we losing the moral high ground on Covid?

Not only must we never see more than five other people at the same time, we must report those who do to the police, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
17 Sep 2020
Why China appeals to good investors
China stockmarkets

Why China appeals to good investors

China is one of the few places left to good investors hoping to make a decent return, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
14 Sep 2020
Why you should stuff your end-of-pandemic portfolio with Chinese stocks
China stockmarkets

Why you should stuff your end-of-pandemic portfolio with Chinese stocks

For an end-of-pandemic portfolio, you need assets that can cope with today’s volatility. And that, says Merryn Somerset Webb, means Chinese stocks.
14 Sep 2020
Raising taxes may not be as effective as you might think
UK Economy

Raising taxes may not be as effective as you might think

This is likely to be huge pressure for big tax rises to deal with our post-Covid debt. But history shows people will find a way to pay less one way or…
10 Sep 2020
Dealing with the debt: big tax rises are not the answer right now
UK Economy

Dealing with the debt: big tax rises are not the answer right now

Tax rises can’t do much to reduce the two-trillion-pound hole in our public finances. And the economy is too fragile for a tax grab now anyway. So whe…
7 Sep 2020
Warren Buffett's new interest in Japan
Japan stockmarkets

Warren Buffett's new interest in Japan

Warren Buffett has bought into all five of Japan’s major trading companies at a cost of around $6bn. This makes sense, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Japa…
3 Sep 2020
Ordinary investors are missing out as private equity takes over
Stockmarkets

Ordinary investors are missing out as private equity takes over

Companies are turning their backs on public stockmarkets and raising more and more money from private equity. Merryn Somerset Webb explains why this i…
1 Sep 2020
Europe’s magic works better in the dark
EU Economy

Europe’s magic works better in the dark

Europe’s latest fiscal intervention looks like the kind of muddle-through that makes a United States of Europe more likely, says Merryn Somerset Webb.…
28 Aug 2020
Should you take advantage of the UK’s new breed of domestic holidaymakers?
Buy to let

Should you take advantage of the UK’s new breed of domestic holidaymakers?

With Britons choosing to holiday in the UK this year, the owners of the country’s holiday cottages are cleaning up. Should you buy in, too? Merryn? So…
10 Aug 2020
We're all going to have to be a lot more flexible
UK Economy

We're all going to have to be a lot more flexible

As the world gets older, we'll all have to retire later and finance it for longer. That's going to take a major rethink about an awful lot of things, …
6 Aug 2020
Listed companies are dying out, and that could have serious consequences
Stockmarkets

Listed companies are dying out, and that could have serious consequences

Private equity is taking over from public stockmarkets as the biggest provider of capital to companies. That’s bad for investors and bad for society a…
3 Aug 2020
Gold proves its worth
UK Economy

Gold proves its worth

The pandemic has been good for gold. And, while you must keep holding gold (inflation is coming), you must not ignore the return of our old lives, say…
30 Jul 2020
Income investors: here’s what to do as dividends shrink
Income investing

Income investors: here’s what to do as dividends shrink

Dividends may never die, but they are certainly shrinking. And may not return to the levels we saw in the past. Merryn Somerset Webb explains what inc…
28 Jul 2020
Should capital gains tax be higher or lower?
Tax

Should capital gains tax be higher or lower?

Capital gains tax is up for review. There are plenty of long-term arguments to be had about this. But in the short term, Merryn Somerset Webb has a fe…
23 Jul 2020
How to have a low-tax retirement in the sun
Pensions

How to have a low-tax retirement in the sun

Greece is to offer a ten-year tax incentive to foreign pensioners. That’s a pretty good offer, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But it might not last.
20 Jul 2020
Prepare yourself for a rise in capital gains tax
Tax

Prepare yourself for a rise in capital gains tax

With the UK desperate to raise more money to cover the massive rise in public spending, squeezing more revenue out of capital gains tax looks like an …
20 Jul 2020
MMT: a fig leaf for central-bank money printing
UK Economy

MMT: a fig leaf for central-bank money printing

Like or not (and we don't much like it), modern monetary theory is on the way.
16 Jul 2020
Four excellent books to get your teeth into while you remain holed up
Books

Four excellent books to get your teeth into while you remain holed up

Whether you’re going on a staycation (or even an actual holiday) or remaining holed up at home. Merryn Somerset Webb has four perfect books to educate…
6 Jul 2020
Spend, spend, spend – think of it as your patriotic duty
UK Economy

Spend, spend, spend – think of it as your patriotic duty

After months of lockdown, many of us will have some money to spare. If you do, says Merryn Somerset Webb, spend it.
2 Jul 2020
How “pent-up demand” could drive a V-shaped economic recovery
Global Economy

How “pent-up demand” could drive a V-shaped economic recovery

“Pent-up demand” is usually a myth. But not this time. The Covid lockdown has created genuine pent-up demand, says Merryn Somerset Webb. That’s now be…
29 Jun 2020
Many markets are expensive – but there is still value to be had
Stockmarkets

Many markets are expensive – but there is still value to be had

The wild optimism surrounding US tech stocks may be looking suspiciously bubble-like, but you can still find long-term value.
25 Jun 2020
Why it can pay to keep your investments in the family
Investment strategy

Why it can pay to keep your investments in the family

Family-run businesses make up a huge percentage of the UK’s private companies. Buy into a listed family firm, and you’re likely to net a healthy retur…
22 Jun 2020