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 two investment trusts – the Baillie Gifford Shin Nippon Trust and the Murray Income Investment Trust – and of Netwealth.

Dividends are back – here's where to find them
Investment strategy

Dividends are back – here's where to find them

The FTSE 100 is yielding 3.7% – not too bad in an age of 0.1% interest rates. And the UK isn't the only place to find dividends, says Merryn Somerset …
30 Jul 2021
Signs of a top? One of the world’s oddest bubbles is back
Investment strategy

Signs of a top? One of the world’s oddest bubbles is back

In a world where everything seems to be in a bubble, one of the oddest has returned: Beanie Babies. Merryn Somerset Webb looks at what could possibly …
27 Jul 2021
The myth of hypothecated taxes
Tax

The myth of hypothecated taxes

The government wants to add a penny on our National Insurance contributions to pay for social care. But it won’t, says Merryn Somerset Webb. It will j…
23 Jul 2021
The space race: exciting, but not necessarily profitable
Investment strategy

The space race: exciting, but not necessarily profitable

The new space race will spawn a host of new companies wanting to cash in. But investors should tread very carefully, says Merryn Somerset Webb: most w…
19 Jul 2021
Why the UK's 2.5% inflation is a big deal
Inflation

Why the UK's 2.5% inflation is a big deal

After years of inflation being a financial-assets problem, it is now an “ordinary things” problem too, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But central banks st…
16 Jul 2021
Why equities are better investments than art
Art

Why equities are better investments than art

We’re often told that buying art is a good way of diversifying your investment portfolio. But, says Merryn Somerset Webb, art has no income stream and…
12 Jul 2021
Are ESG funds holding the right companies?
ESG investing

Are ESG funds holding the right companies?

A lot of ESG fund managers tend to plump for “techy stuff” in their funds. But that's a lazy approach, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
9 Jul 2021
If a company is cheap enough for private equity, why isn’t it cheap enough for everyone else?
Investment strategy

If a company is cheap enough for private equity, why isn’t it cheap enough for everyone else?

If a private equity firm thinks a company like Wm Morrison is undervalued, why isn’t it in everyone’s portfolio? Merryn Somerset Webb mulls the myster…
5 Jul 2021
It’s time to worry about inflation
UK Economy

It’s time to worry about inflation

The Bank of England’s outgoing chief economist, Andy Haldane, tells Merryn Somerset Webb why rising prices may prove more durable than everyone expect…
2 Jul 2021
Is it time to go back to the office?
UK Economy

Is it time to go back to the office?

There's a lot to be said for working from home, but the office has plenty going for it too. And it might not be too long before we're all back, says M…
2 Jul 2021
Private equity isn’t evil, it’s just doing what traditional investors should be doing
UK stockmarkets

Private equity isn’t evil, it’s just doing what traditional investors should be doing

Many people are decrying private equity companies snapping up UK companies on the cheap. But If fund managers did their jobs properly, there would be …
29 Jun 2021
Beware: the government could come for your pension assets
Investment strategy

Beware: the government could come for your pension assets

The government desperately needs to find a pile of cash to pay for its massive debt. And there's a very attractive-looking one sitting in your pension…
25 Jun 2021
Inflation: should you worry a lot or a little?
Investment strategy

Inflation: should you worry a lot or a little?

At 2.1%, inflation doesn’t seem particularly high. But don’t dismiss those numbers, says Merryn Somerset Webb. It’s time to start getting worried.
21 Jun 2021
Why fund managers should share the risk with their investors
Funds

Why fund managers should share the risk with their investors

Ideally, managers would have a stake in their funds. It might not necessarily lead to better performance, but it would surely make them pay a little m…
17 Jun 2021
Climate activists are missing the point on big oil companies
Energy stocks

Climate activists are missing the point on big oil companies

Forcing big oil companies like Shell to dump their oil and gas assets isn’t the positive step many people think it is, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
15 Jun 2021
You probably are saving enough for your retirement, but you might want to change how you do it
Investment strategy

You probably are saving enough for your retirement, but you might want to change how you do it

Asset managers claim we aren’t saving enough for our retirements. We probably are, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But it might be an idea to change how we…
15 Jun 2021
The simple answer to Britain's staff shortages: raise wages
UK Economy

The simple answer to Britain's staff shortages: raise wages

The UK's businesses are suffering from a shortage of staff. If they want to fix that, they'll have to do the one thing they really hate: raise wages
10 Jun 2021
How St Ives became St Tropez as the recovery drives prices sky high
UK Economy

How St Ives became St Tropez as the recovery drives prices sky high

Merryn Somerset Webb finds herself at the epicentre of Britain’s V-shaped recovery as pent-up demand flows straight into Cornwall’s restaurants and be…
8 Jun 2021
The real problem of Universal Basic Income (UBI)
US Economy

The real problem of Universal Basic Income (UBI)

April employment numbers showed 75 per cent fewer people in the US returned to employment compared to expectations. Merryn Somerset-Webb explains how …
1 Jun 2021
Can bitcoin survive governments’ monopoly on coercion?
Bitcoin & crypto

Can bitcoin survive governments’ monopoly on coercion?

If governments want your cryptocurrency they will come for it, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
27 May 2021
Why an ageing population is not necessarily the disaster many people think it is
Economy

Why an ageing population is not necessarily the disaster many people think it is

We’ve got used to the idea that an ageing population is a bad thing. But that’s not necessarily true, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
25 May 2021
UK stocks are cheap, but they won't be for long
UK stockmarkets

UK stocks are cheap, but they won't be for long

UK stocks are cheap. That's not escaped the notice of the private equity sector, who are snapping up bargains galore. You should do the same while you…
20 May 2021
Forget bitcoins, turn to real coins as an inflation hedge
Alternative investments

Forget bitcoins, turn to real coins as an inflation hedge

As the recent bout of craziness in the cryptocurrency markets shows, bitcoin isn’t much of a hedge against anything. So as the price of all physical t…
17 May 2021
Why investors should start to think more short-term
Investment strategy

Why investors should start to think more short-term

For years, investors have poured money into growth stocks that promise future profits but no actual cash now. But as inflation threatens, now might be…
13 May 2021
Why ESG investing is becoming the norm
ESG investing

Why ESG investing is becoming the norm

A lot of investors say they want to put their money into “ESG” funds. But unless you actively opt for a “sin” fund jammed full of companies behaving b…
10 May 2021
The house price boom is all about what people can afford to pay
House prices

The house price boom is all about what people can afford to pay

Houses may look very expensive, but ultra-low interest rates mean that on a monthly payment basis, they cost an awful lot less than they used to. How …
6 May 2021
The V-shaped recovery looks to be here at last
Economy

The V-shaped recovery looks to be here at last

The world is certainly not a Panglossian paradise. But the recovery is under way and there is plenty of good news about.
29 Apr 2021
The giant investment platforms and the risk to shareholder capitalism
Investment strategy

The giant investment platforms and the risk to shareholder capitalism

The fact that so many of us invest via the big investment platforms means that there is a huge dislocation between the owner of the shares (us) and th…
23 Apr 2021
Bitcoin mania: private currencies are nothing new
Bitcoin

Bitcoin mania: private currencies are nothing new

The idea is gaining ground that bitcoin and the plethora of other new currencies are here to stay. But the existence of private currencies operating p…
15 Apr 2021
Deliveroo’s IPO flop shows which way the market is going
Stockmarkets

Deliveroo’s IPO flop shows which way the market is going

Deliveroo’s disastrous IPO is a good example of how investors are looking away from loss-making growth stocks and more towards companies that will pro…
6 Apr 2021
Young investors could bet on NFTs over traditional investments
Isas

Young investors could bet on NFTs over traditional investments

The first batch of child trust funds and Junior Isas are maturing. But young investors could be tempted to bet their proceeds on digital baubles such …
29 Mar 2021
A tale of two fund managers: style does matter
Investment strategy

A tale of two fund managers: style does matter

Neil Woodford and James Anderson are fund managers with two very different records of success. And, while that may not all be down to their investment…
25 Mar 2021
Why the Deliveroo IPO is good for shareholder democracy
UK stockmarkets

Why the Deliveroo IPO is good for shareholder democracy

Deliveroo’s stockmarket listing isn’t perfect, but at least ordinary investors can get a slice of the action. There’s been far too little of that late…
22 Mar 2021
We almost ditched this investment trust from our model portfolio. We’re glad we didn’t
Investment trusts

We almost ditched this investment trust from our model portfolio. We’re glad we didn’t

We were worried that Lord Rothschild’s departure from RIT Capital Partners would mean it turning into a bog standard multi-asset fund. Thankfully, say…
19 Mar 2021
The MoneyWeek model portfolio: the top-six investment trusts to put in your Isa
Investment trusts

The MoneyWeek model portfolio: the top-six investment trusts to put in your Isa

MoneyWeek’s favourite investment trusts are top-notch long-term choices for your portfolio
19 Mar 2021
Should we get ready for a post-pandemic baby boom?
Global Economy

Should we get ready for a post-pandemic baby boom?

Birth rates across the developed world collapsed as people locked themselves away. Hopefully that won't last, says Merryn Somerset Webb. There's nothi…
18 Mar 2021