Merryn's blog

Was lockdown worth the cost?
A man walks past a closed shop
UK Economy

Was lockdown worth the cost?

The government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has left us with a bill of at least £400bn. Has it been money well spent?
26 Nov 2020
What to buy as the pandemic’s pent-up demand is finally released
People queueing to get in a supermarket
UK Economy

What to buy as the pandemic’s pent-up demand is finally released

As economies reopen, says Merryn Somerset Webb, people are going to start spending again. And when they do, here’s what you want to be holding.
23 Nov 2020
The US election shows that what markets really like is certainty
Wall Street
Stockmarkets

The US election shows that what markets really like is certainty

The tight result in the US election shows that political stalemate could well be good for the markets, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
9 Nov 2020
Stakeholders or shareholders – where should capitalism’s focus be?
Coutts supporting Pride in London
ESG investing

Stakeholders or shareholders – where should capitalism’s focus be?

Company managements are busying themselves fighting climate change, increasing diversity and fostering employee wellness. That’s all well and good, sa…
3 Nov 2020
Cash rich and bored? Be careful what you do with your money
Family out walking in Tehran
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
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
Cover of MoneyWeek magazine issue no 1022, Friday 23 October 2020

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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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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