Merryn's blog

How St Ives became St Tropez as the recovery drives prices sky high
Tourists in St Ives
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
Why an ageing population is not necessarily the disaster many people think it is
Glamorous old lady
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
Forget bitcoins, turn to real coins as an inflation hedge
Gold five-guinea coin
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 ESG investing is becoming the norm
Angelic looking person
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
Deliveroo’s IPO flop shows which way the market is going
Crowds on Primrose Hill
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
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
Cover of MoneyWeek magazine issue no 1022, Friday 23 October 2020

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If you’re looking for an “ESG” investment, why not try oil stocks?
ESG investing

If you’re looking for an “ESG” investment, why not try oil stocks?

Investors looking to have their money do good shouldn’t sell out of miners and fossil-fuel companies, says Merryn Somerset Webb. That will just leave …
15 Mar 2021
Why the classic 60/40 investment portfolio may no longer work
Investment strategy

Why the classic 60/40 investment portfolio may no longer work

The dramatic events in the bond market have thrown into question the classic investment strategy of the last 40 years. An investment portfolio made up…
1 Mar 2021
Neil Woodford’s back – but has he really learned anything?
Neil Woodford

Neil Woodford’s back – but has he really learned anything?

Disgraced fund manager Neil Woodford is planning a comeback. But he doesn’t seem to have learned much from his many mistakes. So why would anyone inve…
22 Feb 2021
Passive investors beware: you may be dangerously overexposed to big tech stocks
Stockmarkets

Passive investors beware: you may be dangerously overexposed to big tech stocks

Most investors in index funds are likely to be dangerously over-invested in US stocks, and particularly in a few huge tech stocks. It’s time to think …
15 Feb 2021
How to buy into the next big commodities bull market
Commodities

How to buy into the next big commodities bull market

Commodity prices move in cycles. And we’re at the start of the next big uptrend as a shortage in supply hits a surge in demand. Merryn Somerset Webb p…
8 Feb 2021
How the Reddit mob could be good for shareholder capitalism
Stockmarkets

How the Reddit mob could be good for shareholder capitalism

The small investors of Reddit have very little hope of truly sticking it to Wall Street. But their new-found power could ultimately teach chief execut…
1 Feb 2021
Joe Biden’s spending spree will lift American spirits and markets – but it comes with a sting in the tail
US stockmarkets

Joe Biden’s spending spree will lift American spirits and markets – but it comes with a sting in the tail

New US president Joe Biden is planning to throw trillions of dollars in stimulus at his country’s economy. Markets will love that. But it comes with a…
25 Jan 2021
Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021
House prices

Why we won’t see a house-price crash in 2021

Lockdown sent house prices berserk as cooped up home-workers fled for bigger properties in the country. And while they won’t rise quite as much this y…
18 Jan 2021
Vaccines, value investing and UK stocks
Value investing

Vaccines, value investing and UK stocks

Vaccines promise a return to normal life. And that bodes well for “value” stocks, says Merryn Somerset Webb – and for the UK market in particular.
30 Nov 2020
Was lockdown worth the cost?
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
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
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?
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
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