Merryn's blog

Visit/economy/uk-economy/601079/how-the-coronavirus-pandemic-is-killing-cash
UK Economy

How the coronavirus pandemic is killing cash

Covid-19 is making a huge difference to the way we live, work and do business. One of its less obvious effects, says Merryn Somerset Webb, is to accel…
31 Mar 2020
Visit/investments/stockmarkets/601068/buy-stocks-for-the-long-term-but-buy-very-carefully
Stockmarkets

Buy stocks for the long term, but buy very carefully

After the wild ride of the last couple of weeks, equities are no longer expensive. But if you do decide to buy, be very, very careful indeed, says Mer…
30 Mar 2020
Visit/economy/uk-economy/601063/the-uks-bailout-of-the-self-employed-comes-with-a-hidden-catch
UK Economy

The UK’s bailout of the self employed comes with a hidden catch

The chancellor’s £6.5bn bailout of the self employed is welcome. But it has hidden benefits for the taxman, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
27 Mar 2020
Visit/economy/uk-economy/601038/we-need-to-protect-the-earnings-of-the-self-employed-as-well-as-employees
UK Economy

How to protect the earnings of the self-employed as well as employees

The government has acted swiftly to protect the earnings of those in employment, But the self-employed deserve help too. Merryn Somerset Webb has a fe…
25 Mar 2020
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Visit/personal-finance/tax/601034/coronavirus-and-tax-now-isnt-a-time-to-have-to-worry-about-money
Tax

Coronavirus and tax: now isn’t a time to have to worry about money

HMRC won’t penalise non-residents who might otherwise have to pay UK tax if they get stuck in the country. That’s going to be expensive, says Merryn S…
24 Mar 2020
Visit/economy/uk-economy/600987/sunaks-budget-good-but-short-term-measures-must-be-temporary
UK Economy

Sunak’s Budget: good, but short-term measures must be temporary

Rishi Sunak’s Budget contained some well thought-out support policies. But, with policies introduced in times of crisis hard to back out of, we must e…
16 Mar 2020
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Visit/investments/funds/investment-trusts/600959/if-you-think-now-is-a-good-time-to-buy-look-at-these
Investment trusts

If you think now is a good time to buy, look at these investment trusts

With the latest market slides, an awful lot of assets are beginning to look very cheap indeed. If you are thinking of buying, Merryn Somerset Webb has…
10 Mar 2020
Visit/investments/funds/600949/esg-and-ethical-investing-where-should-you-start
Funds

ESG and “ethical” investing: where should you start?

“Ethical”, or ESG investing (environmental, social and governance) is all the rage. But what exactly does it mean? And where should you start? Merryn …
9 Mar 2020

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Visit/economy/uk-economy/budget/600937/should-we-replace-entrepreneurs-tax-perks-with-employee-ownership
Budget

Should we replace entrepreneurs’ tax perks with employee ownership?

The chancellor could well abolish entrepreneurs’ relief in the Budget. We could use some of the tax savings to create more worker-owned businesses, sa…
5 Mar 2020
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Visit/personal-finance/tax/self-employed-tax/600921/housebuilder-profits-contractors-employment-tribunal
Self employed tax

A legal judgment that could seriously dent housebuilders’ profits

An employment tribunal has ruled that two recently dismissed bricklayers were not self employed, whatever the contract they signed said. The conseque…
4 Mar 2020
Visit/investments/stockmarkets/600915/donald-trump-buy-the-dip-stockmarkets
Stockmarkets

Donald Trump says “buy the dip” – but is now really a good time to invest?

After the worst week for markets since 2008, Donald Trump thinks equities look “very good”. But if you’re thinking of buying, says Merryn Somerset Web…
2 Mar 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
Visit/519677/why-you-should-buy-uk-stocks-now
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
Visit/519558/britain-is-actually-in-pretty-good-shape
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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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
Visit/518997/what-level-of-income-really-makes-you-rich
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
Visit/518890/the-free-spending-policies-that-will-never-leave-the-virtual-world
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
Visit/518595/who-should-pay-the-costs-of-banking-fraud
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
Visit/518498/the-one-thing-a-divided-britain-can-agree-on
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
Visit/518153/investment-trusts-the-perfect-product-for-a-reliable-retirement-income
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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Visit/518066/how-to-invest-in-a-world-of-relentless-political-risk
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
Visit/518031/japan-has-seen-plenty-of-false-dawns-but-this-time-its-for-real
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
Visit/517791/want-to-lose-all-your-money-invest-in-an-ipo
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