Merryn’s blog

How DIY investing platforms are changing the world of investment trusts

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The rise of the low-cost investment platform has changed the shareholder base of investment trusts – and it’s having a dramatic effect on how the sector operates, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Rising wages may bring surprises in Japan

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Wages are rising in Japan. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Bank of Japan will end its monetary stimulus. But it does open the door to surprises, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Tax the living, not the dead

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We should abolish inheritance tax, says Merryn Somerset Webb, and replace it with a gift tax, paid at the recipient’s tax rate.

The modern-day perils of fund management

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In the early days of investment trusts, managers knew nothing of benchmarking. How things have changed, says Merryn Somerset Webb. And not necessarily for the better.

Governments are flexing their muscles over bad corporate behaviour, starting with social media firms

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What made social media companies so successful also makes them easy targets for government muscle-flexing, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

No, hobbyists shouldn’t get Universal Credit

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It is only right that the self employed should get Universal Credit, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But only if they actually are self employed.

Aviva has had a rethink on preference shares, but what now?

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Aviva’s abandoned proposal to cancel £450m of preference shares has left a lot of people out of pocket. This isn’t over, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Not by a long chalk.

Our robot future: better and more unpredictable than we can imagine

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Robots will take over a lot of our more mundane jobs. But they will change the future in many more ways that we just can’t foresee, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

What makes a good active fund and where you can find them

Closet tracker funds are dying as investors plump for passive funds or well-managed active funds. Here, we pick some of the best active funds to buy for today’s markets.

Forget bitcoin – the best hedge against inflation is gold

The usual answer to the question of how to hedge against inflation is “gold”. But these days, some people prefer bitcoin. Those people are wrong, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Get ready for the return of inflation

The world is changing. The disinflationary environment of the last couple of decades is rapidly vanishing. You need to be ready for inflation, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Dirty or not, charities should accept the Presidents Club money

As sleazy as the Presidents Club dinner was, charities shouldn’t refuse the money raised, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Their job is to do useful things, not indulge in political grandstanding.

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