Merryn’s blog

The unpleasant but necessary business of planning for your death

People at a funeral © Getty Images

Death comes with an awful lot of admin, says Merryn Somerset Webb. And if you don’t plan it right, it can come with an awful lot of expense, too. Here’s how to smooth your passage – in financial term, at least.

Labour’s plans for non-doms could prove costly for the UK

John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn © Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The Labour Party has said that in its first Budget it would abolish non-domiciled status. But non-doms do pay tax, and they do have a choice where they pay it. Scare them off, and they’ll pay it elsewhere, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

The gradual disruption of the wealth management industry

Piles of pound coins © Getty Images

Wealth management is in the main a very traditional industry – with traditionally high and unacceptably opaque charges. But that is slowly changing, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

There’s plenty of life in oil stocks yet

BP logo © Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

If you’re looking for a reliable source of income for your retirement, you might be better off with high-yielding resources stocks than with an annuity, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Proof that the tech-unicorn IPO bubble is bursting

A WeWork office © Scott Olson/Getty Images

The valuations of WeWork, Peloton and little-known Australian unicorn iSignThis all point to the fact that the IPO bubble for so-called “tech” firms is bursting.

The tech stock bubble continues – but wise investors should look for value elsewhere

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As tech stocks continue to soar, real value has been forgotten. It’s fine to hold tech, says Merryn Somerset Webb, but investors should look for value elsewhere, too.

What to buy in a world of negative interest rates

Man looking at a screen in the London Stock Exchange © Getty Images

The world’s most bizarre financial experiment ever – negative interest rates – continues. Merryn Somerset Webb looks at how investors should respond.

How Adam Smith predicted today’s wave of moral outrage

Pro-EU and pro-Brexit protestors © Leon Neal/Getty Images

The rash of incivility, virtue signalling and outrage on social media is just the latest manifestation of a phenomenon Adam Smith knew only too well, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

The pensions annual allowance debacle spreads beyond the NHS

Military parade © OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images

The annual allowance that has wreaked havoc in the NHS has spread to the armed forces – and is a perfect example of how higher taxes can actually reduce the amount of tax collected.

Why I have decided to stump up for all the travel extras

Saving money while on holiday is all very well. But if you have the cash, paying for all the extras is definitely worth it, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

BlackRock is wrong: nationalising capitalism is a bad idea

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB) © Alex Kraus/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Asset manager BlackRock thinks the ECB should start buying equities. But that would distort pricing signals; be anti-free markets; and would be almost impossible to unwind, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

The demise of Lendy, and why P2P can’t reinvent the basics of finance

Lendy sponsored the Cowes week annual sailing regatta © Steve Hawkins Photography/Alamy Live News

If you are offered a temptingly high return on anything, says Merryn Somerset Webb, it is because it is illiquid and risky. That’s something that investors in peer-to-peer platform Lendy should have realised.

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