Merryn’s blog

Make sure you're not getting stiffed by your mobile phone company

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It’s not just the financial services industry that makes a habit of overcharging its customers. Mobile phone companies do it too, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But you don’t have to stand for it.

Good news! Wages are finally rising for everyone

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For the first time in a decade, wages are rising for young as well as older workers. Merryn Somerset Webb looks at what this means, and where it might lead.

Why the best response to the financial crisis would have been a recession

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The authorities’ response to the 2008 financial crisis may have ended up neutering capitalism – the greatest poverty destroying system ever.

Should you buy Smithson, Terry Smith’s new investment trust?

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Merryn Somerset Webb finds out more about the Smithson investment trust – who’s running it, what’s in it, and how much it will cost.

Cautionary tales of leaseholder regret

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The dangers of buying a property on a long leasehold instead of a freehold are becoming clearer every day, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Three exciting new small-cap investment trusts

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It may feel like there is very little value to be found in the markets. But these three new small-cap investment trusts are betting against that, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Why you should never buy a leasehold property

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Having bought a leasehold property, you may think you own it. But you don’t, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Your freeholder owns it, and you are entirely at their mercy.

Public shaming – an effective new way of collecting taxes

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Corporations publicly outed as tax dodgers; individuals denied honours. Shaming people into paying their taxes is probably effective, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But the government could go further.

Why you shouldn’t stump up for your children’s house deposit

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Houses are expensive. But don’t sacrifice your retirement income to get your kids on to the property ladder, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

The end of the road for insane pension transfer values

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The Pensions Regulator could put a stop to the ridiculously high offers made to people transferring out of their defined-benefit pension schemes.

Adam Smith and the crony capitalist conspiracy

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The concentration of market power in the hands of a few big companies worried Adam Smith. It should worry us too, says Merryn Somerset Webb. But it is fixable.

The hell of airport car hire, and how to make it better

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Most people’s experience of airport car-hire isn’t a pleasant one, with long waits, hidden charges and a curious habit of not giving you the car you ordered. It needn’t be that bad, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

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