Merryn's blog

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
Private vs public sector pay: who really gets more?
UK Economy

Private vs public sector pay: who really gets more?

The general consensus is that public sector pay is lower than in the private sector, but staff have better working conditions and job security. The re…
13 Oct 2020
Pandemics, politicians and gold-plated pensions
Pensions

Pandemics, politicians and gold-plated pensions

As more and more people lose their jobs to the pandemic and the lockdowns imposed to deal with it, there’s one bunch of people who won’t have to worry…
12 Oct 2020
UK stocks will bounce back – make sure your portfolio is adequately positioned
UK stockmarkets

UK stocks will bounce back – make sure your portfolio is adequately positioned

UK stocks are more unloved than they’ve ever been. When they recover – and they will – they will move quickly so you need to have positioned your port…
5 Oct 2020
Are we really in a stockmarket bubble?
US stockmarkets

Are we really in a stockmarket bubble?

The rise of “cash shell” companies, sky-high valuations – everything seems to point to a stockmarket bubble. But all may not quite be as it appears, s…
28 Sep 2020
How the stamp duty holiday is pushing up house prices
Stamp duty

How the stamp duty holiday is pushing up house prices

Stamp duty is an awful tax and should be replaced by something better. But its temporary removal is driving up house prices, says Merryn Somerset Webb…
25 Sep 2020
Why the FCA should sit back and do nothing for now
Funds

Why the FCA should sit back and do nothing for now

The Financial Conduct Authority has asked for ideas on how to improve the consumer investment market. But perhaps the best thing to do right now would…
21 Sep 2020
Why China appeals to good investors
China stockmarkets

Why China appeals to good investors

China is one of the few places left to good investors hoping to make a decent return, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
14 Sep 2020
Dealing with the debt: big tax rises are not the answer right now
UK Economy

Dealing with the debt: big tax rises are not the answer right now

Tax rises can’t do much to reduce the two-trillion-pound hole in our public finances. And the economy is too fragile for a tax grab now anyway. So whe…
7 Sep 2020
Ordinary investors are missing out as private equity takes over
Stockmarkets

Ordinary investors are missing out as private equity takes over

Companies are turning their backs on public stockmarkets and raising more and more money from private equity. Merryn Somerset Webb explains why this i…
1 Sep 2020
Europe’s magic works better in the dark
EU Economy

Europe’s magic works better in the dark

Europe’s latest fiscal intervention looks like the kind of muddle-through that makes a United States of Europe more likely, says Merryn Somerset Webb.…
28 Aug 2020
Should you take advantage of the UK’s new breed of domestic holidaymakers?
Buy to let

Should you take advantage of the UK’s new breed of domestic holidaymakers?

With Britons choosing to holiday in the UK this year, the owners of the country’s holiday cottages are cleaning up. Should you buy in, too? Merryn? So…
10 Aug 2020