Money Week

Return of the pea-souper

Just five days into the new year, a street in Lambeth exceeded its annual legal limit for toxic air. Why is London’s pollution so bad? Alex Rankine reports.

Many areas of London routinely exceed EU pollution limits. Last month a street in Lambeth broke its annual legal limit for toxic ...

yesterday 11:15 open_in_new
Place your bets on Europe’s turmoil

Europe’s election season is about to kick off, and investors are feeling nervous. The Netherlands goes to the polls on 15 March, with the Freedom Party led by Geert Wilders likely to make big gains on a platform of leaving the EU and the euro. A month later, France will vote in its two-round ...

2017-02-25 19:37 open_in_new
How to choose the best active funds for your Isa

Yesterday I told you all about the merits of passive investing.

Passive funds – funds that track the market – are predictable and cheap. Active funds – where a fund manager tries to beat the market – usually fail in their task, and they are expensive.

So why would you ever ...

2017-02-25 13:01 open_in_new
What you can learn from Nick Train’s nightmare with Pearson

Nick Train is a highly respected fund manager in the City. A lot of you probably hold money in one of his investment trusts. He’s one of the few active managers that has beaten the market comfortably over a long period of time.

But he’s had a bit of a nightmare with one particular ...

2017-02-24 13:53 open_in_new
Why you should stuff your Isa with these cheap funds

Opening an Isa for your savings and investments makes a lot of sense.

It’ll shield your savings from tax, and even the most affluent savers will find there’s plenty of room to build up a decent nest egg over the long term.

But of course, opening an Isa is just the ...

2017-02-24 13:53 open_in_new
Chart of the week: don’t try to time the market

Over the very long term, returns should be high if starting valuations are low: valuations tend to revert to the mean. Second-guessing short-term market movements, however, “is a mug’s game”, says the FT’s Hugo Greenhalgh. Don’t get panicked by a sudden dip and sell out in the ...

2017-02-24 12:47 open_in_new
Mexico will have the last laugh as Trump builds his wall

Mexico will suffer if Trump’s plans to crimp trade come to fruition. But the country has its own hand to play. Smart investors should buy in now, says James McKeigue.

Donald Trump has already ruffled a lot of feathers during his few short weeks in office so far. But without ...

2017-02-23 19:07 open_in_new
Isa revolution – or damp squib?

One of the biggest changes in the Isa regime ever is about to go live.

The “Lifetime Isa” launches on 6 April this year. It is designed to be used for two big financial life events – buying your first house, and retiring.

So how does it work, and is it any good?

Here’s ...

2017-02-23 13:35 open_in_new
How passive funds are helping to drive the bubble in US stocks

If there’s one thing that history teaches us, it’s that financial innovation and eventual disaster go hand in hand.

This makes intuitive sense. It’s just the way of things.

If a system or process produces positive results, then it will continue to be pushed harder and harder ...

2017-02-23 12:29 open_in_new
What different types of Isa are there – and are they any good?

Individual Savings Accounts (Isas) are popular with the British public, and rightly so. They offer a straightforward, tax-efficient method of investing for your future. Pretty much every investor should have one.

But as is often the case, the popularity of Isas means that it’s hard for ...

2017-02-22 17:43 open_in_new
Warning: don’t touch lithium with a ten-foot bargepole

Today’s article comes with a stark wealth warning: avoid lithium. It could seriously damage your wealth.

This story starts, like many a splendid afternoon, with a good lunch. I’d been invited to hear a lithium company present.

When I say “lithium company”, I mean a company ...

2017-02-22 13:17 open_in_new
How to avoid paying any tax on your investments

As an investor, you are affected by many variables that you simply can’t control.

Interest rates. Political interference. Extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds. And that’s before we even start on the ins and outs of picking stocks or funds.

However, there is ...

2017-02-21 19:27 open_in_new
Hang on to your European stocks, despite the political mess

More kerfuffle over the debt crisis in Greece; fear over an “unelectable” candidate being elected in France; an anti-EU party leading the polls in The Netherlands, just before next month’s election. There’s a lot of tension in the eurozone, and it’s only likely to get worse over the ...

2017-02-21 12:49 open_in_new
Paul Mumford: simple steps to successful investing

Merryn Somerset Webb talks to veteran fund manager Paul Mumford about the secret of his successful career and the stocks he’s buying now.

• If you missed any of Merryn’s past interviews, you can see them all here.

Merryn: Hi, I’m Merryn Somerset Webb, ...

2017-02-20 19:13 open_in_new
Chart of the week: oilfield finds fall to 60-year low

The world’s energy companies found only 174 new oil and gas fields last year, a 60-year low, compared to an annual average of 400-500 in the years leading up to 2013, say Ed Crooks and Andrew Ward on FT.com.

This is partly due to reduced exploration budgets following the oil ...

2017-02-20 15:55 open_in_new
The “boring” bubble is close to bursting – the Unilever bid proves it

The big news on Friday was that US good giant Kraft Heinz was thinking of having a pop at consumer goods giant Unilever.

The Warren Buffett-backed food company was forced to tell the market that it was looking at a $143bn bid for its larger Anglo-Dutch rival, after a report on the FT’s ...

2017-02-20 13:44 open_in_new
How to achieve financial bliss in marriage

Not everyone is keen on other people finding true love. In Tokyo the arrival of Valentine’s Day last week was marked not just by millions of gifts of chocolate passing from women to men (Japan is different), but also by some enthusiastic protesting against public displays of affection from a ...

2017-02-20 13:44 open_in_new
The steps Britain must take to secure its post-Brexit future

Last week, the consultancy and advisory firm PwC published a report, The World in 2050, focusing on the long-term growth prospect of Britain and other major economies. Its upbeat conclusion that “the UK could grow faster than most other large European Union countries in the long run, despite ...

2017-02-20 12:37 open_in_new
The crisis in economic forecasting

First they failed to predict the great financial crisis. Then they were wrong about the short-term impact of the Brexit vote. Do economists need to go back to school? Simon Wilson reports.

“The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.” Canadian ...

2017-02-19 14:37 open_in_new
Is this the end for high-street banking?

On the surface, the Co-op Bank looks like it has plenty going for it. In an industry where banks are regarded as venal, money-grubbing hucksters, and where its rivals spend most of their time thinking up new ways to rip off their customers, its ethical image should have been a huge advantage. ...

2017-02-18 19:53 open_in_new
The interest rate that really matters for investors

In the US last month, inflation hit a five-year high.

Consumer prices rose by 2.5% on January 2016. That’s up from a 2.1% rate the previous month. And “core” inflation – the bit the Federal Reserve pretends to care about – hit 2.3%.

That’s above the Fed’s target of 2%. ...

2017-02-17 13:03 open_in_new