Should you save cash and accept low interest rates, or invest and take the risk that you could lose money? This is the perennial dilemma for those with some money to set aside, who are looking to build their wealth. And it’s not been made easier by a rollercoaster 20 years. Since the turn of the millennium, we’ve had three hefty stock market crashes, but we’ve also had the past decade of historically low interest rates. In response to paltry savings rates, more people have been encouraged to invest in shares for a better return, but the coronavirus crash has left the UK’s flagship stock market index, the FTSE 100, below its level on 31 December 1999, and burnt the fingers of many recent investors. So, is it worth investing, or should you just stick with the relative stability of cash? On this episode of the This is Money podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost look at our exclusive statistics on who is investing, who is bowing out of the market, and what the new generation of younger investors are doing. They also dive back into the question asked last week: how long do you need to invest for to avoid losing money? With some charts and data sent through to the team by Duncan Lamont, head of research and analytics at Schroders, they compare how putting money into either cash or the stockmarket fared over the past 150 years against inflation – and what the likelihood was of losing money over varying time periods. The team also look at what might happen next to house prices after the coronavirus lockdown put the property market into a deep freeze. Simon dives into the varying predictions of how much property prices could fall – and the bullish suggestion of one estate agent that it’ll all be fine. And finally, we discuss the businesses that we spoke to this week who are fighting veteran insurer Hiscox, because they believed they should be covered against coronavirus with policies that cite infectious or contagious disease… but it says they are not.
The economic destruction of the coronavirus crash was laid bare in reports from the Office of Budget Responsibility and IMF this week. Lockdown has already wiped £50billion off the UK economy and is costing the nation £2billion a day, said the OBR. Meanwhile, the IMF warned the global economy would take the biggest hit since the Great Depression in the 1930s, with advanced economies shrinking 6.1% this year and developing countries by 1%. But although the OBR forecast an astonishing 35% slump in UK output in the second quarter of this year - with a three-month lockdown - the other side of its chart showed a substantial bounce-back. What will we need to do for that recovery to happen – and what will it look like? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost look at the reports on the economic impact of Covid-19 and at the potential bounce back, along with which sectors and businesses could seize the day when it comes. They also discuss the big tech firms that have benefitted from lockdowns and working from home around the world. The lofty valuations of these companies marked the top of the previous stock market boom, but their shares have fared better than most in the coronavirus crash. Can the FAANG stocks (and Tesla) pick up where they left off? And finally, investors are told to think long-term with the minimum investment period traditionally cited as five years. But have the events of the past 21 years on the stock market shown that now we need to think in decades instead?
It can be tough to find good news at the moment but on this special Easter podcast we go looking for some. And amid the coronavirus gloom, there are some good news stories to tell, from how Britain has adapted to working from home, to the appreciation shown to our valued frontline workers and NHS staff, and those volunteering to help others. On the podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss this and tell the stories of some of the small businesses that have been sought opportunity in adversity. From the pub doing meals and pints to go, to the garden centre that has stared delivering and the milkman who has seen business boom, these are inspiring stories of entrepreneurial spirit and helping out the local community. The team also reveal how you can visit the world from the comfort of your sofa – it’s not a real holiday but you can at least do some sight-seeing. Meanwhile, Lee goes on the trail of the apps keeping us social in the lockdown: from Slack at work, to Zoom video chats, and Houseparty fooling around with friends, which are the ones worth trying? And finally, if you are feeling really brave maybe you could peruse a cheap French manor house while you are stuck at home and weigh up your own move to a chateau.
Britain is on lockdown and so is the property market. The Government has told people not to move home while the coronavirus lockdown is on, and the property market has been frozen as estate agents are instructed not to do viewings and valuations and surveys can’t happen. Meanwhile, banking giants Barclays and Halifax have axed a big chunk of their mortgage ranges – only offering new deals through brokers to those with the largest deposits – and the industry says it has been overwhelmed with requests for mortgage holidays. Amidst all this, many are asking the inevitable question: ‘What will happen to house prices?’ On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost look at what buyers and sellers can do, how the freeze is affecting those due to move, and explore what could happen next for the property market. They also discuss Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s rescue package for the self-employed and why it is a welcome measure that seems to have some glaring gaps. And finally, among all this coronavirus chaos, the team remind listeners not to forget the tax deadline and why in troubled times it’s even more important to use the tax-friendly investing and saving that pensions and Isas provide. We won’t send a drone round to make sure you do it, but you’ve been warned.
Britain has been told to stay at home, pubs have been ordered to shut and you’re not even allowed to go to the gym instead. The coronavirus crisis has turned the consumer economy upside down. Businesses and workers risk going bust on an almost unprecedented level, unless a rescue plan that works can be cooked up. Cutting interest rates and quantitative easing was the medicine in the financial crisis, but that’s not working this time round, so is it time to start up the helicopter and drop some money. Helicopter money, people’s QE and a universal basic income are three of the highly unusual measures suggested, as we go through the back of the financial looking glass. All involve handing out money directly to people and businesses to combat a global economic crisis triggered by pressing the pause button, but is that wise? On this week’s podcast, we discuss why rescue attempts so far have failed to stop share prices falling, how Chancellor Rishi Sunak stepped things up with a £350billion bailout plan, and what might happen next, with ideas such as helicopter money, people’s QE and universal basic income. We also discuss how the interest rate cut to a historic low of 0.1 per cent will affect borrowers and savers, how brave investors can buy in if they are willing to risk some money on a future bounce back, and why supermarkets are unable to keep up with panic buying. And finally, if the podcast audio isn’t up to the usual standards, please accept our apologies, we are working hard to make sure we can keep recording without access to a studio.
Well, what a week. We've had a Budget, a 0.5 per cent base rate cut and stock markets going haywire thanks to coronavirus and oil price crashes. Why did the Bank of England cut rates to 0.25 per cent on the morning of the Budget and what are policymakers hoping to achieve? How did Rishi Sunak perform in his first Budget as Chancellor and what was announced in his speech? On Thursday, the FTSE 100 saw its second biggest dive on record. What is happening to the markets and where does it end? On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost, dissect what has been one of the most turbulent weeks in living memory. In the Budget, we had a number of coronavirus measures – but also some titbits of personal finance news that could hit the pound in your pocket. We also look at what coronavirus means for travel insurance and your refund rights to events
Every year, between March and April, there used to be a cash Isa season. Banks and building societies clambered over each other in the race to top the best buy tables. This hasn't been the case for a while. However, Nationwide - with a new savings lottery - and Coventry - with a new deal - have offered signs of some green shoots this year, but is it even worth having a tax-free savings account anymore? On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost go to Isa-town, to talk cash savings deals, the best services to invest, and how to overcome the fear that coronavirus-induced stock market falls have delivered. Elsewhere, the coronavirus also hit the Geneva Motor Show, but the motor industry decided many of the launches could take place online instead. What cars were unveiled? Well it broadly fell into two camps, very expensive limited edition hypercars and electric cars that might be the future for the mass market. Simon and Lee talk through the best of them. Meanwhile, a reader takes the taxman to court over a child benefit penalty and finally Lee cracks open a low-alcohol beer at Adnams brewery, in Suffolk, and asks: has the taste become better... and why?
Bull markets don't die of old age, we've been told countless times in recent years, but do they die of coronavirus? That is the question that rattled investors are asking themselves after an astonishing week in which the FTSE 100 has fallen 12 per cent. Stock markets around the world have sold off, as investors dump shares driven by a combination of the fear that a crash is finally arriving and the forecasts that coronavirus and attempts to stop it spreading will cause a global slowdown. The UK stock market is down 15 per cent from its mid-January recent peak - what should investors do at times like these? On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss why coronavirus has hit markets so hard, why investors should not act rashly out of fear and panic, and consider the advice from investing experts. Elsewhere, we reveal how we helped a couple get their £25,000 savings back after their phone number was ported away without consent. Things get a little silly as we talk about how to deal with those difficult and bizarre interview questions that don't have a correct answer. And finally, the 100 most iconic cars of all time have been named in a survey voted for by Boundless members – previously known as the Civil Service Motoring Association. We reveal what topped the charts.
This week, savings have been in the spotlight with National Savings and Investments cutting rates on a number of its offerings, including popular Premium Bonds. Both Marcus Bank and Saga also cut easy-access rates. On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost look at what's behind the cuts and question: should savers head elsewhere, and what is the point of tucking money away for little interest? Nationwide Building Society has launched a Start to Save easy-access account with a £100 lottery – is it any good and can it help get people into the savings habit? We cover a curious case of one reader who found their Spotify infiltrated by someone with appalling music taste. Simon reveals how he was stung by the loyalty penalty when a renewal letter came through from his insurer Halifax. It hiked his premium, but after weeks of back-and-forth, couldn't give him a concrete reason as to why. And Lee looks at whether a Fitbit is worth the money and how a fitness tracker helped his mum, with an underlying health condition, become healthier.