Happy new year, happy new lockdown. 2021 has seen off 2020, but schools and large chunks of the economy have shut down again and people have been ordered to stay at home, as across the UK the nations adopt their own version of lockdown. It’s probably been the gloomiest start to a year for as long as many can remember and a tough winter for people, businesses and the economy lies ahead. So what happened? The UK stock market jumped, of course. Contrary as this may seem, there is some logic to investors buying into the hope that better times lie ahead. We have Covid-19 vaccines being rolled out that will hopefully make this national lockdown the last people have to endure – and we also have a Brexit deal. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at what the fresh lockdown means for the economy and why investors are choosing to look straight through it and develop a new appetite for buying British. Are UK shares undervalued and a great opportunity for 2021 and beyond – and will a strong consumer rebound once the economy is reopened prove the catalyst the FTSE needs? The team also discuss the potential implications of the Brexit deal for people’s finances and businesses. Meanwhile, the FTSE 100’s gains may have been substantial for a week on the stock market, but they are nothing compared to bitcoin’s continuing rise. The cryptocurrency cracked $40,000 this week: what’s going on, are people making real money out of this, and is there any idea what could happen next? Also, on this week’s podcast, the team talk moving home and getting your property looking attractive for a sale and with everyone stuck at home again, how to improve your wifi.
Stock markets crashing tend to put savers off investing in shares, but there has been a sizeable rise in new investors in Britain during lockdown, reports suggest. That came as savings rates plummeted (again) and people decided to go hunting for a bargain amid the stock market turmoil in March and April. But who are these novice investors and what do you need to think about to get started? On this week's podcast This is Money editor Simon Lambert tells host Georgie Frost what first timers need to know about building an investment portfolio - and gives some tips on easy ways to get started and why British isn't always best for investors. Managers can invest in their own fund or investment trust, but how do you find out if they do - and whether they're buying or selling, and does it matter? Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs backed Marcus Bank has pulled its best buy easy-access savings account – assistant editor Lee Boyce reveals why and how we are set to see rates tumble even further. Should you gamble on taking a European summer holiday in July, August or September and if you are tempted, what do you need to know? Euro 2020 should have been starting today, but at least for sport-starved fans Premier League football returns next week. However, you'll need a major tournament-style wallchart if you plan on catching the action, with Amazon Prime, BBC, BT Sport and Sky Sports all having games on – how do you watch for the cheapest price? And finally, property sales in England have started to edge up but apparently million-pound-plus homes in the country are leading the way. Are buyers really swapping Millionaire's Row for Millionaire's Lane?
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.
Investing has proven to be the best way to beat inflation and grow your wealth over the long-term, but how do you get started? And if you do already invest but feel you’ve lost track of your goals or ended up with a jumble of investments, how can you improve things?
In this second edition of a two-part podcast special on saving and investing, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost dive into how to be a smarter investor. They bust the jargon and look at why people should invest, how to get started, what investments you can choose and how to find the right ones for you. Simon discusses his experience of investing, what he got right along the way and importantly the things he got wrong. But why should you invest? Well, between 1900 and 2017 owning UK shares would have delivered an average return of 5.5 per cent, beating cash savings at 1 per cent and property at 1.8 per cent, according to the respected Credit Suisse Investment Yearbook. There’s no guarantee that history will be repeated, but companies should always have the ability to put money to productive use and reward investors with rising share prices off the back of their profits, dividend payouts, or interest on bonds.
It might not be on the top of your to-do list when you have a child, but investing and saving for them to build a tidy nest egg for when they reach adulthood is best done sooner rather than later. In the latest This is Money podcast, editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor (and new parent) Lee Boyce alongside host Georgie Frost look at the best ways to save for your children. We discuss investment options, Junior Isas, a pension and other ways, and why 'the hardest step is the first, but it is also the most powerful'. Lee has a target of a £50,000 pot to build up for his new daughter ahead of her 18th birthday in 2036 – and discusses how he plans to achieve this, with a little help from Einstein's eighth wonder of the world, compounding. Elsewhere, we talk about how invest for your own retirement and Fidelity's 'Power of Seven' matrix, as it looks like the pensions dashboard is finally moving ahead.
We talk about the collapse of online estate agent Emoov and the future of the industry with the Bank of England's latest Brexit predictions suggesting property values could fall 30 per cent in the worst case scenario. Finally, we reveal the latest British Gas rip off and whether could we have found the answer to expensive boiler replacements.
Welcome to the This is Money Show on Share Radio, brought to you in partnership with NS&I. After its controversial announcement last week Philip Hammond has finally had to U-turn on national insurance hikes in an attempt to win back public trust. Whilst the Budget provoked considerable backlash less publicised has been changes in road tax coming in April which will see some drivers paying as much as seven times more. Meanwhile across the pond the US Fed has raised interest rates with attention now turning to what the Bank of England will do next. Speculating on where all this leaves our finances Georgie Frost is joined by Editor Simon Lambert and Personal Finance Editor Rachel Rickard Straus. Plus is a castle, a Star Wars themed cinema and beer Fridays really what it takes to be named Britain’s best boss? This is Money is presented by Georgie Frost in partnership with NS&I.
A week is a long time in politics - UKIP; Fracking protesters; and the pound all got a pummeling, didn't they? Welcome to the This is Money podcast, produced in partnership with NS&I. This week, Share Radio’s Georgie Frost is joined by Editor Simon Lambert and journalist Ellie Lawrie to take a look at the week’s biggest financial stories. And we start with the speech. Which speech? Don’t be silly. Theresa May capped off the Conservative Party conference with an entreaty for the Tories to be the Peoples Party, but more importantly for our purposes, the PM gave some strong signals of protectionism and increased toughness on Business. Energy, pensions, transport – few sectors escaped her view. And we’re in no doubt about a Hard Brexit now, so how are May and Chancellor Hammond going to navigate this one? To further complicate matters is a near-perfect negative correlation between a plunging Sterling and a soaring FTSE. What are we to make of this?
We’ll also be admonishing you to get your affairs in order, that is write a will. Few things ruin a family quicker than money, and family disputes over inheritances are on the rise in this country. We want to make sure your estate is dealt with in the way you intend, without breaking up the home. We’ll also be looking at ways of spending a windfall, the hyper-hyper-inflation of the new £5 note, and … you hear that? The carols are here early, and it’s time for a look-ahead to the toys on every kids’ Christmas list this year. (Sorry, but you really ought to get started early this year, they’re not cheap).
This is Money is presented by Georgie Frost, in partnership with NS&I.