This week saw the launch of new book - 'Never Go Broke: How To Make Money Out Of Just About Anything', co-written by This is Money personal finance editor Lee Boyce. In this podcast special, Lee is joined from Los Angeles by his co-author, Storage Hunters TV star Jesse McClure, to explain all to Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert. Jesse and lee discuss how they met, how the book was created, and their three-step approach to putting more money in your pocket with a little bit of entrepreneurial endeavour and reselling. The book is broken down into three parts: how to build up a cash pot, learning the resale blueprint and investing the pot for resale profits. Step one is all about properly selling items in your home, making cash legitimately – and safely – online, and even making money from stuff you might think is trash. This is good both for your wallet and the environment. Step two sees Jesse outline some of the tips and tricks he uses everyday as a professional buyer and seller, while step three is all about hunting down spots to buy items to make even bigger profits – from car boots, to charity shops. While it won't make you a millionaire overnight, the pair believe it can be a great hobby, a way to stay afloat, or to set the foundations to becoming a professional at it. The authors also share some of Jesse's big wins and tips for getting started straightaway.
Are you itching to spend or planning to save? Lockdown savers are forecast by the Office of Budget Responsibility to have stashed away £180billion by the middle of this year. That collective cash pile has been built up by those who have been fortunate enough not to see their finances hit by the pandemic, but have seen their outgoings drop substantially. We’ve already seen some big spending themes come out of this, as people splash out on everything from home improvements, to luxury garden furniture, expensive pizza ovens and hot tubs. The expectation is that as lockdown eases and people are released into the hoped for freedom that vaccines bring, they will go on a spending spree. But will that definitely happen and will the economic rebound be strong enough to create a virtuous circle that delivers the much-talked about Roaring Twenties? Or will people be more cautious and adopt their newfound savings habit more permanently? Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert, dig into the save vs spend debate and look at how the giant behavioural and psychological experiment that lockdown represents might play out for the economy and people’s personal finances. Also on this week’s episode, the team look at both investing in the big themes of the coming decades and buying a holiday let for profit. And finally, if a fence comes down how do you find out who has to pay for it and is there any truth in the old ‘yours is the one on the left’ rule?
Life is tough for first-time buyers. House prices were already expensive before the coronavirus lockdowns and defying all logic a mini-boom has sent the average house price up £20,000 further over the past year. At the same time mortgage lenders have indulged in a flight to safety, canning the vast majority of 95% loan-to-value mortgages and bumping up the gap between rates on 90 per cent mortgages and those for borrowers with more equity. 'Once more into the breach' has stepped the Government, with taxpayer aid for banks and building societies to offer more 5% deposit mortgages. But is this a wise move? Should we stop meddling in the mortgage and property market, as short-term assistance ends up meaning long-term pain as more credit is extended and house prices climb ever higher? And could it be that while the 95% mortgage push is the wrong move at the national economic level, on a personal level taking one might prove a good move for some, who could end up paying less than they do in rent? Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert discuss the 95% mortgages, the rise in house prices and whether buy-to-let is still a good investment. Also this week, the lowdown on the Barclaycard customer service meltdown as long-standing customers see their credit limits slashed. And finally, you want a shed-office (aka a shoffice) to work in down the bottom of the garden, but can you power it with solar panels?
Was the blockbuster Coinbase stock market listing a coming of age for bitcoin and cryptocurrency or a top of the bubble moment? The world’s leading crypto exchange platform listed on the US stock market this week and at one point hit a hefty $100billion valuation, before slipping back to $60billion. That’s still a very big number, especially for a business that made $322million last year. But Coinbase is profitable, its earnings are growing rapidly, it can cash in whether bitcoin and crypto prices rise or fall, and the cryptocurrency genie is well and truly out of the bottle. So, could it prove to be a Facebook or Google of the crypto world? Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Simon Lambert look at the Coinbase float and what it means for the crypto and investing world. They also discuss the Spac frenzy, how it’s leading to lucky dip investing for some but also more companies coming to market, and whether once you know what’s in a Spac it could ever be worth investing. Also, the team look at low risk investments that could be an alternative to a paltry 1 per cent five-year fixed rate cash Isa and Tanya updates on the women underpaid state pensions. And finally, Barclaycard has slashed customers’ credit limits and left many of them baffled and annoyed, so what on earth is going on?
On Monday, we take a step towards normality – you can get your hair cut, have a beer outside at the pub and visit a clothes shop. But what about the future of the office? Will we ever go back full-time, or is a hybrid model more likely – and if you're tempted by a shed office, what should you look out for? On this week's podcast, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss the future of work and the pros and cons of WFH life, including the 'shoffice.' Elsewhere, should you claim home working tax relief and how much could you get for doing so? And what can you do if you want to change career, whether that is a huge leap or a 'bridging' one. Plus, are workers heading for a horrible shock when it comes to retirement and what can be done to navigate it?
Financial scams are on the rise. The coronavirus lockdowns have seen a fresh burst of investment cons with fraudsters impersonating legitimate companies to steal tens of thousands of pounds. Unwitting savers are being lured into fake savings and investments, such as fixed term bonds or share schemes, and transferring large sums to fall victim to clone fraud. What’s behind this burst of crime and how can people protect themselves? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert discuss the rising tide of fraud, how to stay safe and what more can be done to combat it. Also, on the show, the pair look into the cases of the mortgage prisoners, trapped paying high rates ever since the financial crisis while others have seen their monthly payments slashed. The Deliveroo float is also on the agenda – why did the shares slump as it hit the stock market? And finally, campervans are in hot demand, making this a good time for VW to be launching its new mini Caddy California: with sleeping space for two and an optional tent that turns into a home on wheels for all the family. Would you want one?
The headlines are telling you the property market is running hot, that the stamp duty holiday extension is stoking the fires, and buyers are ignoring the economic slump to pile in. There’s just one problem: your home is on the market and you aren’t even getting any offers. Perhaps you are in a property coldspot. As property watchers will tell you, the house price index-driven view of a national housing market is something of an illusion. In reality, there are lots of different local property markets and they don’t all blow hot and cold at the same time. At the moment, while some areas are running hot, others are cold – and it’s not as simple as city vs village, or urban vs rural. Even within London, there are some areas with high demand and others just a few miles away where it is tough to sell. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Adrian Lowery and Simon Lambert look at how to take the temperature of your local property market and how that can help you buy or sell. They discuss what next for house prices – and whether they can possible keep rising at such a robust pace from here, or if we could see more stability and an end to Britain’s casino property market. Also on this week’s show: how to invest in companies that will help improve the environment, the FCA’s warning on thrill-seeking young investors and the best Isa investments of all time. And finally, the electric car grant has been cut and will be axed for all cars costing more than £35,000. Is this foolish as we try to wean the nation off petrol and diesel, or a wise move to stop subsidising those already wealthy enough to buy an expensive brand new motor?
What’s the point in an Isa? This is a regular grumble as savings rates are now so low that earning 1 per cent would be a big deal. But wouldn’t you rather have all of a small amount instead of a small amount minus tax? And if you are investing, an Isa makes a lot of sense – embracing your gains and dividends in a nice tax-free wrapper. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert talk Isas: from the classics, cash and stocks and shares, to the upstarts the lifetime and junior strands. The team discuss why an Isa is worth having, even a cash one when the personal savings allowance exists and rates are rubbish. And Simon gives his quick guide to investing easily in an Isa, with a whistle-stop tour through the ‘why, how and what’ that could help you grow your wealth long-term. The team also discuss whether a lifetime Isa is worth having and whether a junior Isa or a slice of your own is the best place to save for children. And finally, if you’d like to both turn a profit and make your money do some good, what about ethical investing? Is the ESG label (environmental, social and governance) just a marketing ruse and how ethical are these funds? We run through the spectrum of investments that try to be ethical and give some ideas on what might fit the bill.
Is the economy primed to bounce back? That might sound like a strange question when you’ve just had the news that UK GDP fell by 2.9 per cent in one month, but January’s lockdown slump was nowhere near as deep as expected. It seems that despite a tough lockdown being imposed, shops and big chunks of the economy being shut and schools being closed, the UK has adapted to restrictions better than thought when it comes to doing business. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Jayna Rana and Simon Lambert discuss the prospects for recovery and also the businesses that have pivoted and started-up over the lockdown year. While economies have suffered, stock markets have rebounded strongly – and in the case of the US and its growth star stocks, repeatedly surpassed previous record highs. That’s been good news for UK investors backing the growth story, particularly the legions of savers with money in the giant Scottish Mortgage investment trust. But a growth stock wobble in the US has sent Scottish Mortgage sliding – with the trust down 27 per cent at one point on its January peak – followed by a rapid bounce back to erase some of those losses. Should investors be worried or is it a buying opportunity – and what is the one key investing lesson that Simon says this highlights? Also on this week’s show, the mortgage that lets you fix for life – bringing potentially a 40-year fixed rate until 2061. And finally, would you buy your local pub to rescue it from the threat of closure? If the answer’s ‘yes’ then there’s some good news: Rishi Sunak wants to help you.
The Budget this week was notable for two things: Firstly, The Chancellor decided to delay settling the coronavirus bill to another day and, secondly, the true scale of the women's underpaid state pension scandal was laid bare at £3billion. The collossal short-changing of married women on their state pensions was uncovered by This is Money columnist Steve Webb and journalist Tanya Jefferies just over a year ago. Their investigations, campaigning and tenacity has paid off and now women affected should get what they are owed - to the tune of an astonishing £3billion, according to Budget documents. Tanya joins Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert to explain the issue on this week's podcast, as the team also trawl through the Budget to explain what it means for people. One day Britain might have to try to balance the books and pay the bill for the coronavirus rescue, but that day didn't arrive with the Budget. The Chancellor Rishi Sunak openly indulged in some stealth taxation by freezing personal allowances and income tax thresholds in the future and said corporation tax would rise, but kept the cash flowing to aid economic recovery. Furlough was extended, there will be an encore at the stamp duty holiday party, the business investment of Eat Out to Help Out was launched, and a new 5% deposit mortgage scheme has been launched (without being called Help-to-anything, so that's something at least). The self-employed also got some more help, with new entrepreneurs getting assistance, but bizarrely those who previously earned more than £50,000 as sole traders and paid lots of tax are still left out in the cold. The tax burden is set to rise but this was no austerity Budget and Britain's debt and deficit are scarily big. So will Rishi's third Budget in a year be what Britain's economy needs to achieve escape velocity as lockdown eases (and hopefully never comes back)?