'Be greedy when others are fearful.' Warren Buffett's investment adage was tested this year when the coronavirus crash hit and sent stock markets tumbling in late February and early March. But as nations went into lockdown, economies nosedived and draconian measures surpassing most seen in living memory were introduced, it was hard for most investors to get up too much of an appetite, however many times they may have heard that line. There seemed to be no way that markets would recover for some time and the most likely course was down. Then the rebound came, but still it all looked to good to be true - as if it was just fools and their money being parted in a FOMO rally. Except, it turned out to have legs. The world's dominant stock market, the US, has been on a tear since late March and many other countries have bounced back too. So, has the opportunity to go bargain hunting passed? Could our own humble stock market be one of the last places left where you can do it? Are we missing a trick and ignoring the fact the world has changed and there is no point talking about cheap value investments, just get on the tech train? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert discuss investing bargains: what that means and whether there are any left? Also, while the stock market has been on the rise, the economy has been taking another lockdown beating. Chancellor Rishi Sunak updated us this week on the state of the UK economy, so how bad was the news? Also this week, NS&I and Marcus cut rates, so what can savers do now, and finally, is triple glazing worth splashing out on?
For better or worse the internal combustion engined car has shaped economies and the way we live over the past century. Now Britain has been told that new petrol and diesel engine cars will not be allowed to be sold in just nine years’ time. But the car itself isn’t going anywhere – just the way it is propelled and hybrids will still be allowed – so how much difference will the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars make? Is the rise of the electric car inevitable anyway and even with Brexit is it more important what Germany, France and the rest of Europe choose to do, than what the UK decides? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert talk electric cars: from what the shift to them means, to what they are like to drive, charge and live with. Simon explains his experiences of charging electric cars without a home wallbox and why he thinks the Government needs to buck its ideas up on public charging and stop making policy only for those with a drive. He also talks through what three popular electric cars, the Renault Zoe, Peugeot 208 and Tesla Model 3 are like to drive and why the Porsche Cayenne with a conscience shows the way forward for those who feel they need a big, fast, luxury SUV. Also on this week’s podcast, the team discuss yet more pain for savers and the chaos at major port Felixstowe and why it matters to businesses and consumers. And finally, Bitcoin’s back… but as it climbs towards its previous peak, is it different this time?
There have been some clear winners and losers in the rebound from the stock market crash as coronavirus and lockdown hit. Tech stars, companies with a strong digital presence and those who have seen business increase as a result of lockdown – from B&Q-owner Kingfisher, to cycle and motoring store Halfords, and takeaway deliverer Just Eat - have been the only game in town. But, as news of the most successful Covid-19 vaccine trials yet was revealed by Pfizer on Monday, there was a dramatic reversal of fortune: it was the companies beaten-down by lockdown that soared. From aerospace engineer Rolls-Royce, to cinema operator Cineworld and travel-focussed caterer and retailer SSP, shares that had been languishing at lowly valuations and clouded by pessimism got a sudden dose of optimism. So why did they rise so strongly, is this the much-heralded switch from growth to value investing and what does that even mean? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost look at the vaccine rally, whether this marks a new chapter for investors and the economy… and what the risk of being disappointed again is. Some investors hoping to take advantage this week couldn’t, however, as DIY investing platforms struggled under the weight of record days of trading from customers. Can those Hargreaves Lansdown, or other platform, clients try to claim any money back for trades missed? Also on this week’s podcast, the potential capital gains tax raid being lined up – with perhaps some unintended consequences – and the surge of Curry’s PC World complains to This is Money. And finally, the Government is soon expected to bring forward its ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, with the favoured alternative being electric. But if you act now and go electric but don’t have a driveway for home charging is it practical – and can you take a lead across the pavement instead?
When lockdown arrived in March it sunk the UK economy. The message was clear: Stay home. And people did just that; there was a dramatic shift to either working from home or shutting down businesses entirely. For a couple of weeks pretty much the only place you could go was the supermarket, followed a little while later by the opportunity to head to B&Q to queue for an hour and try to do a click and collect. Now a second lockdown has arrived for England and the message is once again stay home, but things are very different this time: considerably more remains open. As England’s lockdown arrived, Wales and Northern Ireland were already in some form of lockdown and Scotland is running its own tight tiers system. Yet, while rules vary across the nations, more businesses remain open, Britain has got used to working from home, and industries that can’t do that are permitted to keep going. So, what happens now to the economy? How bad will the hit be? And is it just the hospitality sector and leisure sector that will be hammered this time round? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at the economic effects of Lockdown 2 and how things could be better or worse. Meanwhile, the Bank of England responded to the lockdown by keep rates in positive territory, but pumping another £150billion into the financial system through quantitative easing. More QE has been done since March that in all the years after the financial crisis: what does this mean for the economy and normal people? Also on this week’s podcast: is it time to call the end of the property mini-boom, why are some of the self-employed still being left out while furlough is extended – and should Simon bother to try and get his Ryanair flight money back in vouchers?
Murmurs from HSBC HQ this week warned that an overhaul of its business model could leave customers paying a monthly fee for their current accounts. This week, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost ask whether this is really a possibility, if banking actually is free anyway and what happens next. We also look at who is winning the battle of current account switchers and whether people are just too loyal to their bank. This weekend marks the end of the furlough scheme, replaced by something new – while other financial support is also changing, including free overdrafts and mortgage payment holidays. What impact did the second wave fear and upcoming US election have on the stock market this week? Bitcoin has seen a surge in price this week, what has behind its rise to the highest level since the crazy end of 2017? And boilers – one reader has been told that their 28 year model is too ancient to service. Is this a fair call?
Has the V-shaped recovery been put on hold ?Lockdowns across Britain’s major cities, the tier system and more businesses being forced to close their doors or operate far below usual business levels means the direction of travel has shifted dramatically from the summer’s optimistic reopening of the economy. It's likely that the UK will emerge from recession with growth over this quarter, but is it on track to head straight back into another slump?
Coronavirus measures, rules that hobble some sectors and a renewed sense of fear will slam the brakes on – and the effect was great enough to make Rishi Sunak upgrade his support for jobs and businesses again this week. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert look at how bad this winter will be and whether Britain can battle its way out of the slump thanks to the resilience in parts of the economy that has surprised many this year. One element of the economy that is doing much better than expected is the property market and Rishi’s stamp duty holiday has come under fire for driving up house prices, so is it time to make it permanent, ease the need to rush and encourage people to move more often? Also on this week’s podcast, Georgie and Simon look at the latest temperature check of Britain’s retirement prospects and how hard the pandemic has hit them. And finally, buy a new appliance and it comes with a guarantee but do you really need to fill in that little form or go online to register it? Or is that just a swizz to get your personal details?
While the world worries about coronavirus, there is another decade-defining event going on – the US election. Will Donald Trump win a second term as US President and have the world dance to his tune for four more years, or will Joe Biden take charge – and what on earth would that mean for people? There is less than a month to go until the US election and under normal circumstances you would expect all the focus of stock market commentators to be on that. It’s not normal circumstances though. The second wave of coronavirus and renewed lockdowns have the world’s attention and the election, if not a sideshow, is definitely not as centre stage as we would usually expect. So, does that mean it doesn’t matter for investors, or should be thinking about it and positioning themselves for the outcome? Does it even matter if Trump or Biden wins, as long as the Fed keeps printing and stimulus keeps coming, and would any decisive win be better than a disputed result? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Sarah Davidson, discuss the US election and what it could mean for our money over here in the UK. And if two septuagenarians arguing about who is going to be the boss of the free world isn’t your thing, what about investing in the future beyond that? Keeping on the investment tip, the team dive into the world of green money and how to invest to back improving the world, or even get a green mortgage or current account.
The cornerstone of the Prime Minister's Conservative Party speech this week was turning Generation Rent into Generation Buy with state-backed 95% mortgages. The idea is that this will help first-time buyers frozen out by the need for big deposits - and combining it with long-term fixed rates will reduce risk? But is this a good idea or a bad plan? Is more help just what first-time buyers could do with, or is inflating the property market with more cheap money the last thing we need? On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and George Nixon talk mortgage plans and house prices. Plus GDP is still rising but not as strongly, so is the V shaped recovery off and what will further lockdown measures do to it? And what are the charts that tell the real story of the coronavirus economy?
Lockdown Britain has produced a nation of savers, ONS figures showed this week, with people salting away almost 30% of their disposable income on average. But for those hoping that we might finally have got the savings habit, there’s a catch. Those figures cover April to June, a three-month period when most shops were shut, along with pubs, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs, and going on holiday was a near-impossible task. Deprived of the opportunity to spend, Britain put money aside instead – but is not spending the same as saving? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost dive into the lockdown saving phenomenon and look at what triggered it, whether there was anything other than an inability to spend that drove saving so much higher than in previous recessions and how the paradox of thrift plays out. They also look at where people can put the money they have set aside – with interest on savings deals negligible – and whether the sudden imposition of a savings habit bodes well for people building up better nest eggs when life gets back to normal.Some won’t have been so lucky in lockdown, however,
with job losses mounting. The team look at how this affects those already committed to moving home. And finally, are brand new mobile phones a waste of money? Chasing the latest handset is an expensive game, but a new breed of cheap but high quality phones are changing the minds of some of those committed to holding onto old ones.
There won't be another budget this year. Instead, we had the Winter Economy Plan unveiled this week as fears over a second wave of coronavirus infections - and the further economic turmoil it could create - takes hold. Despite repeated calls to extend the furlough scheme, Chancellor Rishi Sunak held firm. How does this new Jobs Support Scheme stack-up, will it be enough and what else did Mr Sunak reveal? Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost take a look. Meanwhile, importers are worried about container delays at Felixstowe Port, with coronavirus measures reportedly creating a backlog. NS&I made some brutal cuts to savings rates and its Premium Bonds – why did it make the move, just how severe are the cuts and where can savers head next? We could be about to see the end of the loyalty penalty - when sticking with one insurer for your car or home really doesn't pay – and it may save households nearly £4billion in the next decade. And lastly, hot tubs… the hot weather at the start of lockdown saw many people snap them up. But, now, many are complaining of faulty ones, with difficulties getting them fixed.