Adam Cox talks with Doug Vermeeren, who explains the seismic impact Covid has had on the world of work: how self-employment has become a necessity for so many, and how people have grasped the opportunities of remote working to find a new way forward. An entrepreneur coach himself, Doug describes how hundreds of millions have discovered new ways ofworking over the past year.
Another week, another house price index stating record growth. This time it was the turn of Nationwide, which said prices had risen 10.9% in the year to April, reaching a new high of £242,832 - up by £23,930 compared with 12 months earlier. Most experts say this is down to people's changing lifestyles during the pandemic and the incentive provided by the Government's stamp duty holiday. But are there other forces at play? Fred Harrison, a British author and economic commentator, successfully predicted the previous two property crashes years before they occurred - and his 18-year property cycle theory says that house prices should continue to boom before crashing in 2026. His theory is based on analysis of 300 years of data, and suggests that the underlying force behind rising prices in the property market is the finite supply of land. This, he says, combines with greed and speculation to turbo-charge sentiment and send prices spiralling before a bubble bursts. Given that early predictions of a house price crash during the pandemic were wildly inaccurate, does his model provide a better idea of what might really happen? Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Helen Crane also look at the other factors shaping the housing market, including tantalisingly cheap mortgages with two-year fixed rates as low as 0.99%. But aside from these headline-grabbing rates, the typical mortgage has actually become slightly more expensive in the last year - so why are experts saying locking in for five years is still a good idea? One group that isn't so happy about this year's house price increases is first-time buyers - especially those who took out Help to Buy loans a few years ago and are now paying back inflated sums into the Government coffers based on their homes' increased values. Helen discusses whether they should hold off paying back the loans in the face of spiralling interest - and whether today's first-time buyers should still consider using Help to Buy at what is widely tipped to be the top of the market. Do you want an 'essential', comfortable or luxurious retirement? New research explains how much you will need to put away to get the lifestyle you want in your later years. Away from housing, we talk about the latest research telling us how much we need for a decent retirement - depending on whether we want an 'essential', comfortable or more luxurious time of it in our older years. Tanya explains how much people should be putting away, and how that changes if you are single rather than part of a couple. We also discuss controversial comments made by Paul Johnson from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), who said most people don't need to worry too much about saving into their pension until they are in their 50s. Is it really wise for younger people to push pensions down their list of financial priorities? Finally, we answer a question from a reader who took £20,000 out of their pension pot to deal with Covid cashflow issues - but is now worried that their tax-free annual allowance has taken a hit.
Professor Tim Evans of Middlesex University delves into the Government's proposals for boosting housebuilding and reviving ideas of a home-owning democracy, wondering if it will come under attack from the Conservative Party's own MPs. He discusses why Germany is becoming ever more reliant on Russian energy and how it will constrain international relations in the future. And he questions the flexibility of the EU's outlook on trade after an eight-year attempt to do a trade deal with Switzerland collapsed.
Alison Southwick and personal finance expert Robert Brokamp challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves. Diania Merriam, founder of the EconoMe Conference and host of the Optimal Finance Daily podcast, debunks common misconceptions about the Financial Independence/Retire Early movement. And Alison blames everyone and their mortgage broker for skyrocketing home prices.
Tim Price, director of Price Value Partners, considers the possible ramifications if it comes to be accepted that Covid-19 originated in a laboratory in Wuhan. Investors should, he feels, weigh the consequences of what - intended or not – would be the worst crime in human history. It would have such an impact on investment, business and political psychology that the only historical analogy that comes to mind is the 1930s. Tim's recommendation for investors? Enjoy the party, but dance near the door.
James Cameron-Wilson marvels at the UK box office chart, where The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me, the 8th in the Conjuring series, topped the list with a £2.7 million weekend take. Cruella, with Emma Stone and Emma Thompson, was not as dark as James had hoped, being rather more pantomimic in tone. On Netflix, he felt that zombie film Army of the Dead is Zack Snyder's best film since Man of Steel. Although the sequel has been put back, he also revisited the original 1986 Top Gun.
Share Radio's technology editor Steve Caplin explains how the Japanese believe they can turn food scraps into a building material stronger than concrete. Also Amazon Sidewalk and meditation boxes for their warehouse employees, how potatoes can be made to fluoresce to show if they're stressed, the British tanks that cost £3.5 billion that are almost completely useless, smart sunglasses, a 25-inch e-ink monitor and why the world's deepest pool is to be built in Cornwall.
Tamara Gillan, Founder & CEO of WealthiHer Network chats with Tracy Browne, Director at Tilney Investment Management about the importance of bringing everyone on the journey to make finance more equitable for women, ensuring the financial futures of all.
Have Premium Bonds turned you into a savings winner, or are you one of the losers who have been missing out on prizes for years? We dive into Britain’s beloved savings lottery, looking at who holds the most Premium Bonds, who wins and who doesn’t. NS&I revealed exclusively to This is Money this week that an astonishing 43% of bonds are held by just 4.3% of savers – that’s £56billion out of the £107billion total. Or to put it another way every £2 out of £5 saved belongs to less than one million savers out of a total £21.4million. That may go some way to explaining why close to 75% of Premium Bonds savers haven’t won a prize in 14 years. Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert dig into the statistics, deliver a theory on how much you might need to hold to bag at least one prize a year, and look at whether Premium Bonds are worth having. They are certainly popular and that’s why Nationwide has launched a savings lottery – is that worth signing up to as well? In crypto-corner this week, we discuss the crash, the rebound and the slump again, along with banned adverts and Chinese crackdowns: is this the end of the recent hot phase or just another average week for bitcoin to take in its stride? Also, paying bills with commemorative coins – and what legal tender really means, why self-storage is the latest thing in short supply and who's investing Czech Sphinx?
Amazon buys MGM Studios, Costco slips a bit despite strong earnings, Salesforce rises, and Dick’s Sporting Goods swings higher thanks to strength in its golf business. Motley Fool analysts Ron Gross and Jason Moser discuss those stories and weigh in on the latest from Okta, Ulta Beauty, Autodesk, and Williams-Sonoma. Plus, Ron and Jason share two stocks on their radar: Elastic and Toro; and Reuters automotive reporter Paul Lienert discusses Ford’s new electric F-150, Tesla, Apple, and the future of the auto industry.