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.
Britain is in the grip of a mysterious property mini-boom. Talk of a property market more buoyant than it’s been in years, of viewings and offers flooding in and family homes in hot demand, doesn’t seem to just be the usual estate agent puff. Evidence from mortgage reports, surveyors and data on estate agent activity, appears to bear this out. The stamp duty holiday and lockdown itchy feet have combine to make parts of the market a sellers’ one, so as a buyer what can you do to get a decent offer accepted and avoid overpaying? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce talk buying homes. They discuss what’s going on, whether all parts of the market are flying (not quite), why some homes go to above asking price offers but others linger, and how as a buyer you can get a good deal, while as a seller you can also try to go under offer swiftly at a decent price. Also, on this week’s show, the team discuss the rise of the lockdown trader and why more people – and younger ones at that – are buying shares. They look at inflation and how many savings account beat it. And finally, why has the Royal Mint said it probably won’t need to make anymore 2p pieces or £2 coins for a very long time?
As if 2020 wasn’t already proving to be a painful enough year, fraud has soared in lockdown. Fraud victims are now losing at least £11.5million a day but the real total is estimated at £80million, as only about 15 per cent of cases go reported. Cases are up 43 per cent in lockdown, according to Action Fraud figures, and the amount lost is up a staggering 286 per cent – meaning a victim loses £8,000 of their savings in average every minute. So could you fall victim to lockdown fraud? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost discuss how people are being conned, the red flags to watch out for, what your rights are if you fall victim and why it’s not enough to think it won’t happen to you. Also on this week’s show, will the rule of six knock the chance of a V-shaped recovery for six and what on earth is the Government playing at with its Brexit threat to break international law? And finally, there’s a savings lottery out there with a better chance of winning £50,000 than the Premium Bonds.
Family BS’ windfall bonds have a minimum investment of £10,000 but a one in 714 chance of winning monthly prizes of between £1,000 and £50,000… but there’s a catch, it’s also possible no one will win. So, is it worth signing up?
The property market in the UK and the stock market in the US appear to be pulling off gravity-defying feats. The coronavirus crisis is still here, waves of job losses keep on coming and almost everyone is agreed there is more bad news to come. Yet, shares in the US and house prices in the UK are on the up. Is there anything behind this other than cheap central bank money and the belief that it will keep flowing and propping up asset prices? Perhaps, we have underestimated the resilience of the high flying tech stars and the British home buyer? On this week's podcast Simon lambert and Georgie Frost look at the parallels and differences between the British and American national obsessions of the property market and stock market. Plus, the mortgage crunch that is locking out first-time buyers from the party and the Metro Bank customer cruelly scammed twice are on the agenda. And finally, missing Eat Out to Help Out already? We reveal how to keep supporting the economy / wasting money / stuffing your face (delete as applicable depending on your view) for at least the rest of this month.
A large chunk of workers are unaware that their pension savings are invested in the stock market. When asked in a recent survey what they think happens to their cash, the most common answer was that they had 'no idea.' It doesn't make for pretty reading – Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost look at why it matters, and what can be done to get people more interested in their retirement pots. It comes as a reported rift has broken out at the top of government over the state pension triple lock. A key election promise, but there is a problem: With it rising on whichever is highest: inflation, average earnings growth or 2.5 per cent, it could go up a huge 18 per cent in 2021 under those rules. What changes could happen?From next month, your teen could be much richer as the first Child Trust Funds mature. What can your 18 year-old do with the cash? One option is not to buy private flights. Lee puts his weekly Consumer Trends column in the spotlight to reveal how much it costs to charter a flight, after one company reports a surge of interest. And what on earth is a hard seltzer? Sales in the US are booming and they have now come to Britain, will they prove as popular this side of the Atlantic?
Since the start of lockdown in March, more Britons have ordered supermarket shopping online to be delivered to their door to dodge the crowds and beat the queuing mayhem. This could be perfect time for Marks & Spencer, who will start its long-awaited tie-up with Ocado at the start of September, as the latter ends its 20 year long relationship with Waitrose. M&S is starting a 'back to basics' assault, lowering the prices on everyday items and it comes as its clothing division continues to struggle. Meanwhile, most major supermarkets are now offering same day – and in some cases, next hour – deliveries, are the days of doing the 'big shop' in large stores over? Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost take a look. This week saw a shock rise in the cost of living: why has it happened, where will the inflation figure go next and just how many savings accounts now offering more than 1 per cent interest? Seven US firms - Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google parent Alphabet, Microsoft and Tesla – have seen stratospheric value growth this year. Is it another dotcom bubble waiting to happen? The Department for Transport is mulling over how to allow self-driving cars on the motorway from next year, we take a look at how it works. And lastly, we celebrate our pensions agony uncle Steve Webb, who this week wrote his 200th This is Money column.