Secure Trust tops Shawbrook Bank again

Perhaps the biggest savings account news this week, apart from the rates being announced for the forthcoming Pensioner Bonds, has been the continuation of the tussle at the top of the notice account best buy table, as Secure Trust replaced Shawbrook Bank for the second time in recent weeks. We shall wait and see if […]

17 December 2014 by The Harried House Hunter

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At last the real scandal emerges – the lid is lifted on the disgrace of old style overcharging pension contracts

There has been a huge debate, a lengthy report by a top City lawyer and acres of news print in the last nine months about a huge Financial Conduct Authority blunder, which led to massive upheavals for insurance company share prices on March 28 this year. A report in a national newspaper, following a press […]

17 December 2014 by The Harried House Hunter

Pensions

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Gold looking much better than the FTSE All Share for 2014

After 2013 belonged to equities and gold prices sank, 2014 saw a split between the US and the rest of the world thanks to the rising dollar. Gold gained over 6% in 2014 for UK investors as the FTSE All Share index fell. That is the ninth time in 15 years gold has beaten the […]

16 December 2014 by The Harried House Hunter

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Distress in the oil market risks distress in the high yield bonds of energy producers

The VIX, which has been subdued for much of the year, jumped sharply last week to a level that is the highest December level for the last five years except for 2011. However, we suspect that much of the market activity across all asset classes was hedging and is starting to reflect year-end positioning and […]

15 December 2014 by The Harried House Hunter

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Plane truth – Those who focus only on life’s winners will miss out on some valuable lessons

By Nick Kirrage During the Second World War, the US Air Force asked statistician Abraham Wald for his thoughts on protecting their bombers from enemy fire. Weight considerations limited how much armoured plating could be used and the consensus view thus far was to reinforce the wings, central fuselage and tail – after all, the […]

15 December 2014 by The Harried House Hunter

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Japanese money trends signalling economic rebound

Japan’s economic outlook continues to improve, judging from further strong gains in monetary aggregates in November. The six-month rate of change of M1, M2 and M3 peaked in late 2013 and fell sharply through July 2014. The real-terms change turned negative from April, when a rise in the sales tax from 5% to 8% boosted […]

15 December 2014 by The Harried House Hunter

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How to get a better rate than on the pensioner bonds

The wait is nearly up. In a matter of weeks the new Bonds for investors aged 65 or over, dubbed Pensioner Bonds, will hit the market and demand is expected to be high. Although the confirmed rates on the bonds are very competitive, there are some less than positive points. The maximum is restricted to […]

14 December 2014 by The Harried House Hunter

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Annuities are not always poor value if you shop around. But that message is sure to get lost amid the terrible headlines

This morning investors will have been alerted once again to the fact that buying an annuity directly from the pension provider they saved with in the first place can be a terrible idea. In many ways it amounts to locking in a pay cut for the rest of your life. A new report from the […]

11 December 2014 by The Harried House Hunter

Expert Opinion Retirement

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Gluttons for punishment – The only fun bit about value investing is the potential return

By Kevin Murphy Why would anybody want to be a value investor? It is a difficult, grim and – almost by definition – lonely existence. Take a glamorous area of investing such as personal computers and where are the value investors? Are we piling into Arm Holdings because tablets are growing exponentially? No, we are […]

11 December 2014 by The Harried House Hunter

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Auto-enrolment membership passes the five million mark (apparently)

You can tell we are in the run up to a General Election – as official Whitehall announcements and updates are starting to reflect some political weighting and spin.  Today’s announcement by the DWP is a case in point.  But before I comment on that, it’s worth highlighting that there are two key announcements in […]

11 December 2014 by The Harried House Hunter

Expert Opinion

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