Five things investors learned in the last week

13th September 2013

1) Twitter files proposals to list at a value of estimated at £15bn.Twitter revealed its intentions in – what else – a tweet.

2) The Royal Mail will be privatised within weeks with management promising dividends for investors. This turnaround has been spectacular, but unions are promising more strife. Much depends on the price but privatisations are usually priced to fly. The firm has posted some excellent results, but it’s not much of a track record if you go back more than a couple of years.

3) Everything this week has been about houses. Sales are rocketing with approvals up by 21% in a year. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors suggests a 5% inflation cap enforced by the Bank of England. Shaun Richards is cynical about the practicalities while Mindful Money suggests five stocks to play the recovery.

4) Axa Wealth is fined £1.8m by the financial watchdog for investment advice failings in branches of Clydesdale, Yorkshire Bank and West Brom Building Society. Some of the investors were older and inexperienced. The direct sales operation is now shut. This week Mindful Money asked if it really mattered if you split from your financal adviser.  Perhaps not in this case. But investors should check what they are invested in now and if it is still right and that could mean seeking a decent adviser next time.

5) The super-Mansion tax may hog the headlines but the Lib Dems are also proposing cutting back the pension lifetime allowance to £1m. They may not take power, but they could be in a coalition again, and of course, such proposals often make space for larger parties to adopt similar policies. If you have the money, it may be wise to use those allowances while you can. Every other year, the amount you can tax shelter seems to get smaller. We wouldn’t rely on its staying at £1.25m much longer.

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