Money Observer: Nick Train on the virtues of doing nothing

‘The lack of change is one of the more remarkable characteristics of the Finsbury Growth and Income investment trust,’ Nick Train said at a Frostrow Capital investment seminar today. Indeed, the highly regarded fund manager is known for the very low turnover of his portfolios, which keeps his trading costs down. Since 2011, Train has created just three new positions in this trust. ‘I’ve had … Continue reading Money Observer: Nick Train on the virtues of doing nothing

Marina’s Monetary Musings: How to become an ‘effective altruist’

Large charities embroiled in scandals have brought charitable giving into disrepute, from Oxfam staff who sexually exploited victims of the Haiti earthquake, to harassment at Save the Children. But the failure of these charities should not put you off donating. Indeed, the philosopher Peter Singer argued that ‘if you are living comfortably while others are hungry or dying from easily preventable diseases, and you are … Continue reading Marina’s Monetary Musings: How to become an ‘effective altruist’

Money Observer: How to close the gender pay gap in finance

Last week saw the deadline for companies with over 250 employees in the UK to report their gender pay gap. The figures revealed that HSBC has a gender pay gap of 59 per cent, Lloyds has a 32.8 per cent gap, Legal & General have a 30.5 per cent and Aviva has 28.5 per cent. While the gender pay gap in the UK was at … Continue reading Money Observer: How to close the gender pay gap in finance

Money Observer: Parliamentary committee calls for ‘default fund’ at retirement

A new report by the Work & Pensions Select Committee is proposing the creation of a ‘default decumulation pathway’; in other words a default investment fund for those who do not make their own investment choices. The idea is to echo the success of auto enrolment – which ‘nudges’ people into saving for retirement by doing nothing. Similarly, these pathways would create a kind of … Continue reading Money Observer: Parliamentary committee calls for ‘default fund’ at retirement

Money Observer: Grandparents can claim pension boost for looking after grandchildren

A grandparent who looks after a grandchild, so that the child’s parent can go back to work, can boost the amount of state pension they receive. By applying for a national insurance credit, a grandparent looking after their grandchild for one year could add £230 per year to their state pension, or £4,500 over a typical 20-year retirement, according to Royal London. The credit would … Continue reading Money Observer: Grandparents can claim pension boost for looking after grandchildren

Marina’s Monetary Musings: The avocado cruise

Yet more unhelpful advice for millennials: Barclays has joined the admonishing chorus by announcing that millennial couples need to stop spending an average £3,500 on annual cruises or £5,946 a year on eating out twice a week. First, it’s unlikely that many millennials go on cruises, a distinctly octogenarian activity. Secondly, if we drill down into the cost of eating out calculated, we get to … Continue reading Marina’s Monetary Musings: The avocado cruise

Money Observer: Why women have less than half the pension of their male colleagues

The average amount in a woman’s workplace pension scheme is less than half that of their male colleagues (£53,000 compared to £120,000), according to a new report by Close Brothers Asset Management. Similarly, research by AJ Bell found the average annual withdrawal made by women using the pension freedoms is less than half those made by men (£4,100 compared to £8,500). The straightforward reason why … Continue reading Money Observer: Why women have less than half the pension of their male colleagues

Money Observer: Yet more unhelpful advice for millennials

Over the last two years a chorus of wealth experts have urged millennials to save money instead of eating out. But such advice doesn’t solve the systemic intergenerational inequality in the UK. Now Barclays has joined the group, by saying that habits such as annual holidays (planned by 86 per cent of millennials) and nights eating out (54 per cent) could ‘de-rail millennial retirement ambitions’. … Continue reading Money Observer: Yet more unhelpful advice for millennials

Money Observer: Income funds that don’t trash the environment

Reader: ‘I am a smallish scale investor looking to maintain income in retirement, using easily understandable income funds and investment trusts, which I usually hold long-term. I also aim to limit investment in environment trashing sources (especially fossil fuels, most mining, grossly polluting pesticides and intensive farming, armaments etc. plus tobacco) as far as reasonably practicable. ‘It would be very helpful to those of us … Continue reading Money Observer: Income funds that don’t trash the environment

Money Observer: Fertility and other surprising ways to spot a recession

Economists look to house prices, GDP and retail sales to predict the next recession. But a new study says we could look elsewhere to know when the next downturn is due: by counting the number of women who are pregnant. Previous research has shown that birth rates fall in a downturn, but the current study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that … Continue reading Money Observer: Fertility and other surprising ways to spot a recession