Don’t despair – there’s hope for the high street yet

Business rates keep rising. The online giants keep on expanding. The living wage has pushed up staff costs in what…

1 Dec 2018

Loophole Cottage

I have a faint memory that I once came across a property called Loophole Cottage. It was named, I think,…

1 Dec 2018

An object lesson in investing in luxuries

On Saturday afternoons, Bernie Ecclestone and I can often be found nudging in front of each other looking for bargains.…

1 Dec 2018

The freelance trap and how to avoid it

In Victor Hugo’s masterpiece Les Misérables, police inspector Javert pursues the hero, Jean Valjean, with a single-minded doggedness, immune to…

1 Dec 2018

Why you can’t beat shares

Pension freedoms granted to us by the coalition government in 2014, which allowed us to do what we liked with…

1 Dec 2018

Is the current stock market a load of bull?

The roaring twenties. The booming sixties. The Asian tigers of the 1970s and 1980s, and the dot-com bubble of the 1990s. Every investor is well aware that there have been some great bull markets over the past 100 years…

6 Oct 2018
Modern Corporate Glass Building

Office rentals and hot-desk companies are booming – but for how long?

One morning in 2000 I was taken around the City’s back streets by an estate agent who wanted to show…

6 Oct 2018

Rich pickings

The Old Masters, the tasteful antiques, the Montblancs — everything in a private bank looks reassuringly expensive but should you…

6 Oct 2018
Midas touch: Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger

Want to predict the price of gold? Then watch Hollywood films

Wasn’t the point of gold supposed to be to act as a safe haven in times of crisis? That is…

6 Oct 2018
The Federal Reserve has increased interest rates seven times in the past three years

Has the tide turned on emerging markets?

This year has been bad for investors in emerging markets. The MSCI index has dropped around 20 per cent since…

6 Oct 2018

Meet the ‘Fangs’, the stock to sink your teeth into

They steal your data, and manipulate it for their own ends. They destroy local shops and small companies. They are…

26 May 2018

The landlords walking into the great EPC trap

Buy-to-let investors have long occupied a slot in the national consciousness somewhere between arsonists and child molesters. They stand accused…

26 May 2018
Infamous past: The atrium at Lloyd’s London headquarters

Why being a member of Lloyd’s of London is still a risky business

As a child, the very name Lloyd’s made me shudder. I am just about old enough to remember the dark…

26 May 2018

The joys of compounding

Saving half a million pounds into a pension pot seems a goal so large and unachievable that many don’t bother.…

26 May 2018
Brilliantly repurposed: Regent’s Canal by the new Central Saint Martins art school

Back on track

We shouldn’t be so smug about how rundown the Gare du Nord is — dirty, badly planned, with some of…

26 May 2018
Beanie Babies were once an investment mania — could cannabis products go the same way?

Blowing bubbles

Do you remember the Beanie Baby crash of 1999? Chris Robinson, an actor who appeared in the TV series General…

3 Mar 2018

The UK stock market still looks cheap

In my last column I argued that by many measures American shares are expensive. If that is the case, should…

3 Mar 2018

Merchants of doom

The collapse of Carillion has reminded the public of the existence of short-sellers: stock-market participants who benefit from falling share…

3 Mar 2018

Would you take a robot’s tip?

We are forever being told that artificial intelligence (AI) is coming to take our jobs. Is your financial advisor one…

3 Mar 2018

A home in a tax haven

If there is one group of people you might think would be celebrating the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, surely it…

3 Mar 2018

Coffee fix

I’ve long wanted to invest but have never known how. Buying stocks and shares or investing lump sums in blue…

3 Mar 2018
The markets react as the Dow Jones recorded its largest one-day points fall in history last month

Back to frontiers

There are several mantras that experienced investors use to guide themselves through the markets. ‘Sell in May and go away’…

3 Mar 2018
Between 1900 and 1940, a series of unstable Chinese regimes flooded global markets with bonds: this one is from 1911

Broken bonds

September’s annual IMF-World Bank meeting in Washington DC was a strange affair. Delegates fretted about Europe, about Brexit and, given…

4 Nov 2017

Will the Chancellor squeeze VCTs?

Wealthy investors have a particular reason to keep an anxious eye open for Philip Hammond’s autumn Budget on 22 November.…

4 Nov 2017

This week’s rate decision is all but irrelevant

The interest-rate decision by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee on Thursday 2 November — shortly after we went…

4 Nov 2017

Fair shares for all

At a recent gathering of the venerable Company of Merchant Adventurers of York, I listened to a sermon on the…

4 Nov 2017