MoneyWeek 1048

MoneyWeek is a weekly magazine that enables you to become a better-informed, smarter investor and enjoy the rewards of managing your money with confidence. Week-in, week-out we'll guide you through the financial world as it changes, alerting you to all the opportunities to profit and dangers to avoid, as they appear. Income strategies, rising-star companies, the best funds and trusts, clever ways to preserve your wealth during market turmoil... you will get the best ideas from the sharpest financial minds and investing professionals in Britain.

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
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3 Min
from the editor-in-chief...

“Most people’s finances are not complicated. And if they are, they shouldn’t be” Most people’s financial affairs are not complicated. If they are, they probably shouldn’t be. One savings account, one mortgage, one individual savings account (Isa), one self-invested personal pension (Sipp) and most of us are pretty much done. Only the very well off go beyond these basics. That’s not a bad thing: with complication comes expense, risk and usually not much gain. If you find yourself with a mix of offshore bonds held in trusts for some reason, it is more likely something has gone wrong than right. Given this, it has always struck us as odd that regulators mostly think all financial advice should be bespoke. If we all need much the same advice (with minor variations based…

1 Min
vanishing act of the week

A Manchester man suspected of being the “mastermind” behind a bitcoin scam that targeted thousands of victims has been ordered to pay $572m by a US court – but he has “vanished without a trace” and may not ever have existed, says Margi Murphy in The Daily Telegraph. The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission accused Benjamin Reynolds, 38, of stealing around $1.3bn-worth of bitcoin through his company, Control-Finance, which in 2017 targeted customers via Facebook adverts promising 1.4% daily returns on their bitcoin investments. A New York court ruled that Reynolds must repay $143m to defrauded customers, plus a $429m fine. But Reynolds has proved impossible to track down, “much of his digital trail appears to have been scrubbed”, and scammed investors are now questioning whether he existed in the…

1 Min
good week for

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who was nominated to America’s Supreme Court just seven months ago by former US president Donald Trump, has signed a reported $2m book deal “for a tome about how judges are not supposed to bring their personal feelings into how they rule”, says Daniel Lippman in Politico. A Thai police officer who “bit down on something hard” while eating a bowl of sea snails could make a fortune after discovering it was a melo pearl, says Gavin Blair in The Times. The pearls, which are formed by melo snails, have never been successfully cultured and are thus extremely rare. A fisherman who had a similar experience was offered more than £250,000 for one in January.…

1 Min
bad week for

TV psychic Maurice Amdur, 56, faces a £100,000 legal bill after a judge said he had lied about “losing his powers” in a car crash, says Joe Roberts on Metro. Amdur sued the insurers of a driver who hit his car in 2015 for £250,000, claiming that he couldn’t return to work until 2017 as he “struggled with the intense concentration needed” for readings. The court said his claim was “fundamentally dishonest” as he had in fact performed readings during that time. A lawyer for actor Robert De Niro claimed at a divorce hearing this week that the 77-year-old has had to “take on every project that comes along” to support estranged wife Grace Hightower’s (pictured) “thirst for Stella McCartney”, reports Priscilla DeGregory on PageSix. The pair split in 2018 –…

2 Min
stocks have a spring in their step

Spring is here and the economy is blossoming, says Randall Forsyth in Barron’s. Mass vaccination and “trillions of dollars of fiscal and monetary Miracle-Gro” have nourished the economy’s green shoots. US GDP is expanding at a 6% annual rate; jobs growth has surpassed expectations. Retail sales rose by 9.8% month-on-month in March as Americans spent their stimulus cheques. Signs of a global recovery are especially clear in manufacturing, says Jim O’Neill in Project Syndicate. The US manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) has recorded its highest reading since 1983. The eurozone equivalent hit the highest level in the bloc’s 22-year history, while the UK manufacturing PMI rose to a ten-year high. Inflation emerges Global markets have been basking in the recovery. America’s S&P 500 and Dow indices both finished last week at record highs…

1 Min
a knockout earnings season for the us market

USA Inc is vastly exceeding expectations. First-quarter earnings reported as of last Friday had beaten analysts’ forecasts by a mammoth 30%; usually “earnings beats” are about 3%-6%, says Bob Pisani for CNBC. The unprecedented uncertainty triggered by the pandemic caused many blue-chip firms to withdraw their guidance last year. That prompted the analysts who study these firms to make very conservative forecasts for the earnings outlook, which were widely thought to be too pessimistic. Most people expected this quarter’s earnings to be good, “but this is really good”. US stockmarket valuations are historically high on a cyclically adjusted price/ earnings ratio (Cape) of 34.6, according to Mebane Faber of Cambria Investment Management. Strong earnings are one way of bringing those valuations down to a more reasonable level. Bank earnings have been…