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MoneyWeek 1037

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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
51 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
from the editor-in-chief...

There isn’t as much fun in life as there is meant to be right now. So, here at MoneyWeek, we’re all grateful to the army of ordinary investors who hit the headlines last week. We’ve looked at the GameStop saga on page 20, but one of the fun things about it is the way it allows everyone to see what they want to see. Some see a political kickback against crony capitalism. Some see a series of unedifying market manipulations. Some (well, me anyway) see the saga as aside-effect of a huge rise in the number of people who are interested in markets, plus an encouraging gender and age shift (female participation is rising and Hargreaves Lansdown reckons the average age of its account holders has fallen to 37). That’s good.…

1 min.
sign of the times

The cost of hitmen has dropped across Europe, because increasing numbers of “inexperienced and younger criminals” are now willing to carry out the crime, says Eamon Dillon on Independent.ie. A contract killing now reportedly costs between €10,000 and €100,000, according to a Europol report, “much less than it did in the past”. Europol has observed a significant spike in serious violent acts across the EU – highlighting gang wars in Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and Spain – which it puts down partly to the inexperience and youth of these new hitmen, and partly down to increased competition in the drugs trade, particularly the cocaine and cannabis markets, notes Paul Reynolds on RTE.ie. Coverillustration: Howard McWilliam. Photos: ©GettyImages;Tom Kates/SVHealthManagers; OurRetreats ©iStockphotos…

1 min.
good week for

Record iPhone sales helped Apple deliver revenues of more than $100bn for the first time ever over the Christmas quarter, says John-Paul Ford Rojas on Sky News. The company’s results beat Wall Street estimates, with Mac computers and iPad tablets also boosting sales. Apple’s value surged to $2.4trn during the pandemic, as lockdowns have “spurred customers to buy or upgrade devices”. Britain has “officially been gripped by jigsaw puzzle mania”, says Zoe Wood in The Guardian. Sales of jigsaws reached £100m in 2020, a38% jump on last year, asCovid-19 curbed socialising. The most popular jigsaw type is the 1,000-piece format.…

1 min.
bad week for

“Buy now, pay later” services will be regulated for the first time after a report revealed that users have racked up debt worth £2.7bn, says Adam Williams in The Telegraph. The sector, of which Klarna is the market leader, is controversial. Opponents warn that it encourages “shoppers to spend beyond their means”, with users able to “easily spend more than £1,000 online with few checks on whether they could afford repayments”. British fishermen have been banned from selling live mussels, oysters, clams and scallops to the EU, says Justin Parkinson on the BBC. As “a separate country”, the UK can’t transport the animals into the bloc, due to their highly perishable nature, unless treated in purification plants. UK shellfish catches were valued at £393m in 2019.…

2 min.
will the sino-us trade war continue?

“Strategic competition with China is a defining feature of the 21st century.” White House press secretary Jen Psaki is talking tough on China, says Edward Alden for Foreign Policy. Yet there are still “frustratingly few details” about how President Biden will handle trade with the world’s second-biggest economy. He has even dodged the question of whether he plans to scrap Donald Trump’s tariffs of up to 25% on most Chinese imports. Investors are quite happy for trade with China to remain low down the to-do list, says Craig Mellow in Barron’s. The iShares MSCI China ETF has gained 10% already this year on hopes that Biden will provide less storm and stress than his predecessor. But “conflict delayed is not conflict resolved”. Investors have “priced in Biden being less aggressive, but…

1 min.
stockmarkets shrug off turbulence

The rampage of the Reddit bulls (see page 20) has made more conventional investors take cover. America’s S&P 500 had its worst week since October, closing down 1.9% last Friday. Perhaps most tellingly, the CBOE VIX volatility index, the stockmarket’s “fear gauge”, registered its biggest weekly gain since June last year. The index had stayed beneath 25 for most of the period since Biden’s election victory, but finished last week at 32.4. For many institutional investors, the spectacle of “retail investors piling into particular stocks” and pushing prices to absurd levels brings back uncomfortable memories of the dotcom bubble, says Rupert Thompson of Kingswood. The drama helped global shares lose almost 4% last week, erasing their gains for the year so far. The “skirmishes” between hedge funds and Reddit’s “vengeful legions” may…