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MoneyWeek 1038

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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...

“You will be worried about the debt. That makes sense” You will be worried about the debt. That makes sense. As Philip Aldrick notes in The Times, since last March governments have spent $14trn on trying to mitigate the effects of their virus prevention policies. Global public debt has risen from 84% to 98% of GDP – with our own up from 80% to over 100%. But as public debt has risen, net personal debt has fallen. The Bank of England says that we now have £150bn of “excess savings” (£4,000 per household). The Bank expects around 95% to remain saved. That’s unlikely (I have Covid-19-related excess savings – I plan to spend a hell of a lot more than 5% of them). But we do know people are thinking of…

1 min.
pension alert

Angela Jenner, a former PA from Suffolk, was getting only 86p a week as her state pension up until last year, says Harriet Meyer in The Guardian. Jenner was underpaid every week for more than 12 years, but after hearing about the possibility of underpayment on television she filed a claim to the Department for Work and Pensions and found that she was owed £42,700. Jenner is one of “thousands of women” who could be collectively owed more than £100m in state pension payments after being underpaid for years. The issue affects women who reached state-pension age before 2016 and fall under the older-style pension system that allowed women with a reduced national insurance contributions (NICs) record to claim aslice of their husband’s state pension. This should have been automatically…

1 min.
good week for

The “mass exodus to online shopping” during the pandemic buoyed sales at online grocer Ocado by 32% in 2020, says Liam Roche in UK Investor Magazine. Full-year losses also narrowed from £214.5m in 2019 to £44m. Chief executive Tim Steiner said the shift to online grocery shopping is likely to stick. The number of UK shoppers who do their weekly shop online has doubled since March. A record 124 new distilleries were established in Britain in 2020 as demand for gin, whisky and rum continues to increase, says Will Humphries in The Times. That’s a 28% increase on 2019, despite predictions that the “gin craze” of the last few years would abate. Around 86 million bottles of gin, worth £2.2bn, were sold in Britain in 2020, compared with 2017’s sales of…

1 min.
bad week for

Taylor Swift (pictured) is being sued by an Utah theme park, says David Williams on CNN. Evermore Park claims Swift’s latest album, Evermore, infringes on its trademarks, in which it claims to have invested $37m. Swift’s team dismissed the case as“baseless”, noting that Evermore Park itself is being sued by several construction companies over unpaid bills. A man was ordered to pay £25,000 in libel damages after he accused a law firm of being a “total waste of money” and a scam in an online review, says Jonathan Ames in The Times. Philip James Waymouth hired Summerfield Browne to dispute a £200 fixed fee, but left the bad review on the Trustpilot website, after being displeased with the service. The judge agreed that his review was “untrue and defamatory”, with “a…

2 min.
a new supercycle in commodities

Are commodities heading back to the 1970s? For the past ten years raw materials such as oil, industrial metals and foodstuffs have languished in a bear market, says Andrew Bary in Barron’s. Yet the Bloomberg Commodity index jumped by 10% during the final quarter of 2020 and analysts at Goldman Sachs think there could be much more to come. They reckon we are heading for “a much longer structural bull market” that looks poised to “rival” the commodity supercycles of the 1970s and 2000s. The previous decade of disappointment has led to “structural underinvestment” in new mines and energy capacity. That could trigger big price spikes in the decade ahead. More than a Reddit rally The S&P GSCI commodity index plunged by more than 60% between early 2011 and last April, but…

1 min.
oil prices recover from covid-19 collapse

Oil prices have returned to pre-pandemic levels. The price of the world’s favourite commodity slumped last spring as major economies locked down. US oil futures briefly turned negative as traders found themselves stuck with fuel that nobody wanted. Yet Brent crude prices have rocketed by 180% since their nadir to trade above $60 a barrel this week. Before Covid-19 took hold the contract was trading around $59 a barrel. Joe Biden’s announcement that he will not lift sanctions on Iran (see page 10) provided the “immediate catalyst” for the latest price bump, says Julia Horowitz on CNN. But the broader rally is all about the vaccines and hopes that big economies are well on the way to returning to normal. On the supply side, oil exporters’ cartel Opec and ally Russia…