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MoneyWeek Issue 1015

There's a reason MoneyWeek is Britain's best-selling financial magazine. We exist to help you ground your portfolio so that it keeps your money safe during rough patches and growing in the good times. We don't just look at how to maximise your returns and limit your losses, we also like to look at how you can keep more of the money you've made. 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...

A few weeks ago we were mildly surprised to see Warren Buffett come round to our way of thinking on a few things. He sold most of his shares in Goldman Sachs and bought into gold miner Barrick Gold. As Charles Gave of Gavekal Research notes, this is a pretty comprehensive shift. Goldman is the kind of firm you own if you believe that Wall Street’s record of money-making via financial engineering is sustainable. Barrick is the kind you buy if you don’t. So the combined trades are tantamount to “selling by proxy the fiat money system” from which Wall Street’s financial engineers have long benefited. Perhaps Buffett is “starting to short the US central bank”, something we have been doing with our gold holdings for many years – and are…

1 min.
scandal of the week

OnlyFans is a social network where individuals can post content – workout videos, for example – and receive payment direct from their followers. But unlikmostsimilar services, OnlyFans also allows pornographic content. That hs made it popular with adult entertainers, not to mention laid-off workers looking to make extra cash by selling X-rated content online, says Ruchira Sharma on iNews. Now singer and ex-Disney star Bella Thorne (pictured) has been accused of ruining the platform for other users. Thorne reportedly charged $200 for an image that fans thought would be nude. When it turned out it wasn’t, the platform saw a wave of refund requests. Apparently, as a result OnlyFans introduced a $50 cap on such “pay-per-view” images and a $100 cap on “tips”. Those more reliant on OnlyFans for income…

1 min.
good week for

Brexit, trade wars and a pandemic may not seem like the most promising business backdrop, but the turmoil has proved very profitable indeed for independent economic consultancies, says Philip Aldrick in The Times. Combined annual sales at Britain’s six biggest consultancies have risen by 70% since the Brexit vote in June 2016 – from about £75m at the end of 2015 to £130m last year. Planning a marriage proposal imminently? You could save a few pennies on the engagement ring – diamond producer De Beers is cutting diamond prices by nearly 10%, with rival miners expected to follow suit. Dem dh has been hit by Covid-19, while the US dollar’s recent drop against the pound should mean extra savings for UK buyers (diamonds are priced in dollars).…

1 min.
bad week for

Gulf-based airlines may end up having to pay backdated royalties to the likes of Ed Sheeran and Adele, says Steve Bird in The Daily Telegraph, if a court case against Qatar Airways succeeds. UK copyright group The Performing Right Society for Music is taking the airline to court for using more than 5,800 songs without a licence. Most airlines are licensed to use music by their domestic copyright societies, but there is no such organisation in the Gulf. Piers Corbyn was fined £10,000 for breaking coronavirus laws following an anti-lockdown protest in London’s Trafalgar Square, says Chris York on Huffington Post. The brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn appeared on stage alongside conspiracy theorist David Icke. Piers Corbyn said there was “no justification whatsoever” for the fine.…

2 min.
japan still looks cheap after abe

“The global fawn fest over Shinzo Abe’s departure takes the you-do-not-know-what-you-have-until-you-lose-it sentiment to new heights,” says William Pesek in the Nikkei Asian Review. If we take “brutally honest stock of all that Abe failed to do with his 2,800-plus days in power”, we see that just one of the three much-touted “arrows” that made up “Abenomics” was fired successfully. The Bank of Japan’s aggressive monetary policies helped deliver “the longest expansion since the 1980s” – although this failed to kick off “virtuous cycles of rising wages and consumption”. But the promise of pro-growth fiscal policies “fell to earth”, while that of massive deregulation “never got deployed”. That may be too harsh, reckons Ma Tieying of investment bank DBS. True, annual GDP growth of 1% under Abe was only modestly higher than…

1 min.
offices are empty – but they’re not doomed

“Once-bustling European office blocks resemble ghost towns,” says Aimee Donnellan on Breakingviews: some 75% of buildings are empty. And this sudden shift to working from home that’s been forced on employers by the Covid-19 lockdowns “has created a new reality in the office rentals market”. In the UK, the “old standard of ten-year leases” – with rents that were only adjusted upwards – “has been abandoned”: new leases are for as little as three years. Now companies such as accountants PwC, social-media network Twitter and asset manager Schroders “are suggesting that this is set to be far more than a down cycle in rents”. They predict “a new era in which working from home is standard”, meaning lower long-term demand for offices. But that may be a leap too far. “Lower…