SMM blog

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Is it worth investing in an all-year Alpine property?

Most people consider the Alps as a skiing destination but this is beginning to change. Many Alpine areas have figured out that they can complement the ski season with an array of sports, leisure and cultural activities throughout the year to attract summer visitors as well. Anyone thinking of a...
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Where to invest outside the UK in 2019

Last week I wrote about investing in the UK and sensible places to put your money. This week I’m looking at areas outside the UK where Brexit-fearers might feel more confident about investing. It’s a good idea to make up your mind soon. You can stash up to £20,000 this year in either cash or investm...
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Start your journey as an investment wonder woman here

Having your own money is a crucial step on the way to empowerment for a woman, or in fact as an individual of any gender. Making sure your nest-egg is growing at its optimum rate is key, yet many women shun investing in favour of ‘safer’ cash savings. Being cautious is one thing, but depriving yours...
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Should I invest ahead of Brexit?

Avoiding the stock market because of the looming spectre of Brexit is a pretty decent excuse for not investing your Isa allowance this year. But is it valid in reality? This tax year, you can put away up to £20,000 in an Isa and shelter it from further income or capital gains tax. It’s a really quit...
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Should you ditch the Woodford Equity Income investment fund?

Is it time to sell my investment in the Woodford Equity Income fund? Breaking up is hard to do – especially on Valentine’s Day. I’ve had a particularly long relationship with the manager of this fund, Neil Woodford. Back in the early years of his career at Invesco Perpetual, our partnership was bene...
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Where can you get a 40% return on your money, guaranteed?

It’s investment time! Traditionally the period before the end of the tax year at the beginning of April is the season for everyone to top up their annual tax-free allowances. But with the stock market in the doldrums (guess why, begins with B) the prospect of shares isn’t very enticing. Wouldn’t it ...
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Are Premium Bonds worth it?

From this month, you can invest in Premium Bonds for just £25. And in another rule relaxation, you can now buy Premium Bonds for any under 16 year old – not just a child or grandchild – and you can also set up a regular monthly savings plan. But should you bother with Premium Bonds? Here are our tho...
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What is forecast for your money in Year of the Pig?

Today is the first day of Chinese New Year and it’s the Year of the Pig, the last animal in the Chinese 12-year astrological cycle. So what does 2019 hold for us all in terms of our money? Like most forecasts, the expert views from the feng shui masters vary from the terrible to the wonderful. Of co...
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Which is the cheapest platform for investing?

bestfundplatform lumpsum
Unless you’ve got oodles of money and a dedicated wealth manager at your beck and call, pretty much the only way for the average saver to invest by themselves these days is online. Anyone looking to start a monthly saving plan into the stock market or even a lump sum is going to need a ‘platform’. T...
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Your money and Brexit 2019: what should we all be doing?

All this Brexit nonsense is very unsettling: there’s my understatement of the year. Like most people, I’m worried about my money, particularly as NOBODY knows what is going to happen ultimately. Selling everything, banking the cash and hiding in a hole until it’s all over is tempting but a bit extre...
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Should I sell my stocks and shares Isa because of Brexit?

Should I stay or should I go is a question not just on the lips of MPs right now. Many investors are wondering whether they should sell their stocks and shares Isa now before everything goes down the toilet. Last week, Brexit fears pushed share prices below their 1999 level (remember when we were pa...
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What’s your savings grace?

I was in the building society the other day, paying in a tiny amount of money in a futile attempt to replace some of the £1,800 I withdrew to pay for the new boiler. Next to me were a couple, probably in their sixties or seventies. They were signing up their savings into a three year fixed rate bond...
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My shares are worth less so I can put more of them in my tax-saving accounts

Yippee! Share prices have slid more than about 10% from their peak at the end of May. On the surface, that doesn’t sound like good news. But for canny skinted and minted mums, it’s an opportunity to max out your tax-perk savings schemes eg Isas and pensions. I haven’t got any new money to put into m...
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Can you afford to send your kids to private school?

iva School open days are now in full swing as the new academic year gets underway. Of course, there are plenty of brilliant state schools where your child would thrive. But could you afford to educate them privately? At first sight, the answer is no. According to the Independent Schools Council, the...
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Is your child due a windfall?

If your child turns 16 from 1 September this year, it’s likely they could be quids in as the first child trust funds (CTFs) mature. CTFs were a government initiative to encourage long-term saving. Children born between 1 September 2002 and 1 January 2011 were given vouchers worth between £50 and £1,...
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Five funds I’m fed up with

While the kids swot for exams, I’ve been doing my own revision – of my portfolio. I’ve earmarked for review a few investment funds which, when I bought them, were top of the pops but have since slid into mediocrity. Check out my list below because they were very popular at the time and it’s likely y...
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How I lost £360 being cautious on shares

Last week everything was sunny with the FTSE 100; today it’s distinctly overcast. Everyone’s taken fright due to problems in Italy at the weekend – slight issue with having no government. Many are murmuring that it’s the end of the euro, while others see it as a short-term blip. Whichever way it goe...
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SMM review: Hargreaves Lansdown’s Simply Invest for beginners

Simply Invest is, as the name suggests, quite simple. It’s really just access to one super-cheap investment fund with a few bells and whistles tacked on for novices. It’s an online facility so you have to visit http://www.hl.co.uk/simply-invest . I couldn’t find it through the main HL website which ...
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Five investment tips for Year of the Dog

Happy Chinese New Year! Tomorrow marks the start of the Year of the Dog – see my own decorations in the picture. As a Dog myself (in Chinese horoscope terms, that is) I’m hoping to double up on any good luck available. One of the Chinese New Year traditions is to give money to younger relatives (and...
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Recent Comments
Eleanor Kiy
So CHINA is not a win win situation for investors...? As someone with limited knowledge of these things they appear to be progress... Read More
Monday, 19 February 2018 14:55
Jane Wallace
It's a shame they don't have Year of the Cat. I'm sure it would be very auspicious.
Monday, 19 February 2018 15:37
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Five ways to deal with a wobbly stock market

In the busy run up to half-term last week, you may not have noticed that the stock market plunged. It recovered a bit, but not to its recent heady heights. So far this week, it’s been basically flat as today’s obligatory dessert. The original drop was quite steep and affects everyone with an investm...
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