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This is Money Podcast

English, Finance, 1 season, 537 episodes, 3 days, 4 hours, 19 minutes
About
What you need to know about money each week and what the news means for you, from the UK's best financial website.
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What could the general election mean for your money?

The Prime Minister put an end to all the speculation this week by giving us the date for the general election: July 4. That comes as the latest inflation reading was 2.3 per cent, a little above forecasts making a base rate cut next month now unlikely. Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce delve into the economic state of affairs and what the upcoming election could mean for your money, when it comes to tax, pensions, property and everything in-between. Nationwide Building Society posted pre-tax profits of £1.77bn this week and as a result, it is dishing out another year of 'Fairer Share' loyalty payouts of £100 – will you qualify? And not only that, it is now offering £200 to switchers and an exclusive 5.5 per cent loyalty savings rate. How does early retirement sound to you? It seems it appeals to a lot of us because searches on Google for 'retire early' have increased threefold in the last decade. But how much would you be willing to sacrifice to achieve it? At the extreme end, we have the FIRE movement, advocating saving 70 per cent of your income. Special guest, former This is Money editor Andrew Oxlade had had enough – he explains why. Lastly, This is Money has a new regular series called Modern Treasures with valuation expert Dan Hatfield – Lee reveals all about the first one, all about first edition books, and gives details on how to get YOUR items valued for free.
5/24/20241 hour, 5 seconds
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The mystery of the stolen Nectar Points - and the loyalty card price sting

Supermarket loyalty schemes have become even more of a big thing in recent years as the two giants Tesco and Sainsbury's have rolled out Clubcard and Nectar Prices. But while cards bring lower prices, the points collected still mean prizes for some loyalty scheme fans. So, what happens if a fraudster steals your points? This is Money's Angharad Carrick recently went on the trail of some stolen Nectar points and uncovered a story that delivered as many questions as it did answers. On this podcast, Ang, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert discuss the mystery of the stolen Nectar Points and how our reader got short shrift from Sainsbury's, Action Fraud and the police when they had £230 nicked. Plus, are these loyalty cards any good and worth having anyway and why is the competition watchdog investigating them? Also on this week's show: Many more people are taking mortgages than run past state pension age but with work and retirement blurring and changing does this matter? Simon explains why he thinks it does but for another reason. Would you buy fake cash for a knockdown price off social media? It sounds daft, but this is a genuine thing - we look at how it is happening. And should a reader who is still working at age 77, worth £2.6million and doesn't want a big inheritance tax bill start giving money away - and splashing out on themselves and their family?
5/17/202448 minutes, 36 seconds
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Should the Bank of England have cut interest rates instead of holding firm?

The Bank of England decided to hold the base rate for the sixth time in a row this week – but was it the right decision? Should the MPC have been bold and made a cut? What does it mean for our mortgages and savings? And when will a move come - and in what direction? This week, Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Lee Boyce talk about the base rate decision and what happens next. In the world of property, the number of homes being devalued is on the rise. So, what's going on? And what can you do if it happens to you. Bungalows are having a moment. They're not just for the elderly and downsizers, young families and first time buyers are also increasingly interested - pushing the price of them higher since the pandemic. . Energy firms have been trying to push smart meters on us for years. Have they uncovered a new trick to get us to make the swap? And finally, it's been good news for JD Wetherspoon - the no frills pub chain said it expects annual profits to come in towards the 'top end' of forecasts. Where do you stand on Spoons? Lee and Simon face-off with different pints of view on the pub giant.
5/10/20241 hour, 3 minutes, 5 seconds
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Mortgage rates are rising again - should we be worried?

With not one but two mortgage spikes fresh in our minds, a flurry of rate rises have got home owners and potential buyers worried again. A bunch of major mortgage lenders raised their rates this week - and Santander did it twice. So, are we about to see another mortgaage spike or is this just what brokers and lenders like to optimistically call a mere 'repricing'? And what does this all mean if you need to remortgage soon or want to buy a home? On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon lambert take a look at what's happening in the mortgage market, why rates are rising and whether the Federal Reserve flapping its wings on the other side of the world pushes up our homeowning costs. Plus, Simon explains why you may not want to put all of your savings into your pension as it might dent early retirement chances. The team look at how at the other end of the scale someone with a bigger pension than they need could pass it to their grandchildren. Helen details a worrying Crane on the Case theft and how to protect yourself - and finally we discuss whether a passkey is the answer to our fraud fears.
5/3/202458 minutes, 20 seconds
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Is the FTSE 100 finally having its moment in the sun?

You can wait a long time for a FTSE 100 record high but for peak-starved British investors this week delivered a bonanza. Four record highs were racked up by the FTSE 100, with only Wednesday's slight dip spoiling what would have been a perfect run over a week. The return to new highs on Thursday came as a mega-mining merger bid arrive from BHP for Anglo American - and that was followed swiftly by one of the UK's few tech stars Darktrace announcing it had accepted a bid on Friday. Are these the catalysts that fund manager Nick Train was talking about when he said it could take a big takeover to shake UK stocks out of their slumber and get the world investing in Footsie companies again? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Simon Lambert look and what's moving the UK market, why it is judged to be cheap and whether you should invest. Plus, the top investment trusts for retirement investing and the latest twist in the state pension top-ups saga. Should we cut inheritance tax - or at least sort out the mess - as the take soars? And finally, are you a backseat driver? See if you can pass the test.
4/26/202451 minutes, 41 seconds
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Is there a risk that inflation falls and then spikes again?

4/19/202453 minutes, 12 seconds
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State pension boosted by 8.5% from this week - will it ever become means tested?

Older people received another boost to the state pension this week taking the full rate to over £11,000 a year. This year's increase of 8.5 per cent was thanks to the triple lock commitment - a guarantee the state pension will rise each year by the higher of CPI, wages or 2.5 per cent. What does the future hold? While there is plenty of speculation the state pension may become means tested, in reality it could be incredibly hard to implement. This week, Tanya Jefferies, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Lee Boyce talk state pensions – and how they compare to other countries. And sticking on the theme, there is another delay for the Government’s new online state pension top-up service. When will it launch? NS&I has a four day IT meltdown that makes it a struggle for customers to log-in – and it suggests to one that she may have a ‘time drift.’ What does this bizarre explanation mean? Crane is on the Case once more, this time Eon is in the firing line after it insisted a part-time dance teacher used £95,000 worth of energy… in a month. And who on earth would hold an American Express card in their wallet with an APR 704.6 per cent? Lee has the answer.
4/12/202455 minutes, 28 seconds
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Beware fixed-rate savings trap… and secrets from an Isa millionaire

There's a warning for savers who's fixed term deals are coming to an end - don't take your eye off the ball now or risk having your returns wiped out in a matter of months. A year ago, there was a flurry of savers choosing fixed-rate bonds as they improved drastically. But if you don't act, the chances are it'll rollover into an awful rate. On this week's This is Money podcast, Helen Crane, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost talk savings, just as we head into a new financial year. Also on the savings front, NS&I reveals the rate of the new British Savings Bond - is it worth it? And an Isa millionaire reveals all to This is Money on how he built up a seven-figure pot. Helen tackles another reader problem – this time, it's a case of the unwanted and unneeded Sim card costing a pensioner couple hundreds of pounds. And on the utilities front, Lee reveals how Ofcom saved him from a 75 per cent rise in his monthly broadband costs, and why you should check if you're out of contract with your mobile phone. Mortgage approvals are up - but house prices nudge lower. What's going on?  Meanwhile, research shows a record third of all homes are being bought by first time buyers – and they make up 89 per cent of buyers in one Berkshire town. Lastly, entrepreneur Tim Armoo runs the rule over five money-making fads doing the rounds on social media – are any of them worth your time?
4/5/202458 minutes, 50 seconds
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Is a 99% mortgage really that bad?

The row over small deposit mortgage is the gift that keeps on giving. Hot on the heels of the Budget plan that never appeared arrives Yorkshire Building Society's new deal, that's been dubbed a 99 per cent mortgage. But is it really one of those and does it have any redeeming features? And if it's cheaper than you rent, is there anything wrong with taking a 99 per cent mortgage? On this week's This is Money podcast, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert talk tiny deposit mortgages, negative equity and buying vs renting. Plus, gift card draining scammers, can your pension last retirement, and finally, where are the experts investing their Isa and how can you easily sort yours?
3/29/202446 minutes, 5 seconds
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How to sort your pension and Isa before the tax year ends

There is less than a fortnight to go before the end of the tax year and that means it's time to sort your Isa, pension and finances before it's too late. With another tax raid on the way for investors on capital gains and dividends, this is one of the most important tax year ends in years. On this special bonus episode of the This is Money podcast, Simon Lambert talks to Rob Morgan, of Charles Stanley Direct, to find out what investors need to do and why sorting your pension and Isa can save you a substantial amount in tax.
3/25/202434 minutes, 21 seconds
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Will the Bank of England cut rates as soon as people think?

The Bank of England held interest rates again this week as inflation dropped once more. So, are we out of the woods yet? Will inflation keep coming back down towards target and the Bank of England soon seamlessly switch back to cutting rates? Or will central bankers be keen to hold onto higher rates, even if we get hit by a bout of disinflation? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at what next for inflation and interest rates and what it means for your money. Also on the episode, should the Waspi women who saw their state pension age rise rapidly be compensated for the poor communication and how much of a victory was this week’s Parliamentary Ombudsman Waspi report a victory for them? As that happened, more news emerged on underpaid state pensions – as exposed by our Tanya Jefferies and pension columnist Sir Steve Webb, and the team update us on that. Plus, what’s going on with the chaos at HMRC and who is to blame for the failure to keep up with our increasingly tricky tax system. And finally, meet the Scambaiters – we find out what they do and why.
3/22/20241 hour, 2 minutes, 35 seconds
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Are you about to have to pay for your bank account?

3/15/202452 minutes, 48 seconds
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Was the Budget too little, too late or what we need for escape velocity?

Jeremy Hunt bounced around delivering his Budget on Wednesday, proudly declaring his commitment to tax cuts and supporting working families. Another 2p was chopped off National Insurance and the threshold at which child benefit is removed was raised from £50,000 to £60,000. But you don’t need to be a financial expert to know that the Chancellor’s version of events isn’t quite the whole story. Because Mr Hunt is also presiding over a long-term stealth tax freeze to thresholds that is costing workers dear and his child benefit move merely kicked sky-high marginal tax rates down the road, rather than getting rid of them altogether. Nonetheless, a tax cut and an extra £5,000 Isa allowance – even if it’s a slightly iffy, limited one – is not to be sniffed at. So, was this an escape velocity Budget that puts Britain back on the path to growth? Or was it too little, too late, from a Tory party that has sported successive Chancellors who have been keener to raise our taxes by hook or by crook rather than cut them – or even just keep thresholds in line with inflation. On this week’s Budget special This is Money podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at the winners and losers and go searching for the devils in the detail. What is the NI cut worth to you? Will you get some child benefit back? Did pensioners deserve a tax cut too? With a failure to reverse his capital gains and dividend tax raid, what has the Chancellor got against small investors? And will the British Isa be any good? All that and more – plus a look at why Nationwide is buying Virgin Money and whether that’s good or bad for us all.
3/8/20241 hour, 7 minutes, 59 seconds
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Quick Budget reaction: Investing experts on the Chancellor's speech

On this bonus episode of the This is Money Podcast, Simon Lambert is joined by Charles Stanley Direct’s Lisa Caplan and Garry White for a quick run through what was in the Budget. Investment experts Lisa and Garry talk us through the main Budget points and what they mean for people. Join us on Friday for the full Budget episode where the This is Money Podcast team will dissect Jeremy Hunt's plan and reveal the devils uncovered in the details.
3/6/202416 minutes, 14 seconds
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Tale of the state pension underpaid for 20 YEARS

The debacle over widespread errors in the state pension that This is Money and Sir Steve Webb uncovered, continues. As of the end of October last year, DWP had paid out just under half a billion pounds to more than 80,000 people who’ve been underpaid. But what about those who have died? This week, Tanya Jefferies, Lee Boyce, Angharad Carrick and Georgie Frost reveal the case where a letter was sent to the daughter of an 100 year-old man three years after he passed away, stating he had been unpaid state pension for two decades. Yet, despite the letter – months later, she was left hanging on what the DWP was actually going to do about it.  And still on the state pension front, people continue to complain of top-ups chaos as the Government gets ready to launch a new online service next month. Sir Steve is calling on DWP and HMRC to get in more staff.    You don’t need HMRC to have more staff to answer your call, oh no! You just need to be a VIP. Apparently there is a helpline, also known as Public Department 1 (PD1) which answers calls nine times quicker. We explain more.  On the savings front, the FCA is launching a campaign to encourage savers to shop around – and if you rushed to sign up for a one-year fixed-rate cash Isa this time in 2023, Lee explains why you must act. Optional and mandatory service charges at hospitality venues – Georgie, Ang and Lee give their verdict.  And finally the price of bitcoin jumped beyond $60,000 this week. What’s behind the latest cryptocurrency surge? 
3/1/202453 minutes, 25 seconds
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Will we get Budget tax cuts... or be disappointed?

2/23/20241 hour, 8 minutes, 33 seconds
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The UK is in recession but does that matter (and could things be about to get better)?

It's finally happened. After months of will-we, won't-we speculation, the UK economy has finally succumbed to recession. The ONS revealed this week that a drop in GDP in the final three months of 2023 meant that Britain had racked up two consecutive of negative growth - and thus the dreaded R word is here. But is this a bad one, why does the term 'technical recession' keep being bandied about and do these backward-looking figures mask things already getting better? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert look at what recession means for the UK and you. Plus, who are the villains among big banks and building societies when it comes to sky-high standard variable rates for mortgage borrowers and is it them or the customers themselves to blame if somone ends up paying almost 10 per cent interest? Also on the show, the customer turned down for a switching bonus by HSBC because they had a Midland account 21 years ago. And finally, electric car sales aren't growing as fast as the government or car makers want. Does that mean it's time to drive a bargain?
2/16/202452 minutes, 50 seconds
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Interview: Sir Stelios on how he launched easyJet - and backing young entrepreneurs

In this special bonus This is Money podcast episode, Simon Lambert speaks to easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou. Sir Stelios tells the story of how he launched easyJet his easyGroup of companies - and how allowing others to build companies using the easy brand works. He also explains why he is backing entrepreneurs under the age of 35 with his Stelios Philanthropic Foundation awards and giving away £150,000 to the successful winner.
2/13/202414 minutes, 58 seconds
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Will you be able to afford a comfortable retirement?

The cost of a comfortable retirement has jumped over the past year - but what do you need to get one and will you get there? As the Pension and Lifetime Savings Association updates its annual look at how much income people need for a basic, moderate or comfortable retirement, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert take a look at what this all means for you. If a comfortable retirement costs a couple £59,000 a year and a moderate one £43,000, which one do you have a chance of achieving - and are there any important bits being left out of the costs? The team look at the cost of retiring, why it might not be as expensive as it first looks, how to invest for retirement and what sort of back up the state pension will provide. Plus, why our real top rate of income tax is 60 per cent - and it's not the highest earners hit by it on their next pay rise - and is there any hope that Jeremy Hunt will be the Chancellor who finally does something about it. The case for not just cutting stamp duty but getting rid of it altogether. And an interview with a modern-day business legend. Simon speaks to easyJet and easyGroup founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ionnou about how he started the airline and built it up and his Young Entrepreneur awards.
2/9/20241 hour, 3 minutes, 28 seconds
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Why would the Bank of England cut rates this year?

The Bank of England held base rate once again at 5.25 per cent, the fourth hold in succession – but this time, it was a genuine split by MPC members. So, when will we start seeing rates fall – and will inflation really be at the target 2 per cent by April? This week, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss what another interest rate pause means for you – and what that means for savings and mortgage rates, along with investors. Where do you stand on the smart meter debate? With This is Money readers getting in touch to say they’re stuck with faulty devices, are they worth having? Lee says he still has no plans to get one of the marmite devices while Simon believes they can be worth it, especially for those who are rubbish at submitting meter readings. We also go back to school and have a maths lesson from Mr Lambert to reveal the six real world calculations you should have in your arsenal to improve your financial health. And we get on the money therapist’s couch to discuss the pitfalls of getting - and over-using - a joint bank account… should a partner ever be made to feel guilty for spending?
2/2/202458 minutes, 45 seconds
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Why has Britain fallen behind on getting richer?

Britain's disposable income has dropped substantially over the past 14 years compared to where it should be, according to a new report this week. The Centre for Cities said that the average household's disposable income has fallen £10,000 behind where it would have been if pre-2010 growth rates had been maintained. On average we have got better off, but we are well below what would have been expected. On this episode of the This is Money podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at what the problems could be, why aren't we getting richer quicker, why are we falling behind our international peers and what can be done. Plus, while our living standards arent rapidly accelerating, house prices have and the average seller made more than £100,000 last year - is property inflation and the slowing in disposable income growth linked? Simon, thinks it's part of the problem. Savings rates have started to slip, so do dividend-paying investment trusts yielding 5 per cent or more look like an attractive move. And finally, some tips on how to make the most of Avios points - but who on the team is the Avios winner and who is the self-described Avios loser.
1/26/20241 hour, 7 minutes
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You can bag a £10k heat pump discount... would that tempt you to get one?

The Government wants us to get heat pumps fitted in our homes and it's offering up to £7,500 for us to do so. Now Worcester Bosch is bumping that up by an extra £2,500 - if you pick one of theirs of course. But with the devices cost between £8,000 to £30,000 to buy and fit, would it tempt you? Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Lee Boyce reveal all... and talk the 'boiler tax'. Is inflation back on the rise? How worried should we be by the latest figures? And where next for interest rates? And millions face a big price hike for their mobile and broadband from March. Isn't it time these inflation-busting mid-contract increases were banned? Also today…following campaigning by This is Money for years for fair treatment for parents who do not qualify for child benefit, parents denied state pension credits WILL get them. Tanya Jefferies explains all you need to know. Tanya also talks about a bungled handover to a new administrator that has left BAE Systems retirees suffering drastic cuts of up to 50 per cent in their pensions. And Crane is on the Case, this time over a robot vacuum cleaner...
1/19/20241 hour, 58 seconds
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Should you stick your money in Premium Bonds, a savings account or invest?

After a good year for Premium Bonds when the only way was up for the prize fund rate, savers got a blow this week as a cut arrived. The prize fund rate is being cut to 4.4 per cent from 4.65 per cent.   That edges the average return - which you may or may not get - from Premium Bonds further below the best savings deals, so should you save instead? Or would many Premium Bond holders be better off investing? On this podcast episode, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert discuss whether Premium Bonds stack up. Plus, as the US securities regulator aproves bitcoin ETFs, is the price now headed for $200,000 as some suggest, or could this be enticing more naive investors into the volatile world of crypto that's been dogged by fraud? Later, Lee reveals his car insurance woes - and shares tips on how to deal with your own renewal quite pain. And finally, find out who on the podcast team is not drinking for January, who is taking an extremely haphazard approach to it, and who is planning to go all the way to Easter, as we discuss the no and low-alcohol beer boom and the ones we rate the best.
1/12/20241 hour, 2 minutes, 4 seconds
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Is the taxman really going after Ebay sellers?

Have you ever sold anything on Ebay, Vinted or Facebook Marketplace to make a bit of extra cash? Those who do may have been worried this week, as news that the websites will now be required to report sellers' activities to the taxman caused panic online.  So what are the rules - and is HMRC really going after people who sell the odd frock or mobile phone?  In this week's episode, Lee Boyce, Helen Crane and Georgie Frost explain what's really happening, how to tell if you are a 'trader' - and why most people having a clear-out of their old clothes won't need to worry.  Mortgage lenders have started 2024 with a bang, with the likes of HSBC, NatWest and TSB announcing rate cuts left, right and centre.  There is now a five-year fix with a rate of 3.94 per cent - so what does that tell us about how low the base right might go this year, and will these cheaper home loans start to drive up house prices again?  As we get back to reality after the festive break, we are also approaching Divorce Day. The first working Monday of the year is supposedly when unhappy couples are most likely to call it quits.  If that is you, we are on hand to explain what you need to know about splitting your property, pension and more with an ex.  Finally, Lee, Helen and Georgie discuss what they learned about their finances in 2023 - and the mistakes they won't be making again this year.  
1/5/202454 minutes, 6 seconds
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Will investors have a good year in 2024 - and what do they need to look out for?

12/22/202357 minutes, 46 seconds
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How fast will interest rates fall - and where's the new normal?

The Bank of England has reached the peak with interest rates in this cycle. That's the firm view of the markets and most analysts, despite three members of the nine-strong Monetary Policy Committee disagreeing and voting for a rate hike this week. The question has now shifted from how high will rates go, to when will they be cut? The boldest predictions are for more than 1 per cent to be shaved off the base rate next year. Does that fit with the Bank's 'hawkish hold' of the base rate this week?  On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at what next for interest rates both here and in the US - and whether markets are running away with themselves. Plus, two years after they finally started to properly rise what does heading back to a point where rates may fall mean for borrowers, savers and investors? Also on this week's show, is it better to use the central heating or an electric heater, the 'better' plan for a state pension triple-lock replacement, and the reasons Lee wants you to get in touch. And make sure you listen to find out why the team want to know how long your kettle takes to boil...
12/15/202359 minutes, 17 seconds
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Will mortgage rates keep falling and is the crisis over?

12/10/202359 minutes, 48 seconds
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The pandemic start-up that can turn your floorplan into a grand design: Bonus interview with Peek Home's founders

We love the idea of transforming our homes so much that an entire cottage TV industry has sprung out of it, ranging from Grand Designs, to Ugly House to Lovely House and Your Home Made Perfect.  For Jaemi and Roly Glancy sketching out how they could renovate their properties turned into a start-up helping others envisage what they could do with theirs. In this bonus podcast episode, Simon Lambert of This is Money, speaks to Roly about how they started the business and where it's going.
12/4/202317 minutes, 48 seconds
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What drives you mad about going to the shops?

12/1/20231 hour, 4 seconds
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Will the mixed bag Autumn Statement boost your wealth?

The Autumn Statement was the definition of a mixed bag. There was a National Insurance cut, but the stealth income tax raid continued. The Isa system got an improvement, but the allowance remained frozen. Meanwhile, the triple lock was delivered along with a pension pot-for-life plan but inheritance tax remains firmly uncut at 40 per cent, with all its weird quirks intact. So, was that an Autumn Statement to fire Britain on to growth, as the Chancellor claimed, or a damp squib? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert dive into the details to reveal what the Autumn Statement means for you and the economy. From the Office of Budget Responsibility forecasts, to being allowed multiple Isas and the seemingly mad plan of allowing family homes to be easily converted to flats, the team take the measure of Jeremy Hunt’s plans. And they look ahead to whether there will be more tax cuts to come in the Budget – and whether Britain’s stealth tax and marginal tax trap mess will ever get sorted.
11/24/202356 minutes, 7 seconds
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Autumn Statement: What would you do if you were Chancellor for the day?

The Autumn Statement arrives next week and the rumour mill has gone into overdrive. The idea of it being a simple update on the economy seems to have been abandoned and instead there is talk of an Isa overhaul, tax changes, and even inheritance tax being cut from 40 per cent to 20 per cent. But if you were Chancellor for the day, what would you do? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at what could be on the cards as Jeremy Hunt stands up and delivers his Autumn Statement next week. On the agenda: Stealth tax - will the income tax freeze end? Inheritance tax - will the rate be cut to 20%? Isas - will the allowance be boosted and the system improved? Savings - could the personal savings allowance get a rise? 
11/17/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 14 seconds
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How to turn your work pension into a moneyspinner and boost your pot

We all know pensions are important but most of us rarely engage with them. Yet, with a little bit of time and effort, you can get your work pension working as hard as possible for you - and at some point in the future you will be very glad you did so. On this episode of the This is Money podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert talk pensions: why you should start early, the reason that it involves free money, how to invest for a richer retirement many years down the line and much more. Also on the agenda, what happens if you get stuck in a mortgage with your ex, why is Lee so annoyed at a sneaky insurance tax that swiftly adds up and can M&S's sales and share price resurgence continue? And finally, listen to the end if you want to find out where Lee buys his socks and Georgie gets her underwear.
11/10/20231 hour, 5 minutes, 18 seconds
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Have interest rates peaked - and what happens next?

Have interest rates peaked? After an inflation spike rudely awoke them from their slumbers, the Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve have shown us that rate hiking can be a difficult habit to break. But 14 consecutive rate rises into an astonishing run from 0.1 per cent to 5.25 per cent for the base rate, the Bank of England suddenly paused six weeks ago. And then, on Thursday, it did it again. On both of those occasions, the Fed had also just done the same thing across the Atlantic. So, are we finally there? When does a pause become a peak? And if we have reached the top of the interest rate cycle, what happens next? On this episode of This is Money podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert look at the decision to hold rates again and what it means for savers, mortgage borrowers and investors. Plus, what are Andrew Bailey’s Bank of England and Jay Powell’s Fed telling us about their respective economies – and how divergent are the paths of the UK and US? Also on this episode, Crane on the Case digs into a how an entirely explainable and obvious error somehow led to a reader facing more than £8,000 of fines and Transport for London refusing to budge… until we stepped in. Plus, some previous high-flying investment trusts are going cheap, so is this the time to invest? Simon takes a look. And finally, what have the Premium Bonds and a pop quiz on number one hits in 2000 and 2008 got to do with each other? Listen to the end if you want to find out why you need to know that the UK number one in February 2008, was Duffy singing Mercy.
11/3/202352 minutes, 53 seconds
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Pension blunders and why a bond spike is worrying investors

10/28/202353 minutes, 50 seconds
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How much will frozen income tax bands suck out of your pay packet?

Wages are up, but inflation is… the same. What does it all mean for mortgage rates, the state pension, benefits and the economy generally?   One thing we know won’t be affected by the latest figure is income tax bands. Just how much is the big freeze – AKA fiscal drag - going to cost us? That’s on the agenda for Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost this week as the latest CPI reading stuck at 6.7 per cent.  At the start of the year, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak set the target to halve inflation by the end of 2023.   And it was looking promising. But this latest inflation figures might have thrown a bit of spanner into the works. What’s going on at Royal Mail? Some households say they are only receiving their post once a week. Hospital appointment letters, birthday cards, parcels and important bills have all gone missing in delays caused by a staffing crisis. In Brighton, households say they’re receiving mail as infrequently as just once a fortnight. Picking an estate agent to sell your home is so important. A good agent will make finding your buyer seem like a breeze. Choose the wrong one and it can cause untold stress, drag the whole process out and you could end up being forced to reduce your asking price and ultimately sell for less. So how do you pick a good ‘un? And just what is gazundering – and why is it back with a vengeance?  The new Tesla Model 3 arrives on our fair shores in January - but how much will it cost and is it any good? If it proves to be out of your budget range what about Citroen's new e-C3, set to start from around £17,000  And…range anxiety is real - so would you take an EV on a continental road trip? Paul Barker, motoring journalist of decades, gave it a go and diarised it for you...
10/20/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 2 seconds
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How much further could house prices fall?

House prices will continue to fall, says an influential poll of estate agents.  The latest survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that buyer demand is declining and fewer homes are coming to the market. Meanwhile, Halifax’s latest house price figures show a £14,000 drop compared to the recent peak in August 2022 and 4.7 per cent fall in the year to the end of September, the largest since 2009.  So, how much further could they fall and are buyers in danger of trying to time the market? Will there be a big pause before a general election next year? Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Lee Boyce discuss the age old favourite of house prices. This week has also seen the Bank of England sound the alarm over 35 year mortgages – should we be concerned? Skipton Building Society launches a headline mortgage rate of 3.35 per cent. What’s the catch? It comes as its rival Nationwide has new best buy home loan rates. Could mortgage deals continue to fall? And we look at the top up-and-coming areas for first-time buyers: Does your area make the cut? Spoiler: it features Hull, Middlesbrough and Ipswich. DIY investors went on a gilt-buying spree in September - shunning the stock market and savings accounts.  The UK government bonds were paying as little as 0.125 per cent last month – so why were they getting involved?  Hargreaves Lansdown is launching a basic, no-frills pension for those who want an easy way to invest for retirement but aren’t quite sure how to get started. They are the first Sipp provider to give details after regulators said they had to offer customers a 'default' option by the start of December. Will it make Sipps sexy enough to the self-employed?  Shrinkflation, bogus loyalty card savings and variable prices in supermarkets... we’re fed up with the lot of them. Are you? 
10/13/202357 minutes, 41 seconds
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Will your energy bills rise this winter despite a falling price cap?

Inflation is easing, food prices are coming down from their peak and the energy price cap dropped last weekend. But you are still paying around 10 per cent more for your groceries now than last year, petrol prices are rising, mortgage rates are still high, and you may end up paying more for your gas and electricity this winter too. But how is that possible? This week, Angharad Carrick, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Helen Crane tackle energy bills and look at who might be paying more in the next three months. And when it comes to water bills, some firms are looking at charging 44 per cent more over the next seven years. Why? Crane on the Case this week tackles a parking charge issued after someone waited too long in a McDonald’s drive-thru queue. Despite that, Helen managed to get a positive result – but why are so many parking charges being dished out every day, and where is the promised government help to stop it happening. Lee gives you a run through of another busy week in the world of savings and banking. NS&I has pulled its best buy one year fix paying 6.2 per cent; NatWest has a secret top 5.2 per cent easy-access deal; Moneybox is offering the top cash Isa of 5 per cent; and Starling Bank is now offering to pay you for having a current account. It’s also been a hairy week for Metro Bank – but we explain why FSCS has you covered. And finally…the list of the UK's 'perfect' retirement locations has been revealed - and there are some surprising names on it, including the Outer Hebrides. Consumer group Which? has taken retirees' wish-lists for their later-life locations to work out its own grouping of the 12 top places to spend your golden years. But does it tally up to what you think is a perfect retirement location?
10/6/202355 minutes, 37 seconds
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Could the most hated tax in Britain be axed?

It’s been called the most hated tax in Britain - but only four per cent of people pay it. You could be forgiven for thinking inheritance tax is something only the super-rich need to worry about.  But thanks to rising house prices and an increasing desire to transfer wealth between generations, more and more people are being drawn into the net. It happens not only when someone is left property or other assets from someone's estate, but also when they accept a gift from someone who passes away before the 'seven year rule' tax exemption kicks in.   The IFS says that that four per cent could become 12 per cent within a decade. And many of those who will never pay inheritance tax still hate the idea that the Government is taking a big cut of the wealth people have worked hard to build up over their lifetime.  So it might come as welcome news that Rishi Sunak is reported to be considering cutting the tax, or even scrapping it altogether, as a potential vote-winner ahead of the next election. What’s wrong with inheritance tax, how could it be made fairer - and could the Government really just get rid of it? Simon Lambert, Helen Crane and Georgie Frost discuss. That’s not the only plan the Government is said to be hatching for our finances. It’s also reported that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt wants to increase the £20,000 annual allowance for saving into an Isa - but only for those who use it to invest money into companies listed on the ailing London Stock Exchange. The team consider what puts people off stocks and shares Isas, whether the rules are too restrictive for the way we manage our money today, and whether encouraging people to pour money into a market which has had a bit of a tough time of late is a good idea. Plus, it’s a year since the disastrous mini-Budget which rocked the mortgage market.  With a raft of reductions from big lenders this week, could rates on home loans finally be turning a corner now the base rate has been put on ice? And finally, we discuss whether the time might finally have come to commit to a fixed rate on your energy bills.
9/29/202346 minutes, 11 seconds
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Have interest rates peaked and what next for savings and mortgages?

9/22/202351 minutes, 22 seconds
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Podcast cut: How young workers can boost their pension (and maybe double their money)

This is Money's Simon Lambert gives his tips for young pension savers on how to give their retirement fund a big boost - and in some instances double the pot they end up with.
9/19/20232 minutes, 12 seconds
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Should we keep the triple lock or come up with a better pension plan?

If the triple lock is stuck to, the state pension should rise by 8.5 per cent next April. That will be an inflation-busting rise but a promise is a promise - and the triple lock is meant to be a cast iron guarantee that the state pension will rise by either 2.5 per cent, average wages, or inflation. Except it's already been unpicked once and arguing about whether the government can wriggle out of it has become an annual event. It's expensive and paid for by current workers, but the triple lock has improved the state pension - and one day those workers should get that payout themselves. Yet, has it run its course and is it time for a better policy than the triple lock? On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Sam Barker and Simon Lambert debate the triple lock and whether to keep it. Plus, why is Facebook Marketplace such a wild west for consumers and what happened when we tried to set up our own (fake) scam? Santander's cracking 5.2 per cent easy access savings deal was pulled this week. The team discuss whether another account will come close in future and why those who signed up to This is Money's savings alerts didn't miss out. And finally, a reader has viewed 40 homes for sale but not found one they like. What should they do?
9/15/202344 minutes, 20 seconds
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Should we gift every newborn £1,000 to invest?

Every child could receive a pot of £1,000 at birth to be channelled into long-term investments in UK growth under proposals to give the young a leg up and revive a ‘stagnant’ economy. The idea of a ‘New Generation Trust’ is part of a package of reforms that could add £225billion to the economy, says a report by the City of London Corporation. A £1,000 payment to all newborn children would need to be invested - and it is claimed this could provide long-term capital for UK PLC.  It revives memories of the Child Trust Fund scheme launched by Gordon Brown two decades ago, and later scrapped by George Osborne – and that hasn’t exactly been a roaring success. This week, Lee Boyce, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost discuss the merits of the idea – and why whether this happens or not parents should start building a pot for children as early as possible. It’s been another exciting week for savings – Santander has a new best buy easy-access deal, Moneybox has launched a top cash Isa and First Direct is offering five prizes of £12,500 for those who switch current account – including a £175 bonus for doing so. Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has been speaking in front of MPs at the Treasury Select Committee about base rate – are we close to the peak? House prices saw their biggest slump since 2009 according to Halifax, with the average home falls £14,000 in a year – chiming with similar data from Nationwide. And finally, electric cars are slumping in value – many models have lost 30 per cent or more in a year. Is now the time to buy, and what on earth is going on?
9/8/20231 hour, 5 seconds
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Are you on track for a comfy retirement and do you really need a £600k pot?

Inflation has been ravaging our finances, but it is also threatening our future.  According to new research, if you want a comfortable retirement, you need to build a pot of nearly £600,000. The rising cost of living requires an extra £4,200 a year to maintain the same lifestyle as in spring last year - which means you have to save another £69,000 in all. This week, Tanya Jefferies, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Helen Crane delve into pensions, as separate research shows more than half of people saving into one believe they will never put away enough to stop working when they get older. What can you do? Tanya reveals how to invest your pension and live off it in retirement. One thing that isn’t going to help your retirement funds is forking out to help your kids get on the property ladder. But that is exactly what is happening at the moment and in huge numbers. Financial aid is expected to support almost half of all homes purchased by buyers under the age of 55 this year - totaling £8.1billion. Is tapping into the Bank of Mum and Dad fair? People who spent big sums on state pension top-ups are angry their cash has gone missing and they can't get answers out of HMRC or the Department for Work and Pensions – Tanya gives an important update. Lee runs the rule over the new 6.2 per cent one-year fixed-rate from National Savings and Investments, alongside four savings trends gleaned from a new Bank of England report. Helen reveals the four pressures landlords are facing as more of them opt to sell up. And lastly, are you suffering from dogflation, catflation or any kind of petflation? And how can you bite back?
9/1/202350 minutes, 42 seconds
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Where would YOU put money for five years? This is Money podcast

Many people may be feeling in a state of financial flux at the moment and wondering where to put their money. And it's not an easy choice. Savings rates have improved, gold is holding steady, but property prices are slipping and stocks are sticky. And that is just some of the myriad of options Britons are contemplating right now, alongside other areas such as overpaying the mortgage or saving for retirement. So, where would you put your money for the next five years? That’s the question the This is Money team put to the experts – and our readers – with a mixed response. Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Lee Boyce reveal what they told us, the results of a reader poll and how they’re grappling with these big financial decisions. Could unloved and cheap investment trusts be the answer? Simon runs the rule. Premium Bonds have been boosted again – Lee reveals why they are giving them a headache. And NS&I have boosted its green savings deal to 5.7 per cent. Is it a good deal now? Elsewhere, Ofgem has announced the new energy price cap for October 2023 will be £1,923. What does it mean for households – and why are many still facing higher bills this winter regardless? Loyal listeners may might remember a few years ago predictions from a chap called Fred Harrison - a housing market crash in 2026. The British author and economic commentator identified the 18-year property cycle and believes it can accurately predict the next house price crash. But have today's inflation and high mortgage rates thrown the cycle off track? And property prices have become less expensive relative to average earnings, according to new data – but there’s a sting in the tail: higher mortgage rates mean homes are now LESS affordable. Finally, would you pay £25million for a car?
8/26/20231 hour, 11 minutes, 53 seconds
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Have we turned the corner on high inflation or it could it bounce back?

8/18/202343 minutes, 33 seconds
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Mortgage mayhem has stalled but what happens next?

After months of mortgage mayhem some better news finally arrived this week with major lenders delivering a slew of hefty rate cuts. Halifax, Nationwide, and NatWest have all delivered big chops to their home loans, with analysts saying that we may be past the moment of peak panic in the mortgage market. That’s the silver lining to a very dark cloud though, as mortgage rates are far higher than they have been in recent years and almost all of those whose fixes come up for renewal will face paying much more. So if this is the end of Mortgage Mayhem Part 2 (the uncalled for sequel to Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s original instalment), what happens next? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert survey the wreckage of the past few months and look at what could come next for mortgage rates and homeowners? With higher rates here for the foreseeable future, they also discuss what this means for people’s finances and how mortgage hikes are likely to eat most people’s pay rises and then some. Simon explains why after such a long period of stagnant real wages, this is a major problem. In cheerier news, Premium Bonds have had another big bump up in the prize rate, so are they now a no-brainer? (For those listening to the podcast and looking for it, here is the link to our Premium Bonds winning stats piece Simon mentions). Plus, what is the tale of good customer service that Simon has returned from holiday with? And finally, how did Helen go viral with an old carrier bag?
8/11/202350 minutes, 40 seconds
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Taxman customer service troubles unmasked and probate problems in the spotlight

8/4/202352 minutes, 54 seconds
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Energy firms rapped for bad customer service... while still making mega profits

Energy firms have had their feet held to the fire this week. The industry as a whole has been blasted by the regulator Ofgem over poor customer service, while our investigation revealed that 200 customers don't think Ovo has been billing them properly. Meanwhile, British Gas has been in the spotlight for its bumper profits, which jumped by a whopping 889 per cent for the first half of this year.  These firms are certainly making plenty of money - so should they be spending more of it to help their customers? Lee Boyce, Helen Crane and Georgie Frost ask why things are going so wrong, and what people can do if they don't think they are being billed correctly.  We also look at what's going on with bank accounts. Crisis-hit Natwest is winning the switching battle thanks to its tasty cash incentives, and it’s not just Farage being 'de-banked'. We hear the story of one vulnerable couple who were left unable to pay bills and buy food after HSBC closed their account. Inheritance tax has also been in the news, as there are noises it might be scrapped - but the Treasury are raking in even more money from it. Will it go? Finally, we explain what blended families need to know about making a will - after one woman was forced to bid for her late mother's belongings at auction when her stepfather amended their mirror wills after she had died.  
7/28/202349 minutes, 34 seconds
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Inflation eases to 7.9% - what does that mean for mortgage and savings rates?

Earlier in the week, the consumer prices index measure of inflation fell by more than expected thanks to a fall in transport and food prices. It eased to 7.9 per cent in June, a bigger drop than expected, according to the Office for National Statistics.  This was the lowest CPI rate since March 2022 when inflationary pressures began to amplify the headline figure. So what does that mean for the typical household and for potential future base rate rises? Lee Boyce, Sam Barker and Georgie Frost delve into CPI and what that means for mortgages and savers. And on the note of savers, two pieces of data this week point to a mixed picture for our financial resilience.  On one hand, a survey suggests one in three people do not have enough savings for an emergency - and on the other, that a third of savers are earning 1 per cent or less, and for some that's on five figure pots. If inflation does stay sticky, pensioners could see a big rise in in the state pension - if politicians keep the 'triple lock' pledge. Data suggests that by 2030, the annual state pension figure is likely to be between £13,000 and £14,000. Before you head off on holiday, we reveal the cruel new scams you need to know about. And… bitcoin to surge to $120,000 by the end of 2024 according to one major bank. How likely is that and why does one expert think it's nonsense.
7/21/202346 minutes, 47 seconds
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Do you really want your pension invested in risky unlisted companies?

7/17/202352 minutes, 1 second
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Could your bank really close YOUR current account with little warning?

Banks have come into the firing line this week over current account closures and slowness to pass on base rate rises to savers. Nigel Farage claims his bank shut his current account over his Brexit views – the former politician has been vocal on Twitter about his treatment by Coutts, while the exclusive bank with a high net wealth clientele has fired back. So, can banks realistically do that to you? Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Lee Boyce tell you all the reasons your bank can close your current account – and what to do if it happen to you. And on the same day big bank bosses faced a grilling from the FCA about paying savers fairly, Lloyds, Halifax and HSBC hike rates – coincidence? Savings deals have been rocketing in recent months, experts give their views on whether we’re at a peak – or if there is further still to go for savers. With savings rates rising, many are questioning whether to bother investing - one thinktank reckons Britons are ploughing far too much into cash instead of investing. How do the figures stack up? And finally… would you pay into your partner’s pension? A spouse can pay into their partner's pension while they are not working to ensure they do not miss out financially in later life, but is it a wise move?
7/7/202350 minutes, 9 seconds
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Podcast extra: How investors can back AI - Simon Lambert speaks to Sam North

Artificial intelligence has burst into the headlines over the past year and generated excitement among investors. But as with any exciting new technology that has generated a lot of hype, there will be pitfalls for investors along the way.  If you want to invest in the AI revolution, what other companies could benefit and what do you need to consider. This is Money's Simon Lambert speaks to eToro’s Sam North to find out more.
7/7/20234 minutes, 51 seconds
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Energy price cap falling and savings rates race past the 6% barrier

There has been plenty of doom and gloom in recent months – and today, we go searching for cheerier news. The energy price cap will fall from the weekend, plunging to £2,074 – below the £2,500 set Energy Price Guarantee from the Government. So, what should you be doing to prepare – and what does that mean for your usage? Will we soon see the return of fixed tariffs? This week Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Lee Boyce discuss the new price cap, along with a sneaky move from a major energy supplier to stop quarterly billing. Mortgage rates are rising – that's not good news for homeowners coming up to remortgage. However, there is some good news… This is Money has a new Navigate the Mortgage Maze column written by L&C broker David Hollingworth. We reveal what the column is all about and details of the first one, which covers a question on many lips: how do I overpay and take advantage of a low fixed rate as much as possible? There has been a flurry of new saving deals, with the top rates now nudging past 6 per cent – challenger banks are driving the rises, but even bigger banks are boosting some deals. Personalised licence plates on cars have surged in popularity – but why? And what makes one worth a five-figure sum? Can you live without sat nav, parking sensors, heated seats and a… CD player in your car? A new survey reveals the motoring gadgets we can't live without. We talk about the scammer turned good who is worried about AI and fraud. And what money stories did Helen bring back from her Glastonbury adventure?
6/30/202359 minutes, 1 second
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Was hiking interest rates again the right move or is the Bank of England in panic mode?

6/23/202349 minutes, 43 seconds
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Mortgage mayhem, savings frenzy: What on earth is going on?

The mortgage market is mayhem, with lenders pulling deals and rapidly hiking rates. Average fixed mortgage rates have soared over the past month and we are now at the stage where it looks a lot like the panic after the mini-Budget. At the same time savings rates are going gangbusters and there is barely a day that passes without a new best buy. Meanwhile, UK gilt yields have also leapt, sending the UK’s borrowing costs even higher. What on earth is going on? On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert dive in and try to explain why the sudden inflation-driven chaos has kicked off and what borrowers and savers can do. What should you do if you need a mortgage? Is this a prime time to grab a savings deal or should you wait for better rates? How does it compare to the double-digit rates days of the 1980s?  What does this mean for the economy? Are we all doomed? Or will this pass? Listen to the podcast to find out their views and get tips on how to sort your mortgage and savings.
6/17/202347 minutes, 2 seconds
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Money for nothing: Is universal basic income a good idea?

Universal basic income is a controversial idea and not just because it's money for nothing. Paying everyone a set amount every month as a baseline level of income has intrigued economists and central bank geeks for years. Supporters say it has the power to improve physical and mental health and the economy and society, but critics say it's the start of a slippery slope to state dependency and control. A new proposed trial for 30 people in the UK to get £1,600 a month has put the topic back on the agenda. So is universal basic income a good or bad idea? Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert discuss it on this podcast episode. Also on this week's show:  Why aren't our energy bills lower if wholesale prices have plummeted? What can you do if you are caught in the mortgage storm? And finally, which UK shares have done best and worst this year, so far?
6/9/202353 minutes, 16 seconds
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Inflation-busting savings rates of 9% and cash Isas back in the sun as billions pour into them

Forget 5 per cent savings rates. Forget 7 per cent. A new regular savings deal has landed paying a headline-grabbing 9 per cent. But, is it actually a good deal? Saffron Building Society aren't the only savings provider pumping up rates, with fixed-rates now hitting 5.25 per cent. And cash Isas are back with a bang with a record amount poured into tax-free accounts in March and April. That comes as more savers look to shield their money from the taxman, with more potentially busting their Personal Savings Allowance this year. On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Helen Crane discuss all things savings and why people should be tracking down better rates. The debate moves on to housing, with one property price index suggesting an annual value fall of 3.4 per cent. So what's going on? Mortgage deals are being pulled left, right and centre and the amount borrowed in new mortgages dips a record low. Where is it all heading? Plus, Lee argues that tech giant Meta needs to listen to big banks and take the huge volume of social media scams more seriously. Helen gives a big update on her Crane on the Case column and the great dishes debate finally resolved: Is it cheaper to wash up by hand or use a dishwasher?
6/2/202358 minutes, 46 seconds
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When will energy bills fall, and could the fixed tariff finally be making a return?

We had some good news this week about our energy bills - or did we? Ofgem's price cap is coming down - saving households around £400 a year on average. The last 18 months have been horrendous for households, so bad the Government had to step in in October and introduce a price freeze - but that was still double what the typical bill payer would have had to fork out a year previously. And although the cap is coming down, the removal of Government grants means most people will actually only be saving about £19 per month, or £225 per year. So what will we have to pay when the new cap starts in July, will bills keep going down, and when will energy companies start under-cutting the price cap with fixed tariffs again? On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert discuss when energy bills might go back to 'normal', and whether we should jump on fixed deals when they return, or treat them with caution. We also got the latest UK inflation figures this week. Despite a not insignificant drop from 10.1 per cent to 8.7 per cent in April, experts are pricing in another interest rate rise - and that is down to a surprise jump in something called core inflation. We explain what that is, and discuss just how high the base rate might go. Mortgage rates have also been on the rise, with major lender Nationwide hiking its fixed and tracker mortgage rates by up to 0.45 per cent among others. We look at why that is happening, and take in some advice from brokers on what those with a remortgage deadline coming up should do. But with bad news for mortgage holders comes good news for savers, with easy-access rates edging ever closer to 4 per cent. We list the best buys. The US debt ceiling has also been in the news this week, with the two main parties engaged in a stand-off about whether it should be raised. If it isn't, the world's biggest economy could default on its debts - but what exactly would that mean, and how big is the risk? Finally, with warmer weather on the way we discuss the new phenomenon of 'campervanflation', and why the younger generation can't seem to get enough of the classic VW Camper.
5/26/202344 minutes, 43 seconds
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Should we stop dragging people into tax designed for the rich?

Almost five times as many people will soon be paying 40 per cent tax than in the early 1990s, when it was seen as a tax bracket reserved for the rich, the Institute for Fiscal Studies warned this week. It said that fiscal drag triggered by freezing the higher rate tax threshold would pull 7.8million people into its net by 2027. The study suggested that the threshold would have to be almost doubled from its current level, at £50,271, to almost £100,000 to return the tax band to the level intended for it. Alongside the report, came the IFS’s warning that 40 per cent tax had stopped being the preserve of high-earning professionals and was now hitting electricians, plumbers, teachers, nurses and more. The taxman nabbing 40p of every pound earned from a pay rise rather than 20p comes at a time when workers are running to stand still, with inflation at just above 10 per cent. So, is it time the government stopped taxing by stealth and using tools like fiscal drag – instead raising thresholds with inflation or wages? And is it time to hike the higher rate threshold and pull people back down to basic rate tax? On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert discuss the thorny issue of tax and who counts as wealthy. The debate moves on to inheritance tax – another levy designed for the very rich but now hitting the wealthy middle classes. Why is IHT so unpopular when most don’t pay it and does it need reform? Plus, how much have you lost to inflation, will you get Nationwide’s new £100 Fairer Share bung, and finally, would you buy food two years past its best before date for big savings?
5/19/202352 minutes, 19 seconds
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How high will interest rates go... and why are they still going up?

And there it was, another interest rate hike. Another quarter point move up seems almost commonplace now but cast your mind back to the era after the financial crisis and we had to wait nearly ten years for the base rate to climb above its 0.5 per cent 'emergency level'.  It cut got first and then base rate got all the way to the heady heights of 0.75 per cent, before it was cut again when Covid hit. Yet, less than 18 months since the Bank of England started raising rates in December 2021, base rate has rocketed from 0.1 per cent to 4.5 per cent. The rate itself is relatively low in historic terms, the magnitude of the rise is not. So, are the Bank's ratesetters right to keep voting for hikes, has the full pain been felt yet, and why would you do this when all the forecasts suggest inflation is soon to nosedive? On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Simon Lambert discuss the latest rate rise and how high interest rates will go. Plus, is the return of the 100 per cent mortgage absolute madness, a helping hand for trapped renters, or something in the middle of all that? Why people should claim pension credit or help their friends or relatives who could. And finally, not only will it lack the crisp one-liners of Succession, but an inheritance drama is not something you want to get into, so how can people avoid one?
5/12/202348 minutes, 42 seconds
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How can we build more homes and make them better?

A row over housebuilding has erupted again. Labour leader Keir Starmer has said he would bring back a 300,000 annual housebuilding target, after Rishi Sunak scrapped it.  Meanwhile, some backbench Tory MPs are reportedly unhappy about their party ditching that target in the first place – with the number having featured in the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto. At the same time Michael Gove has been cheered in many quarters for blocking a development in Kent, as it was deemed to be poor quality and ugly, but is now being taken to court by developer Berkeley Homes over the decision. So, what can we do about housebuilding and how do we get ourselves out of this mess – especially as the younger generation are squeezed out by high house prices and rents? On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert dig into the myriad problems with UK housebuilding and what can be done to build better homes that people want to buy and have near them. Is the answer just bringing back targets or is it more complicated than that? Is not wanting housing developments Nimbyism if there’s a failure to build well and deliver infrastructure? How can we convince local communities to back new housing? All this and more come up for debate. Also on the podcast:  If you are in the fortunate position of being able to buy a home but are worried about falling house prices and locking into high mortgage rates, what should you do? Sam North, of eToro, joins us for the latest market update, including the reaction to the Fed's latest rate rise. Will a new crackdown on scams finally stop the fraudsters? And finally, we said it was coming. The 5 per cent savings rate is back, but should you get one?
5/5/202348 minutes, 27 seconds
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Home improvement snakes and ladders: How to add value - and how to lose it

4/28/202346 minutes, 22 seconds
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It's got easier to win big on the Premium Bonds but should you invest?

Premium Bonds are a national institution and their prize-giving place in British savers' hearts was only cemented further through the low interest rate years. But now interest rates are on the rise and Premium Bonds offer not only the chance to win £1million but also a much better rate of return. The average prize fund rate on Premium Bonds has reached the heady heights of 3.3 per cent - going head-to-head with top easy access savings deals. But what many savers may not realise is that their chance of winning a big prize of £100,000 or £50,000 has got much better too. So, is it time to back Premium Bonds even further, or would you be better off with a standard savings account? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Sam Barker and Simon Lambert look at the numbers and the pros and cons. Plus, an even better return of up to 4.6 per cent is offered now by five year fixed rate savings accounts, but are they worth going for and choosing over stocks and shares? This week brought yet more news of annoyingly high inflation, as CPI stubbornly stuck above 10 per cent, but why are food prices still rising so rapidly, are supermarkets or producers cashing in, and what can you do about it? And finally, supermarkets have a new loyalty card wheeze - lower prices for those with them and more expensive groceries for those without. Sainsbury's Nectar Prices has followed Tesco's Clubcard Prices and now the Co-op has member prices too.  Is this enough to change Simon's mind on loyalty cards?
4/21/202350 minutes, 48 seconds
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How long should you fix your mortgage for - and what next for rates?

As if buying a home wasn’t enough of a lottery, borrowers are now facing a major gamble on their mortgage. Whether buying or remortgaging, they need to work out how long to fix for and try to assess what might happen next to interest rates. On the basis that even the world’s top economists and investors didn’t spot the past year’s sudden interest rate spike coming and can’t agree on what central banks will do next, that’s a tough task. Five-year fixed rates are cheaper than two-year fixed rates, but borrowers worry they risk locking in at higher rates for longer. Meanwhile, trackers are pricier but could fall if the base rate comes down, although there’s not much agreement on when the Bank of England will stop hiking or how swiftly it will lower rates when it eventually does. On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert discuss the great mortgage gamble and what people can do. Also on the show, the house price hotspots of the past decade – and why living in a place where home values has doubled may not be a good thing. Simon takes a look at UK shares, why they are considered cheap and whether they are a decent investment or not. Helen talks through her latest Crane on the Case and how it involved a loyal BA customer locked out of a staggering number of Avios points and getting a raw deal from the airline on sorting it out. And finally, here is a test of your age: how well do you remember the Ford Orion, Austin Maestro and Vauxhall Nova… and did you ever believe that one day they’d be classic cars?
4/14/202349 minutes, 51 seconds
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State pension goes above £10,000 - but has something got to give?

The state pension is getting a boost this week, meaning many pensioners will see their payments go above £200 per week or £10,000 per year for the first time.  The Government has also recently announced that it is delaying a decision on hiking up the state pension age to 68 until after the next election – perhaps influenced by protests across the channel.  Pension commentators said move would be 'incredibly unpopular', and likely 'political suicide'. Governments don’t like to upset retirees because they vote in high numbers – but maintaining the status quo is incredibly expensive. Has something ultimately got to give when it comes to the state pension age and maintaining the triple lock? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost is joined by Tanya Jefferies and Helen Crane to discuss. We also look at one lucky This is Money reader who is getting an even bigger rise, seeing his pension go up by more than 16 per cent. It sounds like great news – but he is wondering whether it means he has been short-changed in the past.  Elsewhere, research this week has shown Britons are still dragging their feet when it comes to making a will.  The team looks at why it’s important, how to do it – and why it isn’t just about money.  Etoro’s Sam North provides the latest update on the markets as we head into the long weekend.  We also discuss why broadband companies have been able to get away with ignoring instructions from regulator Ofcom to make switching easier for customers.  It told them two years ago that they needed to make it possible to swap providers in just one day – so why are most of us still left languishing without an internet connection for up to two weeks?    Finally, do you fancy a sabbatical from work to travel? Some big firms are offering the extended time off as a perk to long-serving staff – but would your boss let you go, and how would you afford it? 
4/6/202337 minutes, 30 seconds
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Can you beat the April bill hikes - and is it time we ditched the tax traps?

Just when you thought the cost of living crisis was meant to be on its way out another round of bill hikes are hitting. From council tax to mobile bills, seemingly every organisation wants another piece of your bank account - and some of the rises are even higher than inflation. Is there anything you can do about it? Could a bit of switching, planning and another round of cutting back on energy usage, shave some money off? And is there light at the end of the tunnel? On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert look at what's going up and how to fight it. Meanwhile, do you know how much tax you pay and are you in the firing line for Britain's worst tax traps? Ben Laidler, of eToro, delivers the latest update on the markets, after a much better week than the banking shakeout delivered last week. Plus if you haven't done it yet, what can you do to sort your Isa?
3/30/202346 minutes, 10 seconds
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Should we worry about the banks... and why raise interest rates now?

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water... A banking crisis has seemingly emerged out of nowhere, in a system that we've been told is stable, well capitalised and far from its parlous state when the credit crunch and financial crisis struck. So, what is going on and why did both the Federal Reserve in the US and the Bank of England see fit to raise interest rates this week? On this week's podcast Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert talk interest rates: whether we have hit the base rate peak, when they might fall, why central banks keep raising them and what the impact will be for savers, borrowers and investors. Plus, what's going on with the banks? Why the sudden wobble? What's it got to do with rising interest rates and government bonds? Is this just a shake-out taking out those that weren't very well run anyway, or something more dramatic? Also on the show, Simon explains why he thinks some people might need to sell some investments now. (But not for the reasons above.) And finally, are Pokémon cards really an investable asset? The This is Money team dived into the world of collecting hem this week, Simon explains what they found out.
3/24/202350 minutes, 45 seconds
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The Budget verdict: Pensions, childcare, energy bills and dodging recession

Jeremy Hunt had a spring in his step this week as he delivered his Budget.  It was a considerably different air to the gloomy warning of trouble ahead in his November Autumn Statement. The headline act was a major shake-up of pension saving rules, removing restrictions that limit the amount that can go in without tax penalties. The lifetime allowance was abolished rather than raised, the annual allowance got a big bump, and rules to stop pension recycling were eased. Was this a bung for the rich shovelling cash into their pension - and doctors - or a move that will help many more young professional savers aspiring to a decent retirement, who may not realise the lifetime limit could be hit? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert delve into the Budget and joining them to explain the pensions element is a special guest, This is Money's retirement columnist and ex-pensions minister Steve Webb. Also in the Budget was news on the economy, a ray of hope on energy bills, and a big expansion of free childcare... but it won't come in for some time.  The team look at all those elements and more. And finally, as the Budget claimed the headlines something else was rumbling on: a mini-banking crisis sparked by the Sillicon Valley Bank collapse. What is going on there and should we be worried?
3/17/202359 minutes, 9 seconds
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Can you trust the state pension system as more blunders emerge?

You'd like to imagine that when it came to the state pension, you'd be dealing with a more robust system than the ones that deliver the average customer service nightmare. Savers could be forgive for questioning whether that was the case after a string of recent blunders. First we had the underpaid women's state pensions scandal, now we have the pension top-ups system creaking at the seams, at the same time as it turns out there may be a serious problem with the records of those who have received Universal Credit. The common thread running through exposing these problems has been This is Money's pension and investing editor Tanya Jefferies and retirement columnist Steve Webb. They have worked tirelessly to help those affected and bring these issues to light. This week, we had a state pension double header of news with an admission of the problems over Universal Credit and the Government finally extending the deadline for boosting state pension via top-ups. On this podcast episode, Tanya talks us through the problems and discusses what they mean for people, with Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert. Also, the team talk about why you should put your savings in a cash Isa, where to find the best ones and why transfers might be the most important thing you can do. Plus, who are the Dividend Heroes, what have they got to do with the Rolling Stones and what can we learn from them on long-term investing? And finally, rising interest rates have severely hampered the amount of mortgage a monthly payment can buy, so, could you afford your home now?
3/10/202346 minutes, 36 seconds
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Are we on the verge of a house price crash?

3/3/202340 minutes, 59 seconds
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How to make the most of saving and investing into an Isa

There's not long left until the end of the tax year - and that means it is time to sort your Isa if you haven't already. This year's Isa allowance runs out as the tax year ticks over on 6 April and it pays to get everything you can into the tax-free shelter for savings and investments. But what are the important things you need to know, the tips for making the most of your Isa - and why does it matter more this year than it has done before. On this Isa saving and investing special podcast, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert talk all things Isas - from finding the best saving rates, to how to invest and how to boost your chance of investment success if you already have a stocks and shares Isa.
2/24/202358 minutes, 12 seconds
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Would you dispute an inheritance if you thought it was unfair?

Where there's a will, there's often a grumble... and potentially a full on dispute. The amount of money involved in inheritances derived from even modest homes these days can be life changing and when someone feels they have been unfairly cut out or not given their dues, arguments can ensue. There's been a sharp rise in inheritance disputes, but why are they occurring, what can you do to protect your legacy and would you argue if you thought you'd been treated unfairly? That's up for discussion on this week's podcast.  Plus, will energy switching make a return, how much has an energy saving drive actually saved Simon, why is the state pension top up system such a mess and have you got what it takes for financial independence and retiring early?
2/17/202353 minutes, 53 seconds
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Why is food inflation so high and when will it stop?

Inflation is theoretically running out of steam but there's one essential that's still going up in price rapidly: food. Even as energy prices and other recent highly inflationary items slow a bit, the cost of food seems to show no let up - with reports reporting inflation-busting rises. What is going on here? How much have food prices risen, why have they gone up so much, are supermarkets or brand-name makers profiteering, and will costs ever come back down? Georgie Frost, Angharad Carrick and Simon Lambert, delve into food prices on this week's podcast - and look at ways you could save money. Plus, mortgage rates are falling while the base rate is going up: why is that and what happens next? Should you invest in a VCT, not just for the juicy tax breaks but also for the investment opportunities on offer? And finally, we met the founders of Seatfrog to find out how they are helping passengers buy up unused first seats on trains at bargain prices and their plans for making train ticket-buying better.
2/10/20231 hour, 1 minute, 7 seconds
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Could this be the peak for interest rates - and what will it mean for you?

Are we nearly there yet? The Bank of England hiked interest rates again this week, adding 0.5 per cent to take base rate to 4 per cent. That’s a level that it was almost unthinkable we’d reach so quickly a year ago, but rates have gone up hard and fast. The questions now are will base rate stall and when will it come back down again? But while the Bank of England has sent rates up like a rocket, it’s forecast show that they will only fall like a feather. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Simon Lambert look at how likely those forecasts are to be correct and what this all means for the economy, mortgages, savings and first-time buyers. Also on the show, Tanya explains another potential state pension scandal that her and Steve Webb have uncovered and Steve joins the podcast to talk through it. Sam North, of eToro, gives us a market update and explains why investors have sent stock markets soaring at the start of 2023. The clock is ticking on the tax year and Simon explains why he thinks the next couple of months are vitally important for getting money into an Isa and potentially selling some investments to do so. And finally, do you love your tumble dryer? Many do but worry they can’t afford to run them. Fear not, help might be at hand.
2/3/202343 minutes, 57 seconds
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Will the Government raise state pension age to 68 sooner than planned - and what should those about to retire do about it?

Those aged between 43 and 54 may have been concerned by rumours this week that the Government is planning to increase the state pension age to 68 much sooner than planned.  Officially, the rise to 68 is set to happen between 2044 and 2046, but ministers allegedly want to bring forward the change to 2035 with the policy being floated for inclusion in the March Budget.  It comes as warnings have been sounded that those retiring in future decades generations will face a gap between the income that pension savings and the state pension will provide, and what they need to live even a moderate retirement.  This is Money's pensions and investment editor, Tanya Jefferies, deputy editor Helen Crane and host Georgie Frost discuss how likely this is to actually happen - and what pension savers could do to prepare for it.  We also look at mortgage rates which, having gone from all-time lows to unexpected highs in the last year and a half, could now be edging down past the 4 per cent mark.  Why have a raft of high street lenders cut their rates in recent days, and will they simply hike them back up again if the Bank of England decides to increase the base rate again next week?  And what should borrowers in the unenviable position of needing to remortgage at the moment be factoring in when they make their decision?  Another group set to be impacted by next week's base rate decision are savers. With NS&I having increased the interest rate on its ever-popular Premium Bonds from 1 per cent to 3.15 per cent in the space of a year, is that now the best place to keep your rainy day fund? EToro's Sam North also lets us know why next week is going to be a big one for the investment market.   Helen gives us the lowdown on which companies are doing right by their customers, and which are not. Once renowned for its tip top service (free coffee, anyone?) John Lewis has taken a battering in Money Mail's wooden spoon awards - but it also placed high on a separate survey of the firms that customers liked best. So what is going on?  Finally, we dish out some advice on how to spot bargains in charity shops, haggle down prices at car boot sales and then make money selling things on.
1/27/202339 minutes, 48 seconds
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Could an Isa tax raid really cap savings at £100,000? Plus Bank of Dave's Dave Fishwick on his Netflix hit

An astonishing idea for an Isa tax raid was outlined by the Resolution Foundation this week, with the proposal that tax-free savings and investments should be capped at £100,000. No more aspiring to be an Isa millionaire, it would be £100k and out under this plan. It said that the nominal money out toward not taxing Isa interest, gains and dividends should instead go in the direction of encouraging those without savings to build up a pot. Is that a good idea, would it be a fairer way of doing things, and is there any conceivable way this could actually happen? On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert discuss the proposal and whether it has any merits. Spoiler alert, Simon strongly disagrees and says this would also perpetuate even greater intergenerational unfairness. Find out why. Also on the show, the team delve into a new American Express and BA card that's been dubbed the best deal ever for Avios points, but are they worth collecting? Sam North, of eToro, joins us to talk through what's been going on in markets over the past week and why newly confident investors had their confidence shaken. Helen fills us in on a very depressing Crane on the Case where Scottish Widows only offered a reader £250 after they were denied their dying wish by its failure to pay out their pension on time. On a much lighter note, why have we been researching the bleeding obvious this week and testing whether putting a jumper on means you could really save money on your energy bills? And finally, we are joined by long-time friend of This is Money, Dave Fishwick, who talks to Simon about the Netflix movie about Bank of Dave and what it's like to see your life portrayed on screen.
1/20/202351 minutes, 20 seconds
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Will you be able to afford the retirement you want?

What do you picture in retirement? Is it an early exit from the rat race to travel the world, a gradual step back and a bit of golf, or working until state pension age and then spending some time treating the grandchildren? We will all have a different image in our heads of what our retirement years might look like, but whatever that is it is important to think about another question: could you afford to do those things? While most of us will be saving into a pension, we often have little idea how much income it will need to provide when we retire and how big the pot will need to be to do that. Stepping into that gap is the now regular report from the Pension and Lifetime Savings Association, which helps paint a picture of what a minimum, moderate and comfortable retirement would look like – and crucially what it would cost. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and This is Money’s pension and investment editor, Tanya Jefferies, delve into the report and look at what it found. How do those retirement standards translate into reality, how much will the state pension cover, how much on top of that will people need and why has the minimum retirement income rocketed 20 per cent – far above official inflation? Simon speaks to Sam North, of eToro, for our weekly market update, who explains how a bang on expectations US inflation figure was received and why the FTSE 100 has made a good start to the year. Later on the podcast, the team look at inheritance tax, why it is catching more people in its net, how high house prices mean more families are seeing hundreds of thousands pocketed by the taxman and what can be done to make the much-hated tax work better and feel fairer. And finally, does using cash help you budget or is it a false economy. Simon says for him it’s the latter, but what do Georgie and Tanya reckon?
1/13/202359 minutes, 14 seconds
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Will 2023 be a better year for our finances... or worse?

The New Year has arrived and with it promises of inflation falling and a ray of hope on energy bills. But even if Rishi Sunak halves inflation, as he claims he will, it would still be running at 5 per cent and his promise to get Britain back to growth may prove harder than the simple maths that sees inflation slow. Meanwhile, a slowdown in the rise of the cost of living doesn't mean things will get cheaper and the better energy price forecasts will still see costs at more than double what they were a year ago. So, will 2023 prove better or tougher for our finances? Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert delve into the prospects for the year ahead on this podcast. Plus, what is on the cards for the property market, for pensions and savers and why is Divorce Day tipped to be even bigger this year? And finally, the year is going to better financially for at least one person: the lucky January £1million Premium Bond winner who bagged the jackpot with less than £5,000 saved. Is it time we all stuck more in Premium Bonds, as the prize find is boosted?
1/6/202344 minutes, 28 seconds
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The big financial events of 2022 and what happens next?

Tumultous is a word that doesn't really do 2022 justice. Most people were looking forward to a year of calm as the Covid pandemic faded, but instead got turmoil and the cost of living crisis. In the UK, we mixed the global unrest dealt by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the inflation spike, with our own dose of political instability. A year in which you get through three Prime Ministers and four Chancellors is no ordinary one and the mini-Budget chaos led to the UK's own little self-inflicted financial crisis. That was dealt with by new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and new PM Rishi Sunak reversing all of Kwasi Kwarteng and Liz Truss's giveaways and adding some tax hikes on top for good measure. So, where do we stand at the end of a year of double digit inflation, rapidly rising interest rates and a general sense of gloominess? Will next year be better?  Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert take a look back at the big financial events of 2022 and look forward to 2023 on this special year end podcast.
12/30/202239 minutes, 28 seconds
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Would you be tempted to 'unretire' after quitting work early? The mystery of Britain's missing workers

First we had the great resignation and now we may be seeing a new trend emerge 'unretirement'. Amid the turmoil of the pandemic, Britain's economy threw up the puzzle of a dramatic rise in economic inactivity - as about 565,000 people dropped out of the workforce to a position where they were neither working or looking for work. These missing workers aren't claiming unemployment benefits but are somehow getting by under their own steam.  The phenonomen is great enough that the ONS and Bank of England have looked into it and an inquiry by a House of Lords committee says that early retirement among those aged 50 to 64 may be the main driver of the trend. But there are also tentative signs of some of these people 'unretiring', so what is going on? On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert delve into the issue. Why do people want to take early retirement, why may some now be returning to work - and what would tempt more back to boost productivity and the economy?  Plus, the team look at the stock market winners and losers of 2022 - and why the FTSE 100 managed to keep its head while other major markets suffered. Also on the agenda are log burners: can they really be cheaper than your central heating or are they just a feature for the home? And finally, used car prices have continued to defy the usual way of things and rise again this year, is that now coming to an end and what were the models that rose the most in value over 2022? Merry Christmas.
12/23/202244 minutes, 55 seconds
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When will interest rates stop rising? Plus, energy-saving tips to help you afford the heating

The Bank of England has hiked base rate from 0.1 per cent to 3.5 per cent in the space of 12 months, a move that would have been considered unthinkable not so long ago. But with inflation looking as if it has peaked, the economy probably already in recession, households and businesses feeling the squeeze, have we nearly reached the end of the rate hikes? When the mini-Budget chaos struck there was a belief that the Bank may have to go as high as 5.5 to 6 per cent with interest rates, now expectations have been downgraded and some suggest the peak may be 4 per cent. That would mean that we are nearly there. How likely is that and what would it mean for our finances and the economy? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert look at how close we are to the end of the rate cycle and what it all means for mortgages and savings. Plus, it's not just the rate on their mortgage causing households concerns, the rapid rise in energy bills is hurting them too. Even with the energy price guarantee, bills are double what they were a year ago. A mild autumn cushioned the blow somewhat but as a cold snap and snow rolled in, households across Britain found themselves reluctantly reaching for the heating on button and thermostat. The team look at what people can do to keep themselves warm but save on energy and what might happen next to bills: Is an electric heater in one room cheaper than the central heating? Would insulating your home pay off? Will energy bills go back to normal?  All that and more is up for discussion in an affording the heating special section.
12/16/202256 minutes, 30 seconds
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Could house prices really fall 20% and how bad would that be?

The mortgage crunch has stalled the pandemic property boom and sent house prices down, but could they fall 20 per cent? The risk of a severe house price downturn of that magnitude was flagged by Rightmove founder and property market veteran Harry Hill. Hill’s CV includes setting up property giant Rightmove and selling estate agency group Countrywide for £1billion a year before the 2008 banking crisis.  Hill told the The Mail on Sunday and This is Money: 'My view on the housing market is that it's going down in every direction. Transactions are going to go down. Prices are going to go down.’  He added that a bad recession would mean ‘we could see 20 per cent price reductions’. Could house prices fall 20 per cent from here? Why would it happen? How bad would that be?  On this week’s podcast Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert discuss the prospects for the housing market, how the rapid rise in mortgage rates is affecting it and what prospective home movers or first-time buyers should do. Plus, they are joined by a very special guest: Lee Boyce, now Money Mail editor, is back on the podcast to discuss the Wooden Spoon award for the worst customer service of the year. Who are the runners and riders, what did they do wrong, and why does Simon nominate a couple of firms that aren’t even on the shortlist? Savings rates have been a rare bit of good new recently and Simon talks through the attraction of small building societies and how some are offering market beating rates but you might struggle to secure them. And finally, it’s time for a second special guest, John Mayhead, of classic car specialist Hagerty, who is joins Simon to discuss the insurer’s Bull List of ten classics it tips to rise in value next year. How do these classic cars get on the list, what makes them ripe for appreciation and what’s a Citroen BX doing rubbing shoulders with a Lamborghini Diablo?
12/9/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 15 seconds
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Do you need to worry about tax on your savings and investments?

Many people have not had to worry about paying tax on their savings and investments for some time. The advent of the £1,000 personal savings allowance combined with savings rates near record lows meant basic rate taxpayers would need big cash pots to incur 20 per cent tax on their interest. Meanwhile, even higher rate taxpayers with their lower £500 personal savings allowance needed reasonably large cash pots to pay 40 per cent tax on their interest. Many investors also didn't need to worry too much about capital gains tax, with a tax-free allowance of £12,300 per year. But things have changed: rising savings rates and fiscal drag pulling more people into the higher rate bracket mean that many more savers will now have to pay tax on interest - while Jeremy Hunt's tax raid on investors will see the capital gains tax allowance slashed to £6,000 and then £3,000. So do you now need to worry about tax on your savings and investments and what can you do? Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Simon Lambert dive into the world of savings and capital gains tax on this podcast. Unsurprisingly, the benefits of an Isa feature strongly, as do some other tips and a discussion of what this means for buy-to-let landlords and second home owners. Plus, there is a special guest podcast appearance from our pensions columnist Steve Webb to talk through a major victory for someone told by the DWP they were owed much less from a delayed state pension than they actually were - and an update on pension credit. And finally, has the used car price boom come to an end? Simon talks us through why some second hand cars - including popular electric ones - have seen their prices drop.
12/2/202251 minutes, 27 seconds
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Have savings and mortgage rates already peaked?

Savings and mortgage rates rocketed after what must now always be known as the 'ill-fated mini-Budget', but even as the Bank of England continues to raise rates have they already peaked. The top fixed rate savings deals have edged down from their highest levels - a five-year fix can no longer be had above 5 per cent, for example, while the best two year fix is at 4.75 per cent. So, if you want to lock into a good savings deal, should you grab one now? Or did rates simply race ahead of the Bank of England and the next round of base rate rises will bump them up some more? On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert look at the potential future of savings rates and why even if they are slightly off their peak, you should still move your money from old accounts. But if a dip in the top savings rates is bad, the easing of mortgage rates is good news. Average two and five-year fixed rates rocketed all the way to above 6.5 per cent. The best five-year fix is now down to 5.95 per cent. But this is still way higher than it was, so where will mortgage rates settle and is it worth holding off? The team discuss that and the implication for both house prices and first-time buyers. And finally, an energy double header:  On a serious note the energy price cap (which we won't pay due to the energy price guarantee) has jumped again, this time to £4,279 for the average household over a year. If we won't pay that, why does this matter? And on a lighter note, what happened when Harry Wallop (who refuses to let his family turn the heating on) tried out a bunch of oddball devices designed to warm the person not the room, ranging from an odd foot warmer, to a heated gilet, and a wearable sleeping bag that makes you look a bit like a crazy caterpillar?
11/25/202247 minutes, 45 seconds
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What does Jeremy Hunt's tax raid budget mean for you?

‘Jeremy Hunt’s mini-Budget was like the tax part of the Corbyn manifesto with none of the benefits of the extra spending.’ That was This is Money editor Simon Lambert’s verdict on the Chancellor’s tax-hiking spree that painted a miserable picture of the years ahead, hit higher earners, and hammered small investors. In a blizzard of hikes – through threshold drops and stealth tax freezes – Hunt worked his way through a painful Autumn Statement, where good news was thin on the ground. The silver linings came from the government sticking by the pension triple lock and uprating benefits by inflation but the focus was on painful years ahead. Was this the right move? Why did Hunt feel the need to inflict tax pain – and spending cuts later on?  How did we go from Rishi Sunak as Chancellor with a margin to hit his fiscal rules to Rishi as Prime Minister with a fiscal black hole? Georgie Frost and Simon discuss these questions and more and look at what the Autumn Statement means for people’ finances on this podcast. How much more tax will you pay? How much will your energy bills rise by? Who came out best and who came out worst? And can Simon come up with a note of optimism to end the show on? Listen to this Autumn Statement tax raid special to find out.
11/19/202236 minutes, 42 seconds
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The everything tax raid: Will the threat of higher taxes backfire?

‘If they could tax the air you breathe they’d do it.’ That age-old moan about taxes going up has sprung to mind over the past week, as rumours about pretty much any tax you can think of being hiked were spread about. So many kites were flown about potential tax rises that even taxing selling your own home and bringing back the 50p rate were floated as potential Autumn Statement ideas troubling Jeremy Hunt and Rishi Sunak’s minds. If all this came to pass it would surely become known as ‘the everything tax raid’. But will it come to pass? Probably not. You get the sense this is a massive exercise in softening up the nation, so that when some but not all taxes go up on Thursday, people breathe a sigh of relief. Yet could this bout of not-officially-encouraged-but-definitely-not-discouraged speculation do lasting harm to the economy? Simon Lambert argues that case on this week’s podcast, where he says with sentiment already heavily depressed going into a recession, striking the financial fear of God into the population might not be the best move. Simon, Georgie Frost and Tanya Jefferies discuss the tax hikes that have been rumoured and how likely they are to happen: one gets a minus two in five chance of occurring but others seem more likely. Also on this week’s podcast, will Hunt stage a raid on pension, either via tax relief or the triple lock? Plus, the story of how Tanya helped a podcast listener win back money after paying over the odds for her mother’s care home. And finally, if among all this gloom you’ve still got room to save, should you save or invest the money, or overpay your mortgage?
11/11/202254 minutes, 19 seconds
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What do rapid rate rises mean for you - and is this the right move?

11/5/202244 minutes, 14 seconds
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Have we come down too hard on buy-to-let? Plus, Rishi the PM vs Rishi the Chancellor

The tense situation between tenants and landlords is escalating: the former have seen rents spiral but the latter have faced a big jump in costs jump too. Meanwhile regulation has become a bugbear between the two sides, is there not enough of it or too much? What can be done to improve things in the rental market and have we come down too hard on buy-to-let? That’s the question asked on this week’s podcast, as Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert debate the problems in the rental market. But before that, it’s time for Rishi Sunak. He was once the Chancellor tasked with calming our nerves during the pandemic, but now Rishi is the Prime Minister expected to settle things down after a bout of financial chaos. Will he be able to pull that off, soothe jittery markets, navigate Britain through a painful cost of living crisis winter, and somehow please the nation while taking money off people instead of dishing it out? The team look at what Prime Minister Rishi could mean compared to Chancellor Rishi – and what the implications for our finances could be. Also on the agenda, there was good news for savers from NS&I this week, as rates were raised across the board, but they can get better deals elsewhere, so what should they do? Plus, what can you do to track down old pension pots and why is John Lewis annoying its loyal credit card customers?
10/28/202253 minutes, 14 seconds
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Is the UK economy heading for stability or just more trouble?

There's a new Chancellor in town and he means business. Serious business. After Kwasi Kwarteng tried to spread some joy to get growth going with tax cuts for all, Jeremy Hunt and the fun police have stepped in to stop the markets freaking out. The fallout from Kwarteng's ill-fated mini-budget has now claimed his Chancellorship and Liz Truss's Premiership - with Britain achieving the rare feat of losing two Prime Ministers in less than four months. But with Hunt's stern reversal of the tax cuts in place and a firm commitment to not come up with any more cunning plans that might upset the markets, is Britain now on a firmer economic footing. Or will our quest for yet another Prime Minister spell more trouble ahead? On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert look at Hunt's rapid reversal of Kwarteng's cuts and whether they will steady the ship and prove a good idea. The team also discuss the decision to stick with the triple lock - an expensive promise the Government decided to keep, but did it really have any choice after ripping up the guarantee for pensioners last year. Plus, will the rapid rise in mortgage prices sink house prices? Many think so, but our 18 year property cycle guru Fred Harrison says otherwise. And finally, how much does it cost you to use your cooker vs an air fryer or a slow cooker and if you really want to save money is it an energy saving dad you need?
10/21/202243 minutes, 30 seconds
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The Wave founder Nick Hounsfield interview: How I built my £27m surfing lake dream from £500 in the bank

If you were asked to name a world-class place to surf, a field near Bristol isn’t the first location that would spring to mind. But this slice of the English countryside is home to The Wave, an artificial surfing lake that is one of just a handful in the world to use cutting edge technology and was the first of its kind. The Wave is the fruit of the ambitions of Nick Hounsfield, a pioneering British entrepreneur who wanted to build a unique business that had a positive social impact, with improving health and wellbeing for surfers and non-surfers alike baked in. For this special bonus interview episode of the This is Money podcast, Simon Lambert visited The Wave to meet Nick, be shown around and hear the story of his more than decade-long journey to get waves breaking and people riding them. It’s a fascinating tale, not least because Nick didn’t come from a background in property or business, but was an osteopath, who started with £500 in his bank account and managed to raise £27million to build his dream.  He tells Simon about the challenge of doing that when potential investors thought it was a great idea but were reluctant to take the risk on it, with a theme of ‘we’ll back the second one, but not the first one’ coming through. Eventually Nick and his business partners got traction in raising the funds to get the Wave off the ground, but he says it was important to find the right people to back it: those who bought into the social impact element as well as making money. ‘We talk about profits with purpose’, says Nick. ‘But generally, I think across the finance industry, it seems that people are understanding how important it is to be future facing - from a profit perspective but also looking after people and the planet at the same time and how important that is in building a brand and building a business.’ He adds: ‘Right at the beginning we very much set out our stall that we were going to be environmentally conscious and socially conscious, but also be profit making.’ But Nick’s rollercoaster ride hasn’t just been about getting a hugely ambitious business off the ground, he also faced a double whammy of unexpected events as it finally opened its doors. The Wave started welcoming surfers in late 2019 but shortly afterwards Covid and lockdowns struck throwing plans into disarray. Yet Nick was already facing his own personal challenge, as he had suffered a stroke in February 2020, which left him in hospital for weeks and then needing six to nine months of rehabilitation at home through the disconcerting times of the first Covid lockdown. Nick tells the story of how he found himself working alone in the water at The Wave, while it was shut during lockdown, and benefitting himself from the impact of ‘blue health’: the idea that spending time in or near water is good for people, which is a cornerstone of his business dream. The Wave has flourished since it was allowed to open again during the Covid lockdowns and there are now plans for more facilities in the UK, including one in north London’s Lee Valley, close to the Olympic water sports facilities. Nick shares more details on those plans, explains more about how The Wave works and what visiting surfers can expect and need to know – and at the end of the podcast Simon – a self-described painfully average on-and-off surfer – explains what it was like to ride the waves.
10/20/202250 minutes, 35 seconds
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What you need to know about gilts and why markets freaked out so much it toppled the Chancellor

When gilts hit the headlines it’s a clear sign that trouble has not only been brewing but has been unleashed. Government bond yields only tend to break through into the mainstream when things aren’t going well and they have been firmly in the spotlight since Kwasi Kwarteng’s ill-fated mini-budget. But what is a gilt, why does its yield matter, what’s that got to do with prices and why do we worry about such things? On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert, take a step back from the maelstrom to explain gilts, why investors worry about government bonds, what’s causing ructions in the pensions industry and what this all means for normal people. Chancellor Kwarteng has now departed – in fact, news of his imminent exit from the job while the team were recording the podcast, triggering a breaking news style interruption – but will Chancellor Jeremy Hunt fare any better (and last longer)? The team discuss why the mortgage market is key to the answer to that and also look at what first-time buyers should do in this scenario. There are some for whom the current rapid rate rises aren’t bad news though and that is savers. We now have a top savings rate above 5 per cent for the first time in many years, but is it worth taking? It requires locking in for five years, but that’s the sort of return knocking on what could reasonably be expected from the stock market, where you also have to take the risk of losing money. And finally, investors are hunkering down at the moment, but when share prices fall the stock market is on sale – and if you look at some investment trusts there is a double sale going on, as discounts have widened to 13 per cent on average. Should you be greedy when others are fearful, as Warren Buffett is often quoted as saying, or exercise some caution rather than having your head turned by knockdown prices?
10/14/202253 minutes, 41 seconds
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How bad will the mortgage chaos get and will it sink house prices??

Rocketing rates have sent the average two and five-year fixed rate mortgage through the 6 per cent barrier. This is a level that would have been considered unthinkable a year ago, when there were 50 mortgage deals on the market at below 1 per cent. The Bank of England belatedly playing catching up with inflation has sent base rate from 0.1 per cent last December to 2.25 per cent now - and with inflation far from tamed and the US Federal Reserve going in all guns blazing on monetary policy, rates are likely to keep going up from here. But the catalyst for the past month's big jump in mortgage rates has been the turmoil triggered by the Chancellor's ill-received mini-Budget and the flurry of borrowing Britain will have to do to fund it. So, what happens next to mortgage rates, what should people who need to fix now do, and will this send house prices sinking? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert dive into the mortgage market to look at what is happening and why - and what borrowers can do about it. Are expensive fixes now worth taking, what should you do if you are buying a home and is a variable rate mortgage really now the answer? They answer these questions and more. Plus, while rate rises are bad for mortgage borrowers they are proving good news for savers, who have been starved of decent deals for many years. The top fixed rate savings are knocking on the door of 5 per cent, but how high will savings rates go and should you fix and risk out on better ones in future? The ill-fated mini-Budget also brought about the abolition of the 45p tax rate, except that's now been abolished itself as Kwasi Kwarteng staged a screeching U-turn this week. Nonetheless, Simon has some middle-class tax cutting ideas that he reckons make more sense and could be popular. And finally, a reader wrote to This is Money telling us they had some letters written to them in the 1960s by a rock star who then died young and they could be worth £20,000... but will they have to pay tax if they sell? And more to the point, who could the mystery rock star be?
10/7/202252 minutes, 14 seconds
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Did the UK stage its own mini-financial crisis... and who was responsible?

As markets went haywire and the Bank of England staged a bond market intervention earlier this week, it felt like a mini-financial crisis had been triggered. It has been an incredibly turbulent week for the UK economy as the Bank of England stepped in to protect pension funds, the pound hit a record low against the dollar before rebounding and lenders pulled mortgage deals to re-price them at far higher rates. So, is the UK economy in crisis… again? How much is the Chancellor's 'mini' Budget to blame? Or was this the culmination of problems that stem from the Bank of England? And what can the Government and Bank do now? This week, Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Lee Boyce tackle what has been a truly remarkable one in the world of personal finance with a message of: don't panic. Simon gives an economics 101 on why the pound fell and why the Bank of England stepped in, seemingly with a u-turn on plans for quantitative tightening. What is happening to mortgages? With lenders pulling deals and replacing them with higher rates, how will that impact first-time buyers, those looking to remortgage and the property market in general? Will base rate continue to head higher and what does that mean? And a chink of light for savers: this week, NS&I boosted Premium Bonds, while savings rates continue to race higher. 
9/30/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 58 seconds
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In brief: Why is the pound falling and why are UK borrowing costs spiking?

In this excerpt from the This is Money podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost discuss why the mini-Budget has combined with last week's interest rates decision to send the pound tumbling and UK government borrowing costs spiking. Find the This is Money podcast's full look at the mini-Budget and what it means for you here
9/26/20224 minutes, 42 seconds
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What does the tax-cutting mini-Budget mean for you and the UK?

Britain's new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng delivered a blistering mini-Budget this week that was anything that small. A wave of tax cuts were unleashed. Some had been heavily trailed, such as spiking the National Insurance hike and a stamp duty reduction, but there were also two rabbits out of the hat: a cut in basic rate income tax to 19p from April and abolishing the 45p income tax rate too. Those tax cuts joined a wave of spending commitments, most notably the huge energy price guarantee bailout for Britain's households and businesses. Paul Johnson, of the IFS, said: 'Mr Kwarteng is not just gambling on a new strategy, he is betting the house.' On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert discuss what the going for growth mini-Budget means for people, how much they may save in tax, and whether it will work or cause the UK economy even more problems down the line. One thing was clear in the aftermath, markets didn't like the break from the orthodoxy that they saw: the pound tumbled below $1.10 and UK gilt yields jumped. But how much does that have to do with the mini-Budget and how much does it have to do with the Bank of England's rate decision that delivered a bumper rise of 0.5 percentage points, which was still considered small next to the US Federal Reserve's 0.75 percentage point bazooka? And finally, we've heard lots of the glass half full verdicts on our current economic situation but what is the glass half full one? Simon has a crack.
9/23/202248 minutes, 47 seconds
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The pound, inflation, interest rates and energy bills... what happens next?

The Bank of England is tipped to raise interest rates by at least 0.5 per cent this week, but the pound fell to a 37-year low last week - reaching $1.351, a level not seen since 1985. That comes against a backdrop of inflation edging down slightly to 9.9 per cent - taking Britain out of the double-digit inflation club - with a colossal rescue plan to save households and businesses from spiralling energy prices about to kick in. The details on that energy price guarantee rushed out by new Prime Minister Liz Truss - and how it's potential £150billion cost will be paid for - are still sparse, but are expected to be sketched out in more detail this week. Meanwhile, on Friday a mini-Budget is due to arrive with a rumoured round of tax cuts as Truss and her new Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng go all out for growth. On this podcast episode, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert look at the pound, energy bills, inflation and interest rates, how all these issues connect and what could happen next? Also on the agenda for discussion are rising savings rates and whether savers should fix or stick with short-term easy access deals, and a question over a life-changing £500,000 early inheritance and where the balance lies between saving, paying off the mortgage or investing. And finally, overshadowing all the financial events of a whirlwind fortnight, Queen Elizabeth II died, ending her 70 year reign, and ushering in a period of national mourning that came to a close under the eyes of the entire world with her funeral. But what will happen now to Britain's money and when will we start to see King Charles III on our cash?
9/16/202244 minutes, 4 seconds
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How to get a better pension: Steve Webb answers your questions

This is Money's pensions guru Steve Webb racked up his 300th column answering readers' questions this week. Over the past six years, Steve, with the help of pension and investing editor Tanya Jefferies, has been guiding readers through the retirement maze - with his column regularly among the most popular stories of the week. To celebrate his 300th column, Steve joins Tanya, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert for a special podcast episode to answer your questions. It's a dive into much of what you need to know about pensions, ranging from saving for retirement, to investing in your pension years and, of course, the state pension and triple lock. Among the questions on the agenda are: Is it better to put money into my pension or pay my house off quicker? Why do people retiring under the new post-2016 system get higher payments than me? My 41-year-old son has started a new job on a four year contract but there is no pension scheme, is that legal? My pension was valued at £94,000 last year now its worth £74,000 - and I was about to take my 25% lump sum , what can I do? I paid £692 into my work pension last month and within ten days my fund had lost over £800, am I throwing good money after bad? Steve and the This is Money podcast team answer all these questions and more and discuss the issues involved.
9/10/202247 minutes
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The cost of living crisis cutbacks that could harm your long-term wealth

Belts are already being tightened but as bills head even higher more people will look to save where they can. But are there some things that you should avoid doing or cutting back on at all costs? Campaigns to get people not to pay their bills have obvious flaws, but what about only paying for the energy you use, diverting your pension saving elsewhere or cutting back on ditching saving or investing. Some are at breaking point and will have little choice but to do some of these things, but what about those who are still heading off on holidays, going out for dinner and drinks, or getting takeways in - should they hammer down on discretionary spending before stopping saving? In his column this week, Simon Lambert came up with his five false economies to avoid, but was he right to pick them? Simon, Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce discuss them on this podcast episode. Also this week's episode, are buy-to-let landlords all bad or a crucial part of the property market, will an electric car still save you money after the energy price cap hike, and how high will savings rates go as the best buys come in thick and fast.
9/2/202257 minutes, 52 seconds
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Will the Government keep its state pension triple lock promise this time?

Inflation is soaring and if predictions are correct, it would result in the Consumer Prices Index measure hitting 13 per cent this autumn. That could result in a state pension rise of around £1,000 a year to £10,900 while even at the current level of 10.1 per cent it would be upped to £10,600. However, last year, the triple lock was scrapped. Would a new Prime Minister dare do the same this time around? Lee Boyce, Tanya Jefferies and Georgie Frost discuss. Inflation is hitting those with pensions in different ways, we explain how and Tanya unearths yet more errors at the DWP. She explains why – if you, or someone you know, was refused a state pension or given an unexpectedly low award when you turned 66 – it could be worth challenging.  Data also suggests that some workers are opting out of private pensions or reducing contributions thanks to the rise in the cost-of-living. Is that a wise decision? Outside of pensions, we had calculations this week that inflation predictions are undercooked and could actually peak at 18.6 per cent early next year, with base rate having to reach 7 per cent to stop it.  It comes as the energy price cap is now forecast to reach £5,500 in April 2023.  And finally… the number of homes available to rent has halved in two years pushing prices through the roof. According to research, tenants are effectively losing a bedroom if they spend the same amount of money today on a property compared to two years ago. What next for the rental market?
8/26/202248 minutes, 33 seconds
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Inflation hits double digits for the first time since 1982: How does today compare to 40 years ago?

 Inflation is up again with CPI now measured at 10.1 per cent, the highest since February 1982, when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister.  How does this bout of inflation compare to then? Lee Boyce, Helen Crane and Georgie Frost discuss the higher than forecast inflation rate and what is driving it. With that rate of inflation soaring, a majority of economists believe another 0.5 percentage point increase in base rate is on the cards next month. But what would a base rate of 3, 5 or 7 per cent do to mortgage rates and property prices? Britons are estimated to have billions 'lost' in pension, investment and bank accounts – how do you go about tracking it down? And with thousands of students opening their A Level results this week, Lee reveals how he has already built a £10,000 investment pot for his three-year-old, in case she decides to go into further education.
8/19/202252 minutes, 11 seconds
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Will rates keep rising and are cash Isas a good option again? Savings special podcast

Rising bills and the cost-of-living crisis are forcing many to dip into savings pots, if they have one to begin with. At the same time, with base rate rising to try and curb inflation, savings deals have become far better than they have been in the last decade. This week, Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce are joined by a special guest: James Blower, AKA The Savings Guru, who gives his take on where savings rates are heading next. With lesser known challengers paying the best rates, how do you know they’re any good? And should you fix now or wait? He explains how savings rates set, why big banks are slow to pass on base rate movements and with savings deals improving, James explains why a cash Isa might be a good home for your money once more. Elsewhere, times are tough with plenty of misery on the horizon thanks to rising energy bills. Latest predictions suggest the price cap could land somewhere between £4,000 and £5,000 a year. Much has been said this week about households, but what about businesses which are slowly being crushed under the weight of rising costs? Not protected by an energy cap, some hospitality bosses are said to be considering closing down due to unprecedented energy bills while three quarters are thinking about reduced opening hours. And with household prices set to soar, a Don’t Pay UK movement has grown suggesting cancelling direct debits – but is that a wise idea?
8/12/202259 minutes, 49 seconds
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Why is the Bank of England raising interest rates into a recession?

The idea of the Bank of England raising base rate by 0.5 percentage points at the same time as warning about a long and painful recession would have been unthinkable a year ago. But things have dramatically changed and central banks are desperately trying to get a grip on runway inflation that just seems to keeo getting worse. Base rate has risen from 0.1 per cent in December to 1.75 per cent now and is set to keep climbing, but why trigger a recession to get inflation driven by outside forces under control. On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Simon Lambert discuss the rate rise and potential recession and what it means for borrowers, savers, the economy and our financial near future. Also on this episode, how can you prepare for the mortgage crunch as rate rises hit homeowners and Simon gives his tip on how to take the temperature of the property market... by looking at what's not selling. And Tanya gives an update on two important pensions issues: women's lower retirement savings and how to keep more of your pension pot out of the taxman's clutches.
8/5/202252 minutes, 43 seconds
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Out of the holiday loop? Our overseas summer travel special - top tips for a successful trip

This summer has seen travel demand rebound and for many, it could be their first overseas jaunt since before the pandemic. For that reason, there may be some rusty holidaymakers out there. But fear not, Lee Boyce, Helen Crane and Georgie Frost are at hand to help get you in the holiday mood (kind of). They talk about what you need to think about before a trip, from sorting out your passport with plenty of time to why it is imperative to have good quality insurance. It may not be sexy, but it is vital. Then, while you're away, what to think about in terms of spending money and little tips and tricks to save cash. We also ask if the days of cheap flights are over thanks to fuel price rises, whether chickenpox just before you go away means an automatic refund and more pearls of wisdom from decades of travel experience. Elsewhere, there are dire pension warnings linked to inflation. A new study believes that fewer than two in five households will be on course for a decent retirement due to the soaring cost of living. What can be done about it? And a large factor of that soaring cost of living is energy bills. Next month, we'll fully know just how high the price cap will head. Many are facing bill rises that they simply cannot afford. One part of the cost that is a real bugbear for many are standing charges. What are they and why can they not simply be cut?
7/29/202255 minutes, 50 seconds
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How I became financially independent: An interview with The Escape Artist

In this special bonus This is Money podcast interview, Simon Lambert speaks to Barney Whiter, whose The Escape Artist blog helps others to try to achieve the same financial independence he has. Barney tells Simon what financial independence means to him, relates how he got there and his successes and mistakes along the way, gives some tips for budding FIRE savers, and explains why he still choses to do some work.
7/25/202211 minutes, 21 seconds
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Could you save enough to get financial independence?

Financial independence and retiring early sounds great, but could you sacrifice enough of your spending to get there? The so-called Fire movement involves living a frugal live, saving as much of your income as possible – 50 per cent or more – and investing to build a pot to retire early on. Ideally, this needs to be 25 times your annual spending requirements, so that you can follow the 4 per cent rule on how much of your pot you spend each year. Advocates of financial independence will tell you that this requires giving up much of our modern-day consumer lifestyle but that it’s worth it in the end, as they can then live their lives on their own terms. Could you do this and would the This is Money podcast’s Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert be able to stomach the hardcore budgeting and saving it requires? On this podcast, the team discuss financial independence, its attractions and the drawbacks of getting there. And don't miss our second special bonus podcast this week, where Simon speaks Barney Whiter, of The Escape Artist blog, who helps others to try to achieve the same financial independence he has. Also, on this week’s podcast, inheritance tax is catching more people in its net, what can you do about that and is it time for the tax to change? Plus, why inflation is causing problems for the national debt and should a reader use a £60,000 sum sitting in a low rate cash Isa to pay off some of their mortgage?
7/24/20221 hour, 1 minute, 54 seconds
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What would you teach someone about money?

7/15/20221 hour, 1 minute, 26 seconds
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What will Boris's downfall, a new Prime Minister and Chancellor mean for the economy and our finances?

Boris Johnson finally came unstuck this week and resigned as Prime Minister after one scandal too many caught up with him. Whatever you thought of the PM - and he certainly has the ability to divide a room almost as well as he can entertain it - there is no doubt that this ushers in another bout of 'what next?' instability for Britain. The economy is struggling, an inflation crisis is in full swing and the Bank of England is raising rates into a recession, yet at the end of a tumultuous week we are not just down one Prime Minister but a Chancellor and aren't quite sure if the new man in the job will be sticking around very long. The new Chancellor, Nadim Zahawi, reportedly has designs of his own on the job next door at Number 10 and even if he makes an unsuccessful leadership bid, will a rival want him sticking around. On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Simon Lambert look at what the change in Prime Minister could mean for the UK's economy, businesses and households - and what a new Chancellor might do and the challenges they will face. Also, on this week's show, some big UK name household shares have taken a beating this year, but which would the experts pick as having fallen too far and are ripe for a bounce back. The team look at whether with rates rising, a ten-year fixed rate mortgage is a good move and Tanya talks us through the latest round of state pension mistakes and what the DWP is doing. And finally, will you end up with a bit more cash when you get paid this month. Yet, another National Insurance change is kicking in, here's what it means.
7/8/202259 minutes, 56 seconds
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How to battle unfair charges from private parking firms… and win: The This is Money podcast

In recent times, private parking firms have come under scrutiny from motoring organisations, the Government… and This is Money. Many motorists will have received a dreaded charge in the post and in some cases, unjustifiably so. If that’s you, it’s time to fight back. This week Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Lee Boyce take a look at whether private parking firms are playing fair. It comes as Lee received a third private parking charge in the post in four years, and for the third time appealed and had it magically cancelled.  He explains his case and questions how he was issued the charge despite paying the correct amount and displaying the paid-for ticket in the windscreen. Also, is it fair to remove parking machines and replace them with apps? Halifax has been embroiled in a Twitter storm this week when it comes to pronouns and its bank branches – but what about the move to reduce new build deposits from 10 per cent to 5 per cent? Is it good news for first-time buyers? The energy price cap is set to surge to around £3,000 in October. Is it wise to try and find a fix with your supplier? Simon explains why five FTSE 100 firms have seen their share price fall more than 40 per cent since the start of the year, including Ocado and Royal Mail. And lastly, This is Money business doctor Dave Fishwick answers the question on many small business owner’s lips: how do I pass on price increases without annoying the loyal customer base? 
7/1/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 28 seconds
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Is scrapping a mortgage stress test a wise move right now?

A mortgage stress test designed to stop borrowers overstretching themselves will be scrapped, it was revealed this week. The mortgage industry has long bemoaned this supposedly unrealistic test that makes lenders check if borrowers can afford their repayments at a level higher than the fix or tracker deal they may be taking, their lender's standard variable rate plus 3 per cent. Yet, isn't a bit of an odd time to finally get rid of this, just as interest rates are finally rising and the base rate has jumped from 0.1 per cent to 1.25 per cent in six months? What's more, it's forecast by some to keep rising and go as high as 3 per cent by the end of the year - meaning almost that entire 3 percentage point rise the stress test uses. On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Lee Boyce discuss why the Bank of England is doing this and whether it is the right move, or could lead to risky lending and even higher house prices? Also, on this episode the team discuss inflation and how to at least try to do something to combat it with your savings - and also why investors are finding it so hard to buy the dip and be greedy when others are fearful in the inflation storm. The renewed fervour for offering bumper deals on current accounts also goes under the microscope, but is a bung to join, an interest rate on your balance, or the ability to categorise your spending the best readon to switch? And finally, you live in an end of terrace house, someone wants to build next door using your wall and making your home a mid-terrace, surely that couldn't be allowed? Or would it? Listen to the end to find out.
6/24/202255 minutes, 5 seconds
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How will rapidly rising interest rates affect you?

Base rate has gone from 0.1 per cent to 1.25 per cent in the space of six months, in a flurry of rate rising that would have been considered unthinkable a year ago. Yet, as the Bank of England delivered another 0.25 percentage point raise, voices were raised in some corners to demand why it hadn't gone further. Why not a 0.5 per cent jump or even a 0.75 per cent one, as the Fed had delivered in the US? With inflation running at 9 per cent and expected to head north into double digits, the onus is on the Bank of England to show it has a grip and we aren't heading back to the 1970s. But is rapidly raising rates the right thing to do and how will it affect savers, borrowers and investors? On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert discuss the case for and against rate rises and what the impact is for the economy and people. Mortgage rates have risen even faster than the base rate, so what can those who need to remortgage do - and will this sink house prices? The team assess the prospects for the property amrket and offer their tips on what borrowers should do to prepare and protect themselves. Meanwhile, over in the US, it's the stock market that's suffering as rates rise, why is that and how bad could this bear market be? And finally, petrol prices keep hitting record highs and we want people to switch to electric cars but the government has swiped away the £1,500 grant that helps people buy more affordable models. Will that make a difference, or has electric car demand reached a level where ditching a bung to help out is wise?
6/20/202259 minutes, 45 seconds
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Are you saving enough for retirement? (And another state pension blunder)

Women have already been hit by a huge state pension blunder in recent years, but now it seems the DWP is messing up again. After This is Money's Steve Webb and Tanya Jefferies exposed a £1billion women's state pension scandal, which emerged from a reader question sent in to his column, you'd think the Government would be keeping on top of payments. But it has turned out that more women appear to being told they aren't due the right amount, or in one case that we reported on this week anything at all. On this week's podcast, Tanya joins Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert to talk through the problems. Also, are we saving enough for retirement? Steve sounded a warning this week that auto-enrolment was lulling people into a false sense of security and said that employers need to do more. The team discuss what you can do to make sure you are putting enough into your pension and why the self-employed need to pay particular attention. Also on this episode, the investment themes that could run for years and make you a profit and is it time for investors to weigh up buying back into Scottish Mortgage after its 40 per cent slump this year. And finally, petrol prices are rocketing, so is it time for a VAT cut to ease the double whammy of tax?
6/12/202252 minutes, 28 seconds
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How can you protect against holiday chaos this summer?

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on holiday... Britain descended into holiday chaos this week, as airlines cancelled hundreds of flights, airports struggled to cope and even Eurostar ended up with a day of disruption. For those who suffered at the hands of airline chaos, it was a harsh and unfair experience - with many of those travellers taking their first post-Covid trip abroad and others heading off for what were meant to be celebratory family events. Both airlines and airports let their passengers down - after all, they knew how many would be travelling, as they'd all booked tickets - and then got involved in a finger-pointing blame game with the Government. On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert discuss where the blame lies for the disruption, what people's rights are if their flights are cancelled and what we can all do to protect ourselves if we hope to go away over the summer. Also on the podcast, the team talk about why some of the best mortgages are currently being offered by lesser-known building societies and how long you'd have to wait for an electric car's lower running costs to pay off. And finally, from travel chaos to energy firm blunders: how did Bulb swing from telling someone they were owed almost £2,000 and refunding them their cash when they moved, to declaring six months later that the customer now owed Bulb almost £2,000? Helen talks through a recent Crane on the Case, where Bulb seemingly decided Ofgem's one-year back billing rule didn't apply to it.
6/4/202256 minutes, 9 seconds
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What would you do if you suddenly became super-rich?

Sudden Wealth Syndrome. It's a thing apparently and something that many of us probably wouldn't mind suffering from. That's the term used to describe those who suddenly - and perhaps unexpectedly - come into a very large sum of money. And doing so brings plenty of benefits but also its own problems. Over the past week, we have heard about the couple who won £184million on the Euromillions, but what are the challenges they will face and how do you deal with that sum of money. We spoke to a number of experts about this and on this week's podcast Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert discuss that they said - and why apparently going public is the right thing to do. The team also conjure up dreams of how they might use so much money, from the long-term, to the first thing they would do. Also on the agenda are the boost to the Premium Bonds prize fund and rate and whether this makes them a good option for savers and why buying a fixer-upper could end up costing you far more than a house that's already 'done'. And finally, just when you thought it was safe to go back on holiday... the car hire crunch has got even worse. How bad is it and why?
5/27/202244 minutes, 57 seconds
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Is a recession inevitable as inflation hammers the UK?

Inflation continues to surge, the Bank of England says there is little it can do to stall it but is raising rates any way, and at the same time is warning of a potential recession looming. It seems safe to say this isn’t the Covid recovery year that many people were hoping for: the longed-for bout of calm and optimism has turned out to be a cost of living crisis instead. So, with inflation now at 9 per cent and set to rise further and central banks swiftly changing their tune on low interest rates, is a recession inevitable? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert take a look at what is driving inflation, whether there is anything the Bank of England can do, if it should have acted sooner and whether we can hope for a nice surprise with inflationary pressure subsiding quicker than expected. The new proposal for a four times a year energy price cap change rather than one every six months is also on the agenda, along with the sting in the tail that some say means energy firms will be much less likely to offer cheap fixes once prices start falling. But in one part of the energy market prices are falling already. The cost of gas in Britain has plummeted recently, Simon explains how that has happened and why we can’t take advantage to lower our energy bills now. And finally, Crane on the Case continues to rack up consumer victory after consumer victory, Helen fills us in on her latest cases and what readers are flocking for help on.
5/20/202245 minutes, 44 seconds
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Will rising rates stop the house price boom?

The pandemic house price boom caught almost everyone by surprise and has continued to run for longer that most expected, but is it now about to end. Rising interest rates and the cost of living crunch are putting a serious squeeze on how much buyers can borrow - and that means they can't keep paying ever higher prices for homes. Meanwhile, stories are emerging of banks and building societies getting cold feet on some of the offers that ambitious buyers have had accepted and the lenders are down-valuing properties. What's a down valuation? When the bank or building says, 'we're sorry but that property isn't worth what you have agreed to pay'. Combine that with the best mortgage rates having more than doubled and you might finally have the recipe for the property market running out of steam. On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert discuss whether house prices can defy gravity once more. Also on the show, should you sign up to a savings platform to manage your cash in one place and hopefully get a boost on rates? Plus, what should investors do as a slow motion crash hits stock markets and sends the price of many shares and popular funds and trusts sinking. And finally, fed up of being told to cancel your subscriptions to save money? We look at ways to keep your favourite shows and music but cut back on costs.
5/14/202243 minutes, 7 seconds
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Right to buy home revival: How could a revamped scheme work and is it a good idea?

More than 40 years after Margaret Thatcher introduced Right to Buy, the current Prime Minister is considering plans to revamp the scheme. Could it unleash a home buying revolution and help give a much needed boost to the Government, or is it a bad idea rehashing an old scheme? This week, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss the plans, how it could work and why it may be unleashed in the near future. Would it be unfair to private renters? With ever increasing property prices, would people be able to purchase them? And what are the current Right to Buy rules? It's safe to say that green bonds, launched by National Savings and Investments last year, have been a damp squib. Rates on them are low, and a three-year fix is a relatively niche product. Just how far have they missed the mark and could the rate head higher again to make them more attractive? On the other hand, Premium Bonds continue to be an incredibly popular way to save. The two jackpot winners this month had huge sums held in them – is that the only chance you have of winning a £1million, maxing out the holdings? There are calls to claim your pension credit – nearly 1million people are missing out on extra cash and 'the door to more,' by not taking advantage. Could you, or someone you know, benefit? The Bank of England celebrates 25 years of independence – we ask whether New Labour's gamble of making it independent has paid off, just as it hikes base rate to a 13-year high of 1 per cent. Meanwhile, Lee reveals details of a new This is Money columnist signing – businessman Dave Fishwick is ready to take your business and careers questions. Found out how you can contact him.
5/6/202251 minutes, 32 seconds
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What's the point in saving when inflation is so high?

Is there any point trying to save when inflation is so high? Interest rates are rising and savers can now get a far better return than a year ago, but compare those rates to inflation and they are losing even more money. So why bother? That's the question that Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert tackle on this week's podcast. From what the best rates are and where you can get them, to why you should avoid what Simon calls your bank or building society's 'insult account' – with a special mention for Nationwide - and how to turn a savings habit into an investing one that should hopefully get you a better return, the podcast team talk all things saving. Also on the agenda is the best places to start investing a small amount and why that has got so much easier in recent years. Simon shares a bit of behind the scenes knowledge on investing platforms and why they are pushing so hard for new investors – and gives some tips on getting started the easy way. But not everyone will be feeling like they have money to stash away right now: the cost of living crisis is seeing people cut back, the ONS, revealed this week – and that's before most bills spiked. Where are they cutting back and is there anything we can do to help them? (Bonkers two-year MOT ideas excluded). And finally, just when you thought printing at home couldn't get any worse, printer firms came up with a way to make it better… and then made it worse.
4/29/202251 minutes, 27 seconds
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What can we do to tackle soaring energy bills - and are providers playing fair?

Much bigger energy bills are on their way to households for and a warning was sounded this week that there is much worse to come. Energy bosses told MPs that 40 per cent of households could end up in fuel poverty and raised the prospect of a ‘truly horrific’ winter, with the price cap tipped to rise another 30 per cent or more in October just as the heating goes back on. Energy firms are not responsible for the surge in gas and electricity prices but watchdog Ofgem warned that some may not be treating customers fairly on monthly direct debit payments. Meanwhile, This is Money has been contacted by reams of customers struggling to get incorrect bills fixed but being threatened with debt collectors by bullying energy firms. What can be done to help customers struggling with soaring bills? Will Rishi Sunak have to step in with more meaningful help than his £200 off now, pay it back later deal? Should wealthier customers subsidise the bills of the poorer? And how do we make energy firms get their act together? All these questions and more are tackled by Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert in this podcast. Also on this show, how do you know if you are saving enough for retirement and are there any positives to encourage you, as more gloom-laden warnings about our pension pots pot being big enough land? Plus, why has the Great British Rail Sale managed to get not one, not two, but all three of our podcasters riled? And finally, why is Netflix having a wobble and does it mark a change in consumer and investor behaviour?
4/23/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 24 seconds
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What to do in the mortgage crunch and will rates keep rising?

For many homeowners it's been the case for some years that each time they remortgage, their rate comes down. But with the Bank of England liftng base rate three times in a matter of months, inflation soaring to 7 per cent, and banks and building societies hiking mortgage rates, that is no longer the case. It must be said that mortgage rates are still low by historic standards, but whereas borrowers with the biggest deposits or equity could fix for under 1 per cent last year, now they will be paying 2 per cent. Not much compared to the sky high rates of the past, but many homeowners can't bag these super cheap deals and will pay rates above 3 per cent. Again, these are low but rising and people may find the same mortgage now sets them back £100 a month more. What can borrowers do, will rates keep rising and how does inflation fit into all of this? On this podcast Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert look at the mortgage market and what's going on. Also on the podcast, is buy-to-let having a mini resurgence? Could you search out a social broadband tariff and save money? And finally, what makes a good home or car insurer and does anybody ever check up before taking out policies?
4/15/202237 minutes, 36 seconds
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Key April changes to your personal finances including NI hike and 'no fault' divorces

This week has seen a number of changes to our personal finances in the wake of energy bill and council tax rises, along with a number of key utilities such as broadband and mobile contracts. It also marks the start of a new tax year and with it a National Insurance rise, a meagre state pension hike and the start of new 'no fault' divorce system. Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Helen Crane run through what these changes potentially mean for you and why they're important. Renting is set to become cheaper than mortgage repayments for the first time in 14 years according to a study. This could signal 'trouble ahead,' as the data shows that when this happens, often a recession follows shortly afterwards. We discuss why. The pandemic boom could also leave high-earning homeowners trapped and unable to move, if they've overstretched themselves to buy. They may be unable to remortgage as lenders consider their squeezed incomes during the cost of living crisis. And finally, with the energy price cap soaring, are there gadgets that could help you save money? Lee comes with a warning with his own 'smart' thermostat.
4/8/202250 minutes, 6 seconds
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Pension, Isa or Lifetime Isa: What's the best tax-friendly investment for you?

It's the time of year when we are urged to put our money into an Isa or pension, but faced with the choice which should you pick? After all, most of us don't have the £52,000 needed to max out both (£20,000 into an Isa and £32,000 into a pension plus the £8,000 tax relief added). So, we must make a decision: take the upfront tax relief of a pension and that lovely boost to the money you pay in, but not be able to get the cash until at least age 55, or opt for the tax-free gains of an Isa and its flexibility, but no contribution booster. On this podcast, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert look at the perks of each, where the drawbacks are and how you can make an informed decision. Plus, is the Lifetime Isa a better option for your hard-earned cash? Also, on the show, they discuss the child benefit mess and how many mums are missing our on vital state pension credits, whether Chase's bank account is now Britain's best, and how to work out if buying an expensive electric car might save you money.
3/31/202250 minutes, 6 seconds
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How to invest in an Isa - and become a smarter investor

Investing in the stock market has been proven over time to be the best way to grow your wealth and doing so in an Isa can turbo-charge those returns. There’s no tax to pay on investment profits or dividends and that means the magic of compounding can work that bit harder – and when you draw on your investment Isa in future the money is tax-free. But what are the essential things you need to know about a stocks and shares Isa and investing in general, whether you are just getting started or an existing investor looking to spruce up their portfolio? On this special Isa investing podcast, Rob Morgan, chief analyst at Charles Stanley, joins This is Money editor Simon Lambert to discuss how to be a smarter investor. One thing investors must know is that this year’s £20,000 Isa allowance runs out in a week, on Tuesday 5 April, when the tax year ends. A fresh year’s allowance arrives on 6 April, but to make the most of the tax shelter it pays to make the most of each year’s allowance. Thinking about how you invest is even more important right now, when a combination low interest rates and high inflation is eroding people’s wealth – and unsettling stock markets. It’s easy at a time like this to think the stock market is too risky, but investing is a long-term game and if you zoom out and look over decades, rather than individual years, months or days, the picture looks far less volatile. Among the topics discussed on the Isa investing podcast are: Why should people invest?   What do they need to think about before they start?   Should people put off investing at a volatile time like this?   Why does investing in an Isa pay off?   How easy is it to get started investing in an Isa?   What should people think about when building their initial investment portfolio? Do they need to pick lots of shares or funds?   What are the traps investors can fall into?   What should existing investors do when they look at their portfolio?   How important is tailoring investments to your outlook on life? Should you go green?
3/29/202236 minutes, 19 seconds
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Why would you cut tax and raise tax at the same time? The Spring Statement and what it means for you

Why would you cut tax and raise the same tax at the same time? That’s been the slightly baffled response from many people to Rishi Sunak’s Spring Statement. Effectively, the Chancellor both cut and raised National Insurance – lifting the threshold it is paid at but ignoring calls to 'spike the hike' and ploughing ahead with the 1.25 per cent being added to rates. Bizarrely, the tax rate goes up in April, only for the threshold to rise and reduce bills shortly afterwards in July. And we wonder why people find tax taxing? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert dive into the detail of the Spring Budget to explain what the NI hike / cut means for you. Depending on their earnings some will be in the group paying more than now and some will pay less? The team also look at the other measures in the Spring Statement and whether a 5p petrol duty cut and some money off solar panels really cuts the mustard in the face of a cost of living crisis. The Office of Budget Responsibility also had some bad news for us: inflation is tipped to hit almost 9 per cent, energy bills are likely to rise another 40 per cent or so, and there’s the not so trivial matter of the biggest fall in living standards since records began in the 1950s. How bad will this feel? Away from the Spring Statement, the podcast looks at what’s going on with building costs and how to try to get the best quote from a builder, stick to a budget and protect against price rises. And finally, you might not go fully down the secretive POA (price on application) route when selling your home, but should you name an asking price, guide price, or ask for offers over a certain amount? Georgie, Lee and Simon dabble with a bit of estate agentese
3/25/202249 minutes, 20 seconds
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Is raising interest rates the right move and will it slow inflation?

It's a hat trick. After all those years of waiting in vain for a rate rise after the financial crisis, now the Bank of England has the wind in its sails and has raised rates three times since December. The shift up in the base rate to 0.75 per cent hardly takes rates into the stratosphere but moving from 0.1 per cent to here in four months stands at serious odds with the lower for longer mantra that dominated the past decade and a bit of central bank thinking. It's being done to combat inflation that's now forecast to hit 8 per cent (or maybe higher admits the Bank). The irony is that interest rate rises will do little to tackle imported inflation. So is the Bank making the right moves? Is it right to try to crack down on inflation now, or is it putting the Covid recovery at risk? And what does this mean for savers, borrowers and investors? On this week's podcast, Tanya Jefferies, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert discuss the rate hike - if you can call a quarter point rise a hike - and how much more of this may be coming down the line. Plus, what are the best shares and funds to stash in your Isa in volatile times, do you have to pay tax on a £20,000 bitcoin profit, and would you swap your device trash for cash at Currys?
3/18/202238 minutes, 2 seconds
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Could you be an Isa millionaire - and would it get you financial independence?

Do you harbour ambitions of investing your way to a £1million Isa pot – and what would you do with it if you got there? The lure of financial independence has only gotten stronger for many through the Covid pandemic years and a cool million in tax-free savings sounds like a decent way to achieve it. So, it’s no surprise that the idea of becoming an Isa millionaire features regularly in the personal finance pages. What would that £1million get you though, how much would you need to invest and for how long to get there - and is it enough for financial independence? On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert discuss building your way to a £1million Isa and how achievable that might be. Also on the podcast, the team look at what’s happening to mortgage rates and why anyone whose mortgage needs fixing this year should start thinking about it, along with some practical tips of what they could do. They take a look at Santander’s recently improved 123 account – and whether it’s been bumped up enough to be worth taking. And finally, the cost of living crisis looms large again: is there anything the government is likely to do to help with the soaring cost of petrol and should you fix your energy bills or stick with the price cap? The latter is a question on Simon’s mind – as it’s exactly the scenario he is facing as his energy deal ends – he talks us through the numbers and what he will do.
3/13/202248 minutes, 41 seconds
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Is the runway property market due a reckoning from rising rates and inflation?

House prices have soared in the pandemic boom – with the average home an astonishing £44,000 more expensive at £260,000, according to Nationwide. But mortgage rates are rising, the cost of living crunch is hitting hard, and the idea of a post pandemic Roaring Twenties seems very distant right now, so is a reckoning for Britain’s property market on the way. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert dive into the housing market to look at why homes are now the most expensive they have ever been when compared to wages – and what could send them even higher or tip them into decline. The team also look at the mortgage market, where the best bargain basement fixed rate deals have long vanished and rates have been rising rapidly. But while they might be going up, mortgage rates are still very cheap and the Bank of England is weighing up loosening some lending rules, so where does that take us next. Simon also has some advice for anyone whose mortgage fix is up for renewal this year. Spoiler alert: it’s to start looking into a new fixed mortgage now. And a reader question – and yes, this was a genuine one – of whether taking $1million-plus in payment for a property in the Caribbean in crypto is a good idea? And finally, credit cards are dead, it’s all about buy now, pay later… or is it? There’s a new Avios-earning Barclaycard out and Lee’s excited. Find out why by listening to the end.
3/4/202254 minutes, 30 seconds
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How will the Ukraine crisis hit your finances and what should investors do?

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has created a tragic situation that goes far beyond worries about our finances but it will have an impact on them. The ins and outs of the conflict are not something that This is Money is qualified to comment on, but the financial impact of events is something that readers and listeners come to us to learn about. On this podcast, Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Simon Lambert look at what that impact could be. How the Russian-Ukraine conflict will affect out personal finances: from energy bills, to petrol prices and food, to the immediate volatility it has thrust on to people's investments, the team look at what is happening and what may happen next. Should investors stay calm and stick to their guns, or are their merits in one outlier suggestion of moving 50 per cent to cash and batteing down the hatches? Also on this week's podcast, the added problem of inflation for people's investments and how to combat it. Plus, the latest on the state pension underpayment scandal and how some councils are now trying to rake in money from those paid back lump sums. And finally, its not an uncommon situation now to sell a property and step out of the market while you find a new one, but what should you do with a huge sum of cash in the meantime?
2/25/202245 minutes, 27 seconds
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What is a 'midlife MOT' and could it help you onto a path for a richer future?

A free 'midlife MOT' course has been launched aimed at people who want to do a stock take of their current finances, career and health. This is an idea championed by the finance industry and government. But is it any good? Investments and pensions editor Tanya Jefferies undertook the course by finance giant Legal & General and the Open University and tells Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce of her experience. NS&I has doubled the rates on its green bonds – are they still missing the mark or is the boost good for eco-conscious savers? The Power of Attorney system has come in for plenty of slack this week with the 'creaking' system said to be in desperate need of improvement. What can be done and why is it important? Could you, or someone you know, be entitled to a social broadband tariff which could save hundreds on an annual internet bill? And finally, Lee goes into detail about This is Money's new retro revival series – with the first cash in the attic style subject in focus being video games, and more specifically Nintendo and its late 90s N64 console.
2/21/202242 minutes, 35 seconds
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Are we too worried about smart meters - or is surge pricing looming?

Where do you stand on smart meters? This seemingly common sense technological advance in how we are billed for energy has proved hugely divisive. From concerns over security and surveillance, to a mistrust of energy companies, and a botched and sometimes accused of bullying rollout, smart meters have not proved the popular success it was hoped they would be. Now things have stepped up a gear, as an Ofgem change will lead to smart meters being able to send half hour updates to energy providers - opening the door for electricity pricing to change at different times of day. The idea is that this will help smooth usage and make the transition to green energy easier and cheaper, while saving customers money. That makes sense, why not charge your electric car or run the tumble drier when demand is low and so are prices? But it also creates the potential for a troubling scenario for many, where energy pricing is used to change our behaviour. Meanwhile, people also question whether private companies that sell us power are likely to give up profits and allow our energy bills to get cheaper overall.  On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at the latest smart meter controversy and whether we are overthinking this. Also on this week’s podcast, there’s some number crunching on what people need to do to combat inflation’s effect on their spending, income and wealth. The team discuss the weird world of rising second hand car prices and used cars worth more than new ones. And finally, friend of This is Money, Dave Fishwick – of Bank of Dave fame – is going to be the subject of a movie. Lee updates on what Dave told him about that earlier this week.
2/11/202253 minutes, 27 seconds
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Base rate rise, energy cap soars and inflation predicted to surpass 7%

Thursday marked a big day for the pound in our pocket. First of all, it was announced the energy price cap was to rise 54 per cent. Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Helen Crane take a look at what that means, what support has been made available and what happens next. Hot on the heels of that bombshell we had another rate rise from the Bank of England - piling pressure on borrowers. What will it mean for mortgages and will we finally seeing savings rates begin to head higher? With rates on the rise, would you fix your mortgage for a decade? Halifax and Lloyds unveil 10 year deals. And Helen launches her Crane on the Case consumer column – the first saw a remortgage mix-up land our reader with a bill of nearly £4,000.
2/4/202247 minutes, 57 seconds
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Can we do anything to stop our energy bills soaring?

It’s almost crunch time for our energy bills, with the new price cap that will kick in from 1 April due to be announced in just over a week. At that point those on variable rate price cap-linked tariffs will know how much their bills will rise by – a figure that’s widely expected to be 50%. But the worst of the bill shock pain will be felt by others, those with fixed rate deals cheaper than the current price cap but that are soon due to end. So, can people on either variable or fixed deals do anything to stop their bills soaring? Is there any merit in trying to fix?  And what should we do to help the households for whom this will be not just another blow from the cost of living crunch, but a shove into fuel poverty? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert talk through the options for Britons facing soaring energy bills and the government and industry in trying to deal with them. Plus, with Simon one of those people whose fix is imminently ending – in the middle of March – what are the options that his energy supplier Octopus has presented him with, and which one is he going to take? He talks us through that. Also on this week’s podcast, the team talk through the stock market wobble, the US growth vs rising rates conundrum, and the suggestions that it might be UK shares time to shine. And finally, Nationwide has at last raised savings rates – only a week before the Bank of England is forecast to deliver another rate rise – but will savers be cheered or disappointed?
1/28/202252 minutes, 21 seconds
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Steven Bartlett interview: We speak to the new Dragon in the Den for a bonus episode

Steven Bartlett is the latest star of Dragons’ Den – and we recently caught up with him for a special bonus This is Money podcast episode. In this frank interview with This is Money’s Simon Lambert, Steven tells us his story, the challenges he’s faced in his business life, how he got ahead and his tips for anyone else wanting to start a business. At just 29, Steven may be the youngest Dragon the programme has seen but he has already built up a successful business career. He launched a social media marketing agency Social Chain – at a time when the medium was considered to have little value - and grew its revenues to hundreds of millions of pounds. He also presents the Diary of a CEO podcast, on which he has interviewed everyone from business leaders, such as Starling Bank’s Anne Boden and Deliveroo founder Will Shu, to Rio Ferdinand and Jimmy Carr. Steven isn’t afraid to share his strong opinions – including how school and higher education is failing young British hopeful entrepreneurs – and has become an author and been a guest on shows including Question Time. Recently, Steven has launched another new business Flight Story – as well as finding time to be in the Dragons’ Den. That’s not bad for someone who says that at 21 he was a broke, university drop-out in a Manchester bedroom. A short part of this interview was already featured in This is Money’s end of 2021 podcast but we wanted to bring you the full discussion as a special bonus episode.
1/20/202226 minutes, 7 seconds
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How to get your finances on track at 40: From pensions to property, how to get where you want to be

Turning 40 is a milestone birthday – and perhaps the one that gets people thinking most about where they are at in life. It’s an age that involves a lot of looking back and looking forwards and a fair amount of comparing yourself to where others are at. But what do you need to think about in terms of your finances, from pensions, to property, investing and saving? On this podcast – as a certain Georgie Frost turns 40 – Simon Lambert and her take the opportunity to have a look at the financial side of hitting the big 4-0. It’s not just for those who are 40, it looks at people’s financial life in the decade around this age – and includes plenty of tips relevant to those who are much younger or older. Plus, Simon takes us back in time to what Britain’s economy and finances were like 40 years ago in 1982. How much did a house cost? What did people earn? How high were interest rates? And was it better, worse or incomparable?
1/14/202233 minutes, 32 seconds
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Are building societies and banks playing fair with savers?

Interest rates went up last month and banks and building societies have been busy upping mortgage rates, with Nationwide revealing a raft of rises this week. But while Britain’s biggest society has got off the mark with mortgage rate rises – reflecting December’s Bank of England hike and money market expectations of another move up potentially as early as February – its savings rates remain on the floor. The best easy access savings deal open to all from Nationwide pays just 0.01 per cent and the top no-strings easy access deal offered as a reward to the building society’s own members pays 0.35 per cent. Nationwide isn’t alone, almost all its big building society and banking rivals have also been failing savers for years – and although they blame the low interest rate environment that doesn’t stop them making bumper profits and paying out blockbuster wages to top executives. So, are they diddling savers or do they have any defence? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at how and why banks and building societies have failed to meaningfully help savers ever since the financial crisis – and whether there is any hope that things will change? They also discuss what savers can do about it and why an investment expert recommends savers think in three pots to help them cautiously invest for better returns. Also on this week’s podcast, why buy-to-let investors don’t want to be called landlords any more, how to maximise Avios as we enter a potential sweet spot for picking them up, and how to get a pay rise this year. And finally, what does the Fiesta being knocked out of the list of the best-selling cars tell us about the topsy-turvy pandemic inflation economy? A lot more than you might think, Simon explains.
1/7/202249 minutes, 31 seconds
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From inflation to investing mistakes: Best of the This is Money podcast from 2021

It's safe to say 2021 has been an eventful one for the economy and personal finance – and our podcast has covered it all. Georgie Frost takes a look back at some of the best bits of the show starring Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce, Tanya Jefferies and Helen Crane. We talk about investing mistakes and what you can learn from them. How much a lifetime will cost? And what is behind the inflation surge that emerged in the last few months of the year? There is a bit about house prices – naturally – and we chat over our £1bn underpaid state pension victory. And we have a Dragon in the house. Simon catches up with new Dragons' Den star Steven Bartlett, who has a hugely successful podcast of his own. He talks through his views on the traditional route to success and why it is outdated. Happy New Year!
12/31/202154 minutes, 9 seconds
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Christmas isn't cancelled but what if your event is?

There was some good news this week, or at least the absence of more bad news: Christmas isn't cancelled. In England at least, more Covid restrictions have been dodged for now. This Christmas time people can enjoy meeting up with their friends and family without having to break any rules to do so - they just have to use their own judgement, an old-fashioned concept but one many are happy with. But that doesn't mean that things haven't been cancelled left, right and centre, as the hospitality and entertainment industry once more bears the brunt of Covid. So, what can be done to help pubs, restaurants, cafes, music venues, theatres etc? Has the Chancellor gone far enough with his latest rescue package? And what happens in terms of getting your money back if your event is cancelled or you have to skip it yourself? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert, look at the muddle that another year of having to cancel and postpone stuff has left people in. Also on this week's podcast, the good news for the Treasury as more tax rolls in, but what's gone up and is it enough to tave off a wealth tax? Plus, would you invest in fine wine... or even music? The team look at how to do both. And finally, is a Christmas update on the PLSA retirement living standards research a cracker or a dud? Merry Christmas from all of us at the This is Money podcast. Christmas bonus: Simon’s ten supermarket wines for about a tenner that taste more expensive Co-op: Château Millegrand Minervois - £10 Co-op: Château Joanin Castillon- £9 Co-op: Vavasour £10 Tesco: Finest Ribera Del Duero £12.50 Tesco: Finest Rioja Reserva - £8.50 Waitrose: Les Nivières Saumur Loire, France - £9.99 Waitrose: Beaujolais Villages - £7.99 Sainsbury's: Zweigelt - £9 Sainsbury's: Albarino - £7.50 Sainsbury's: Gruner Veltliner - £9
12/24/20211 hour, 6 minutes, 56 seconds
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Was the Bank of England right to raise interest rates?

They finally did it! The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee raised the base rate from its emergency 0.1% level to 0.25%.    That came the day after inflation rocketed to 5.1 per cent - and is forecast to keep rising - and in the week that the International Monetary Fund warned the Bank of England against 'inaction bias'. Markets were cheered by the rate rise and economists were broadly welcoming too, yet the general consensus is that it will make little difference to the inflation Britain is suffering. So, why raise interest rates and was this the right move as the nation stares down the barrel of yet more (potentially overcooked) Covid disruption? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Simon Lambert delve into the rate rise, ask whether it was the right move but maybe for the wrong reason, and look at why inflation is soaring and when it may abate. The team also discuss how this will affect ordinary people and whether it will add to the cost of living squeeze hitting everywhere from the petrol pump, to your heating and the supermarket aisles. Tanya gives an update on delayed state pension cases and her investigations into this and whether the generation in their late 40s will have to wait longer to retire. And finally, it’s nearly Christmas and frantic present buying is the order of the day, but if you were going to give a financial gift to a child would you give Premium Bonds, shares or bitcoin? 
12/17/202142 minutes, 5 seconds
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How can first-time buyers get on the property ladder as prices soar?

The greatest hurdle first-time buyers face after years of house prices rocketing far faster than wages is saving for a deposit. A 10 per cent deposit on the average £273,000 home, according to Halifax’s index, would be £27,300 – roughly an entire year’s average salary. That’s a tough gig to save while paying rent, bills, commuting costs, living expenses and trying to at least enjoy your 20s or 30s a little bit. So what can prospective homeowners do to get that money? How long would it take to save and can the often-maligned Lifetime Isa be a real no-brainer of a booster here. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert talk about trying to buy your first home, saving for a deposit, and whether new Bank of England rules designed to make mortgages easier to get could end up backfiring and sending prices even higher. Those potential rule changes come about because problematically, if a first-time buyer could save that £27,300, they would then need to borrow £245,700 on a mortgage to buy the average home.  Even if they were able to find a bank or building society that would offer to lend them five times their salary, an individual first-time buyer would need to earn about £50,000 per year to qualify. A shift to enabling first-time buyers to borrow more would bridge that gap, at the expense of huge mortgages, but could it just drive house price inflation. Also on this week’s podcast, could a savings platform boost your rate, what a damning report into Ofgem’s role in energy supplier collapse said and in the year that is a gift that keeps on giving, Christmas present inflation.
12/12/202151 minutes, 36 seconds
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How much will a lifetime cost you?

We’ve all felt it, that moment when you look at your bank balance and think ‘I’ve spent how much?’ But what if you looked at an entire lifetime’s worth of spending? What would the damage be and how painful would that number feel? According to a recent piece of research by Atom Bank, the cost of living an entire near 81-year lifetime in 2021 would be a whopping £1,543,834. That includes £169,159 spent on children, £266,742 on buying the average house and £69,793 on Christmases. The bank compared the figures to what the same lifetime would have cost at a 1971 snapshot, with £14,738 on children, £2,371 on the average house, and £4,177 on Christmases. Beyond highlighting just how much house prices have skyrocketed in 50 years – if they had only kept pace with standard inflation the average home would cost £38,000 – what does this tell us? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert discuss that and why a snapshot like this – vaguely precise as it may be – can help us understand how inflation works and how it can drive up prices. Lee picks out the inflation across each decade to show that and Atom’s figures that see the cost of the average lifetime rise to £19.2million by 2071 sharpen the mind. Inflation is looking large again, but Omicron has made it look like a Bank of England interest rate hike may be back off the table this month.  The team discuss that and whether the variant and restrictions to tackle it will cause more economic problems and what those with travel plans can do. Next up is the Great Resignation – another phenomenon thrust to the foreground by the pandemic – what’s going on, why are people quitting and should you stay or go to get a pay rise and better working conditions? And finally, is your home hotter than Lanzarote? It’s cold and frosty outside, but inside a surprising number of British homes it’s shorts and t-shirt weather. 
12/3/20211 hour, 35 seconds
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How much tax do you really pay - and a year of Grace on the Case

What makes a good consumer story to take up the cudgel on and fight a reader’s corner – and why don’t companies and organisations just do the right thing? A year ago, This is Money started its Grace on the Case column, where reporter Grace Gausden fights for reader’s rights and tries to solve their problems each week. Over those 12 months, roughly £381,000 worth of victories have been racked up – more than £1,000 a day. On this week’s podcast, Grace takes us behind the scenes of the column and talks about the cases she has tried to help with. She joins Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert to discuss the biggest issues that have emerged, and how things have played out when This is Money took on firms and organisations for readers. Also, on this week’s podcast, do you know how much tax you pay? Most people only have the vaguest idea based on their headline rate, but what percentage or amount do you actually pay, and where are the sneaky glitches in the tax code that catch people out. Plus, the LitterLotto where you can win money by putting stuff in the bin, whether Black Friday is a con or a golden opportunity, and finally, would you swap items in your shopping or lifestyle to beat inflation?
11/27/202149 minutes, 29 seconds
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Is 2022 looking bleak for our finances thanks to soaring inflation?

Inflation hit its highest level in a decade this week off the back of soaring energy costs and petrol prices. Why is the cost of living on the rise, when will interest rates go up, and how will all this affect the pound in our pocket? This week, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Mike Sheen take a look at the 4.2 per cent CPI figure and how it is becoming harder to ‘inflation proof’ your finances. It looks like the state pension triple lock could be doomed – that 3.1 per cent rise pencilled in for next year doesn’t look generous considering the rise in the cost of living. There is a special delivery for Royal Mail shareholders while major banks are not only shuttering branches, but are increasingly telling customers to serve themselves. And finally, TSB is the latest bank to offer a prize draw, is it a good alternative to Premium Bonds or simply a gimmick?
11/20/202141 minutes, 43 seconds
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The energy saving battle: Which household tasks use more?

Is it better to leave the heating on low all the time, or switch it on in smaller bursts? Does an electric heater cost less to heat a room? Is the electric blanket cheaper than a kettle-filled hot water bottle? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Grace Gausden and Simon Lambert, tackle the burning questions of our time (well, the common energy saving ones people often debate at least). The team reveal a cunning way to work out when you can use Avios points to book flights. Plus, Simon explains why he's not a crypto investing genius, why you probably aren't too and what the point of regularly reminding yourself that you aren't an investment guru in crypto, shares, or anything else is. And finally, a This is Money reader recently moved home and doesn't have a doorbell and their landlord won't provide one, do they have to... and exactly who is this reader?
11/12/202139 minutes, 19 seconds
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Should the Bank of England have raised interest rates? Plus Steve Webb on pension delays

Did the Bank of England bottle raising interest rates or should a rate rise have never been on the cards in the first place? Inflation is mounting but hiking the base rate will do little to tame soaring energy prices, an oil price spike or the supply crunch. On the other hand, the emergency 0.1 per cent base rate arrived at the start of the coronavirus crisis and the economy looks far better now than was expected then. So where should rates be? And did the Bank of England make the wrong decision for the right reason? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Simon Lambert dissect the Steady Eddie move that got the Bank of England labelled an ‘unreliable boyfriend’ again. Plus, our pension agony uncle Sir Steve Webb joins the podcast to discuss state pension delays and what has happened since he and Tanya Jefferies exposed the situation. And finally, it’s time for some council tax rants… just why is the tax so seemingly crazy and in terms of fixing it, should we be careful what we wish for?
11/5/202152 minutes, 20 seconds
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What you need to know about the 'inflation' Budget – are you set to be far worse off financially next year?

On Wednesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered another Budget alongside a Spending Review. Much of what it contained had previously been revealed, including the forthcoming National Insurance hike, frozen income tax bands, triple lock suspension and a flurry of information over the weekend. Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Lee Boyce run the rule on the latest Budget and updated figures on inflation and base rate predictions, alongside where the economy is at… and potentially heading. The Chancellor didn't reinstate the Universal Credit uplift, instead lowering the taper while also rising the minimum wage to £9.50 an hour – will that help working families? With a cost of living crisis that seems to be looming with petrol, food and energy prices rising, were there any measures to help combat this? Could base rate really reach 3.5 per cent by 2023, and should homeowners be worried about potentially rising mortgage costs? And what about the threat of rising inflation, now predicted to be plus-4 per cent next year? There was an update about cladding and changes to short haul flight taxes alongside a promise to fix a tax quirk that deprives low-paid workers of pension cash which is paid to better off colleagues – but not until 2025.
10/29/202143 minutes, 18 seconds
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Are you willing to pay the price for going green?

Going green used to be presented as a way of saving money, but the stark reality that dealing with climate change will mean us spending more is dawning. The carrot of £5,000 grants to help people ditch gas boilers and install air source heat pumps or other more eco-friendly heating was dangled by the Prime Minister this week.  There was a hefty caveat though, there is only enough cash for 90,000 being made available and it seems like the rest who want to get greener heating will need to foot hefty bills themselves.  People can stall but eventually the stick will come, with banks encouraged to only give the best mortgage rates to those with efficient homes. Likewise, another carrot was dangled in the form of green savings bonds from NS&I, so savers could put their money to work helping the nation’s green projects. Once more, there is a big caveat: the rate on the three-year bonds is a measly 0.65 per cent. That compares to the best standard three-year savings fix of 1.81 per cent. Maybe Kermit was right, it’s not easy being green. But will our good intentions overcome the higher costs and lower returns and people be willing to pay the price for going green? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert, discuss green bonds and better alternatives and greener homes, their costs and whether there is also better options that we are being presented with right now. Plus, we had closure on the axing of the triple lock this week, with an inflation figure that set the next state pension increase, and bitcoin hit a record high.  And finally, Lee explains the This is Money headline of the week: ‘I fished my daughter's third birthday present out of a skip’
10/22/202155 minutes, 58 seconds
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Are Premium Bonds worth holding onto - and will rates rise?

Premium Bonds are probably Britain’s best loving savings product but are they worth holding? The savings lottery delivers 100% government-backed protection, a theoretical 1% return – dependent on luck – and relatively easy access to your cash. But a new report this week highlighted just how unlikely people are to win big prizes. In fact, unless you have a sizeable amount in bonds, you should expect a long wait for anything over £25. But does the study stack up? What about all the readers telling us they’ve won lots? And does it matter that you’d have to wait ages to win £50 or more – or are those uninspiring regular £25 prizes a much more useful source of returns? On this week’s podcast Georgie Frost, Adrian Lowery and Simon Lambert dig into Premium Bonds, looking at the odds, the study on big prizes, what our readers have told us, and also how many people hold. Plus, interest rate rise chatter has stepped up a gear this week. Is a hike really imminent? Also under discussion are the energy saving measures you can take to try to cut your bills as the price spike sends more providers bust and threatens household finances. As Meghan and Harry get the ethical invest bug, we a look at ESG, greenwashing and how to invest to make an environmental impact. And finally, the topsy-turvy Covid world has thrown a new curveball: one-year-old used cars are now more expensive than brand new ones. How does that work? The team try to explain and reveal the used cars rising in value the most.
10/18/202148 minutes, 49 seconds
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From trackers to 10 year fixes: Mortgage war continues to spell record low rates

With inflation on the rise, homeowners nearing the end of their mortgage deal could be tempted to lock in for longer – especially with murmurs of a base rate rise. It comes as rates continue to fall, even on tracker deals. What are the pros and cons on a two, five and even a 10 year fix, and does the flexibility of a tracker mean it could be a worthy option to consider? Lee Boyce, Helen Crane and Georgie Frost discuss what those remortgaging and home buyers need to consider when getting a new home loan. And landlords haven't been left behind in the mortgage battle either. There is now a sub-1 per cent buy-to-let mortgage rate – and sticking with the property theme, yet another huge monthly bump for prices. Elsewhere, should you sell old Premium Bonds to buy a new set for 'better luck' and just how much have lockdown savers poured into the NS&I product? Lastly, how about a career change as an… HGV driver? We look at what salaries are on offer and how to train as a lorry driver.
10/8/202146 minutes, 44 seconds
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Rates may be on the rise but watch out for inflation

Savings rates are on the rise but even if you do find a best buy, don't get complacent because inflation is running hot too. On this podcast, Lee Boyce, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert look at why savings rates are rising, whether interest rates will follow suit and quitehow long it might be before we get back to a normal situation of a savings account consistently beating inflation. Simon discusses whether attack may be the best form of defence in the form of stock market investing - and why the 'just buy bitcoin' comments shouldn't be entitely heeded. Plus, could you or would you want to live off grid? What would it entail? And would it actually save money?
10/1/202154 minutes, 56 seconds
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How bad will the energy crunch get? Plus an underpaid state pension update

The week began with an energy crunch, as households woke up to the problems sending gas prices spiralling - and the impact that could have on their bills. It ended with a needless rush on petrol, as people were told there was no need to panic buy fuel… and some promptly panic bought it. The petrol issue we’re told is to do with a shortage of HGV drivers to deliver fuel, the gas problem is unfortunately far more complex. The immediate impact for households is that some are finding their energy supplier has gone bust and they are being transferred elsewhere, others are discovering they can’t switch, and many are staring down the barrel of a potential big imminent price cap rise followed by another next spring. In this podcast episode, This is Money’s energy and consumer correspondent Grace Gausden explains what’s happening and Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert discuss the implications with her. In the second part of the podcast, Tanya Jefferies joins to talk about the National Audit Office report into underpaid women’s state pensions, which highlighted her and our columnist Steve Webb’s work in exposing the fiasco, Tanya updates us on their investigations and what may happen next. And finally, there’s a new bank in town: Chase. Well it’s actually a very old one, because it’s JP Morgan launching current accounts in the UK under the Chase brand.  It’s got 5% interest, with a catch, 1% cashback and some nifty features. Is it worth getting? 
9/24/202141 minutes, 17 seconds
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Could the inflation spike lead to stagflation - or is it the start of a growth spurt?

The cost of living jumped by the largest amount on record to hit 3.2 per cent in August – is it set to run out of control and prompt the Bank of England to raise interest rates? Meanwhile, a gloomy report has lead some economists to talk about stagflation once more. What is it, is it a threat and does it matter? This week, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss the 'flations' and what it could mean for the coming months, and the pandemic recovery. Alongside this, there are supply chain problems and staff shortages. Can we expect higher prices in shops and is Britain set for a hiring boom? It's not just shops that are suffering, soaring costs and tradesmen shortages are leaving families doing home improvements themselves - or stuck with half-finished renovations. And we go inside the pocket sized houses aimed at first time buyers in London. We left the cat at home: there wasn't enough room to swing it…
9/17/202143 minutes, 50 seconds
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The social care tax hike and the triple lock bust

If you’re going to break one manifesto promise, then why not break two? Why not distract from telling pensioners they can’t have their potential 8.8 per cent triple lock state pension rise by hiking taxes for everyone. That appeared to be the theory this week, as two pledges to not raise taxes and keep the triple lock went out the window. Boris Johnson has been bold enough to be the Prime Minister who finally tries to fix Britain’s social care problems, with a 1.25 per cent national insurance rise and then new tax to pay for this and getting the NHS to play catch-up after the pandemic. Coupled with a corresponding 1.25 per cent NI rise for employers, this amounts to a 2.5% hit to people’s pay. Will that be enough to sort the problem, does the cash risk just being swallowed up by the NHS, and are our social care problems just about funding? Along with those questions, why was the triple lock turned double for a year, was this a close shave for its existence and could there have been a better way of dealing with wildly skewed wage growth figures? On this week’s podcast, Tanya Jefferies, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert tackled those questions and more on the triple lock and social care. Plus, Tanya explains how she uncovered major delays for people who are starting to get their state pension and what the Government plans to do about it. Also on this week’s show, what to do when a share you hold takes a tumble – and how to when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. And finally, why the AA says people’s range anxiety over electric cars is massively overcooked. Clue that’s not why most break down.
9/10/202157 minutes, 36 seconds
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Are you a mover, a flipper, or a forever-homeowner? The tribes driving the property market

Are you a mover, a flipper or a forever-homeowner? Among its many surprises, the coronavirus pandemic has delivered a property boom.  In pretty much the exact opposite of what all the experts thought was going to happen the property market has hit fever pitch over the past year and a bit, with more people moving and house prices soaring. But amid all the fuss, which property tribe are you in?  Are you a mover – for whom the grass always looks a bit greener, perhaps in a house with extra space, more bedrooms, a bigger garden, or with a slice of the country life or even a prime location in the city?  Or would you choose to be a flipper, happy to buy and sell regularly to try to make some money and climb the ladder quicker – maybe doing places up and turning ugly ducklings into swans as you go along?  Or is your chief desire to be a forever-homeowner, the kind of person who wants to either stay put where you are forever, or find the one place you can do that and then stop moving. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert take a look at the property market tribes and how they are driving the market, from those who love to move, to those chasing a quick buck, and those whose sole desire is to find the perfect place to stay put. Also on this week’s show, the team discuss how to learn from your investing mistakes rather than beat yourself up over them. And take a look at both sustainable banking and investing and what that means and why the new greener E10 petrol is causing a kerfuffle.
9/3/202145 minutes, 44 seconds
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Is there a way to boost YOUR state pension and how easy is it to now retire abroad?

When it comes to state pensions, there has been plenty of talk in recent weeks about the triple lock and what could mean next month when it comes to an uplift. However, more than 2million receive less than £100 a week in state pension payments – is there a way to boost it? Tanya Jefferies, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss and reveal the common reasons why you might not receive the full state pension. Sticking with the pension theme, we talk through a case of an ex-Judge who faced a hefty 'advice' fee when he made a decision on a drawdown pot. Spain is still the top choice for those planning to retire overseas – but has the pandemic and Brexit put more people off a life in the sun? Lee reveals why it is now time to be chasing savings rates again and his tips for making sure a challenger bank you've never heard of is a good spot for your cash. 
8/29/202148 minutes, 33 seconds
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Could you fall victim to a parcel scam?

As Britain's streets are filled with drivers whizzing deliveries around, there's a new top scam in town. Parcel and package delivery scams are the most common type of 'smishing' text messages, a report said this week. Fraudsters are sneaking into people's text messages, pretending to be couriers that missed you while you were out, or need to arrange or rearrange a delivery. Click the link and you could end up being scammed. This is being enabled by the wave of online deliveries in the pandemic, as online shopping stepped up a number of gears, and the somewhat chaotic way some drivers are delivering those parcels: who doesn't recognise the 'leave it on the doorstep and run away tactic'? On this week's podcast, Lee Boyce, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert look at what uou can do to avoid falling victim, what are the risks if you do, and can we do anything about the rise in fraud? Also on this week's podcast, its squeaky bum time for the triple lock. Wages are officially up 8.8 per cent and the reference month for pension increases is rapidly approaching, so what will Chancellor Rishi Sunak do?  Will a bumper increase for the state pension arrive, or the breaking of a manifesto pledge? Plus, the blink and you'll miss it mortgages, as top rates hang around for a very limited time - and the chip shortage that means people are struggling to buy new cars and sending the price of used ones soaring. And finally, is the current account battle back on? As Nationwide bungs people £100 to sign up, the team take a look.
8/20/202149 minutes, 5 seconds
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How low will mortgage rates go?

How low will mortgage rates go? The lowest two-year fixed rate has been cut to 0.83 per cent and five-year fixed rates are available at 0.99 per cent. That’s cheap money – and while these super low rates are only reserved for those with the biggest deposits, it’s clear that the mortgage price war is back on. The question is will rates keep falling and get cheaper still?  Some experts say believe they won’t and this is the floor but others suggest they could come even down all the way to 0.5 per cent. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert look at what’s driving mortgage rates down and the house prices up and whether it’s ever worth jumping ship to a potentially cheaper deal from an existing home loan? Also on this week’s show, are you a property snooper, spying on friends, relatives and colleagues’ house prices and homes? Plus, how to avoid getting too emotionally attached to your investments and is it worth tracking down DIY investing platforms and apps that offer fractional share dealing?  
8/16/202154 minutes, 55 seconds
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Are your energy bills about to soar? Latest on the Ofgem price cap and how to beat imminent rises

From October, millions of households can expect to pay even more on their energy bills.  Ofgem is raising the energy price cap for the second time in a year, due to rising wholesale costs. The cap is now at a record high and it means those who are on a standard variable tariff, or a prepayment meter, could be facing hundreds of pounds added to their annual bills. Lee Boyce, Grace Gausden and Georgie Frost take a look at the price cap, what it means and how to potentially beat it. When it comes to future technology, will we soon see the death of the landline to be replaced by phone calls over wi-fi? Additionally, with growing numbers of households – especially rural ones – turning to satellite broadband, we explain how it works and the potential costs. When it comes to current accounts, we tend to stay loyal. But those who have switched, Starling Bank and Virgin Money have been the most popular destinations. It's a tale of two different switching mentalities – those who want branches and bribes, and those who simply want a sleek app and good customer service. Lastly, Grace on the Case launched 10 months ago. In that time, our senior reporter Grace Gausden has managed to claw back a total of nearly £206,000 for readers. She takes a look back at some of her most satisfying wins and her passion for helping This is Money readers achieve a fair result from a variety of different firms.
8/6/202151 minutes, 19 seconds
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Home eco-improvements are being pushed by the Government – but do the sums stack up?

Ministers want us to ditch gas boilers and line our houses with insulation to save the planet, but do the sums add up for cash-strapped homeowners? Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost take a look at the Government's aims, if green measures in your home can pay for themselves in the long-run and what it could take to pull Energy Performance Certificate ratings for homes higher. Simon takes aim at London's low emission zone expansion - it's less than three months away and riddled with inconsistencies. It will leave at least 300,000 residents with older cars facing a fee of £12.50 each time they get behind the wheel – and these schemes could be coming to a town or city near you. Value and quality are in, income and momentum are out… we explain the latest investing trends - and bust some jargon too. Tesco closes all its current accounts - so where next for their nearly a quarter of a million customers? Is Barclays a good option? You can now earn Avios points and get a free upgrade once a year – but there's a catch…
7/30/202150 minutes, 32 seconds
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With new plans to tackle bogus ratings online: How much can you trust reviews?

The Government is planning a major crackdown on fake reviews. Under proposals, it will become illegal to pay someone to write, or host, bogus online ratings. How much weight should we put behind buying decisions when it comes to reviews and ratings, and what exactly are the plans to prevent this kind of consumer manipulation? This week, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss this, along with the others measures the Government is planning, including on subscription traps and Christmas savings clubs, and how it'll be enforced. How much are you saving? You might think a lack of a rainy day pot is solely an issue for those on low incomes, but you'd be wrong. A quarter of Britain's wealthiest households do not have one - why is this the case? That comes as fixed-rate deals nudge higher, but Lee warns listeners not to get too excited. Are you paying for too much mobile phone data? And would you take part in a home swap in order to save on your summer holiday?
7/23/202151 minutes, 5 seconds
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What's the link between rocketing car hire prices and inflation?

Just when you thought that you could book to go back in the water.  As if sorting a holiday, ensuring the country you want to go to is okay for long enough to get there, or dodging quarantine roulette wasn't enough, now car hire inflation is biting. In a sign of the inflationary times, the cost of renting a car has rocketed to about three times the price of last year and it's being blamed on the semiconductor shortage. How can a lack of computer chips drive up costs so substantially at the car hire desk?  And what on earth has this got to do with the price of a bag of crisps? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Grace Gausden and Simon Lambert look at holidays and inflation and the points where supply and demand are intersecting to create very odd scenarios, plus Simon expands on his crisp-based inflation explanation. Also on this week's podcast, Grace investigates unpaid Dartford Crossing charges that spiralled into a £3,000 bill and Simon looks at what happens if you want to give your house to your child and whether that's an inheritance tax risk.  
7/16/202143 minutes
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Should the triple lock give an 8% state pension rise?

The triple lock has always been a hot potato but things have stepped up another gear as it could deliver a bumper 8 per cent state pension increase due to a statistical quirk. The state pension pledge means that payouts rise by the greatest of inflation, wage growth or 2.5 per cent. Yet, wage growth numbers are being skewed this year because the Covid crash a year ago saw millions put on furlough on a maximum of 80 per cent of earnings, workers suffer temporary pay cuts, and many lose their jobs. Job cuts disproportionately hit the low paid and continue to do so, taking them out of the figures and bumping up the average wage, workers coming back from furlough are seeing pay go back up to their full amount, and short-term pay cuts have been reversed. All this makes average wage growth look artificially high, despite many public and private sector workers suffering pay freezes or negligible rises. The Office for Budget Responsibility forecast that distortion could lead to an 8 per cent wage growth figure in the month the triple lock reading is taken from, delivering a £14 weekly increase to the state pension and £3billion bill. Is it fair for pensioners to get a bumper increase based on a distortion caused by the pay pain suffered by workers in lockdown? Some say ‘no’, others say ‘stick to the deal’. On this week’s podcast, Tanya Jefferies, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert look at what is causing the triple lock anomaly and what the Government might do. Will they pay up or fudge it? Also this week, the painful cases of those who cannot afford funerals for loved ones, the return of gazumping to the property market, and finally, the crazy NatWest banking rule that has forced a reader to have their employer’s bank accounts mixed with theirs in online banking.
7/10/202149 minutes, 17 seconds
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Underpaid state pension scandal update alongside the future of pensions and green bonds

Yet more people caught up in the underpaid state pension scandal have been unearthed by This is Money – and tragically, in the two cases we highlight this week, they weren't alive to see justice. Two bereaved daughters received sums of £42,000 and £71,000 because their mothers were underpaid state pension for more than a decade before dying in their 90s. The payouts are all thanks to the intrepid work of investment and pensions editor Tanya Jefferies and our pensions agony uncle Sir Steve Webb. They join deputy editor Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost to talk about these latest cases, and what it means in terms of inheritance tax and care fees – could you, a family member or friend have been caught up in the scandal? We also talk about pensions in more details – do you know what yours is invested in and what it's worth? It will matter even more than usual if the Chancellor gets his way and taps into our retirement pots and parcel it out to fast-growing businesses, transport projects, real estate and carbon-friendly investments. We also discuss the new green savings bonds from NS&I: how long is the term, what's the rate and just how green are they? There's a chink of light for easy-access accounts and if you leave Georgie and Lee to organise the podcast, they will inevitably add a section in about sport - we talk about this booming trend during Euro 2020.
7/2/202151 minutes, 58 seconds
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How much do you need for a comfortable retirement? (TiM podcast excerpt)

How big a pension pot do you need to save for a comfortable retirement? Pension and investing editor, Tanya Jefferies, discusses research that puts a figure on what people need to retire on, in this excerpt from the This is Money podcast. Alongside host Georgie Frost, she talks about Which? research into pension savings and how people can build the pot they need. Also, This is Money's assistant personal finance editor Helen Crane looks at whether you should prioritise getting on the property ladder ahead of a pension or pay equal attention to both. And the team look at how younger workers can build the retirement savings they will need.
6/30/20219 minutes, 7 seconds
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The stamp duty race to avoid a double false economy

Home buyers are engaged in a last minute race to beat the stamp duty deadline – with some facing a potential double false economy. House prices have bounced over the past year meaning that the £15,000 maximum saving of a year ago would now come on a property that potentially costs £50,000 more. That has led to claims of a false economy, but it would be doubly so for any buyer who then missed the deadline too and ended up with an extra £12,500 tax bill as they only get the tapered bit of the stamp duty holiday not the whole thing. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at the last minute stamp duty rush and what might happen next to the property market, with Simon outlining that it’s not just a tax cut driving the pandemic boom. At the other end of the property ladder, the team look at how to make sure you don’t end up paying off a mortgage in retirement and what you can do if you are approaching your pension years or in them with a home loan still to clear. It’s likely that those borrowers could face higher rates than the rock bottom mortgage ones now too, but will rising inflation send interest rates up sooner than people think? Meanwhile, what can a new £50 note and what happened to the value of the last one introduced in 1981 tell us about inflation? And why is continental Europe so much happier about taking big notes. And finally, if you wanted to beat inflation you wouldn’t usually buy a nearly new car, but there are some now six-year-old motors out there that have held their value better than others and amazingly some that are worth more now than they were in 2018. We reveal which.
6/25/202153 minutes, 26 seconds
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Would you invest in sneakers or the new space race?

Sneaker investing – those in the know don’t call them trainers, apparently – has become a big thing in recent years and as values have risen, so has the volume of fakes. It’s not just knock-offs aping standard sneakers anymore, some of the counterfeiters are dabbling in shoes that could go on to be worth thousands of pounds. Can anything be done, does it matter and what’s the attraction if investing in sneakers anyway? This is Money’s Grace Gausden went behind the curtain with eBay, which has its own crack team of fake sneaker spotters, to find out more and tells podcast listeners all about it here. Alongside, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert, Grace discusses the tests that can spot a fake and why eBay is cracking down. Meanwhile, Simon looks at the comparisons between sneaker investing and other more established alternatives, such as art, wine and classic cars and, of course, the new kid on the block, crypto. Also, on this week’s show the team discuss the courses for those who haven’t driven in years and the best cars to insure new drivers on. Simon looks at why smart Chancellors can’t help inflating house prices and why the holiday part was the problem with the stamp duty cut. And back on an investing tip, if sneakers are a bit too down to earth for you, how about backing a space investment trust? 
6/18/202152 minutes, 25 seconds
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Is loyalty starting to pay for savers and customers?

Does loyalty pay or is it just a bizarre concept we have allowed businesses to convince us might exist while they take advantage? As banks and building societies hint at better rates for those who have stuck by them and insurers find themselves forced at regulatory gunpoint to at least not sting existing customers, this week’s podcast looks at the loyalty reward and penalty. At what point does the corporate idea of loyalty rewards meet the reality of whether it’s worth sticking with the same provider? Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert discuss loyalty, its rewards and its drawbacks on this week’s podcast. Plus, Britcoin, a new idea for the Bank of Mum and Dad and beach huts… are they a cheap property goldmine?
6/11/202150 minutes, 44 seconds
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Could the 18-year property cycle really predict the next house price crash?

Another week, another house price index stating record growth. This time it was the turn of Nationwide, which said prices had risen 10.9 per cent in the year to April, reaching a new high of £242,832 - up by £23,930 compared with 12 months earlier. Most experts say this is down to people's changing lifestyles during the pandemic and the incentive provided by the Government's stamp duty holiday. But are there other forces at play? Fred Harrison, a British author and economic commentator, successfully predicted the previous two property crashes years before they occurred - and his 18-year property cycle theory says that house prices should continue to boom before crashing in 2026. His theory is based on analysis of 300 years of data, and suggests that the underlying force behind rising prices in the property market is the finite supply of land. This, he says, combines with greed and speculation to turbo-charge sentiment and send prices spiralling before a bubble bursts. Given that early predictions of a house price crash during the pandemic were wildly inaccurate, does his model provide a better idea of what might really happen? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Helen Crane also look at the other factors shaping the housing market, including tantalisingly cheap mortgages with two-year fixed rates as low as 0.99 per cent. But aside from these headline-grabbing rates, the typical mortgage has actually become slightly more expensive in the last year - so why are experts saying locking in for five years is still a good idea? One group that isn't so happy about this year's house price increases is first-time buyers - especially those who took out Help to Buy loans a few years ago and are now paying back inflated sums into the Government coffers based on their homes' increased values. Helen discusses whether they should hold off paying back the loans in the face of spiralling interest - and whether today's first-time buyers should still consider using Help to Buy at what is widely tipped to be the top of the market. Do you want an 'essential', comfortable or luxurious retirement? New research explains how much you will need to put away to get the lifestyle you want in your later years Away from housing, we talk about the latest research telling us how much we need for a decent retirement - depending on whether we want an 'essential', comfortable or more luxurious time of it in our older years. Tanya explains how much people should be putting away, and how that changes if you are single rather than part of a couple. We also discuss controversial comments made by Paul Johnson from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), who said most people don't need to worry too much about saving into their pension until they are in their 50s. Is it really wise for younger people to push pensions down their list of financial priorities? Finally, we answer a question from a reader who took £20,000 out of their pension pot to deal with Covid cashflow issues - but is now worried that their tax-free annual allowance has taken a hit.
6/4/202139 minutes, 7 seconds
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Could the 18-year property cycle really predict the next house price crash?

Another week, another house price index stating record growth. This time it was the turn of Nationwide, which said prices had risen 10.9 per cent in the year to April, reaching a new high of £242,832 - up by £23,930 compared with 12 months earlier. Most experts say this is down to people's changing lifestyles during the pandemic and the incentive provided by the Government's stamp duty holiday. But are there other forces at play? Fred Harrison, a British author and economic commentator, successfully predicted the previous two property crashes years before they occurred - and his 18-year property cycle theory says that house prices should continue to boom before crashing in 2026. His theory is based on analysis of 300 years of data, and suggests that the underlying force behind rising prices in the property market is the finite supply of land. This, he says, combines with greed and speculation to turbo-charge sentiment and send prices spiralling before a bubble bursts. Given that early predictions of a house price crash during the pandemic were wildly inaccurate, does his model provide a better idea of what might really happen? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Helen Crane also look at the other factors shaping the housing market, including tantalisingly cheap mortgages with two-year fixed rates as low as 0.99 per cent. But aside from these headline-grabbing rates, the typical mortgage has actually become slightly more expensive in the last year - so why are experts saying locking in for five years is still a good idea? One group that isn't so happy about this year's house price increases is first-time buyers - especially those who took out Help to Buy loans a few years ago and are now paying back inflated sums into the Government coffers based on their homes' increased values. Helen discusses whether they should hold off paying back the loans in the face of spiralling interest - and whether today's first-time buyers should still consider using Help to Buy at what is widely tipped to be the top of the market. Do you want an 'essential', comfortable or luxurious retirement? New research explains how much you will need to put away to get the lifestyle you want in your later years Away from housing, we talk about the latest research telling us how much we need for a decent retirement - depending on whether we want an 'essential', comfortable or more luxurious time of it in our older years. Tanya explains how much people should be putting away, and how that changes if you are single rather than part of a couple. We also discuss controversial comments made by Paul Johnson from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), who said most people don't need to worry too much about saving into their pension until they are in their 50s. Is it really wise for younger people to push pensions down their list of financial priorities? Finally, we answer a question from a reader who took £20,000 out of their pension pot to deal with Covid cashflow issues - but is now worried that their tax-free annual allowance has taken a hit.
6/4/202139 minutes, 7 seconds
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Are you a Premium Bond winner or loser?

Have Premium Bonds turned you into a savings winner, or are you one of the losers who have been missing out on prizes for years? On this week’s podcast we dive into Britain’s beloved savings lottery, looking at who holds the most Premium Bonds, who wins and who doesn’t. NS&I revealed exclusively to This is Money this week that an astonishing 43 per cent of bonds are held by just 4.3 per cent of savers – that’s £56billion out of the £107billion total. Or to put it another way every £2 out of £5 saved belongs to less than 1million savers out of a total 21.4million. That may go some way to explaining why close to three-quarters of Premium Bonds savers haven’t won a prize in 14 years. Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert dig into the statistics, deliver a theory on how much you might need to hold to bag at least one prize a year, and look at whether Premium Bonds are worth having. They are certainly popular and that’s why Nationwide has launched a savings lottery – is that worth signing up to as well? In crypto corner this week, we discuss the crash, the rebound and the slump again, along with banned adverts and Chinese crackdowns: is this the end of the recent hot phase or just another average week for bitcoin to take in its stride? Also, on the show, paying bills with commemorative coins – and what legal tender really means, why self-storage is the latest thing in short supply and who is investing’s Czech Sphinx?
5/28/202143 minutes, 36 seconds
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Is a little bit of inflation really such a bad thing?

The UK’s official inflation figure more than doubled to 1.5 per cent in April, it emerged this week, as the stronger than expected recovery continued to push up the cost of living. Meanwhile, as we discussed on last week’s podcast, a wave of demand is meeting a shortage of supply for some items, sparking fears of an inflationary spike. But while this is bad news for the pound in your pocket – which will buy less – and for savers, who will see their measly interest rates fail to keep up with how inflation erodes their cash, wasn’t the whole point of all that money printing and rate cutting to get a stronger recovery and inflation back towards the 2 per cent target? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, George Nixon and Simon Lambert look at why inflation has become a hot topic, how it will affect savers and investors, and what it could mean for the game we all thought we could stop playing for some time: when will interest rates rise?  George runs through the impact for savers, who now can't find an account that beats inflation, but he explains a trick to get a better rate through laddering. And Simon discusses what inflation could mean for investors and why the jam-tomorrow growth stocks that have delivered over the past decade may not be the ones to hold for the next ten years. Or will they? We also discuss moonshot investing and how backing disruptive companies that if they get it right, can absolutely take off and compound spectacular gains, has paid off for investors such as Scottish Mortgage. Simon highlights the academic research showing why most stocks don't make money and the most successfully often fall by 40 per cent, as Scottish Mortgage's James Anderson highlighted in his recent fund manager's note. But is this attitude the same as that of the bitcoin true believers, who have been having their faith tested again this week? 
5/22/202151 minutes, 31 seconds
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Holidays abroad are back on but would you book one?

Holidays abroad are back on… or are they? The much-heralded green list proved to be something of a damp squib, with the only popular British holiday destination on there being Portugal. There was no place for Greece, France, Spain, Italy, the US, or other regular stars in the list of Britons’ favourite travel spots. Some rushed to book trips to Portugal, but travel giant Tui reported this week that holidaymakers are cancelling and delaying bookings and rival On The Beach scrapped all its summer holiday departures before the end of August. Concerns over Covid variants and worries about countries being rapidly pulled from the green list for travel are likely to prevent many from booking, but there is still a big desire from many vaccinated Britons to enjoy one their beloved trips abroad.  So, will there be a surge of bookings, a last minute wait and see game, or a race to grab the few remaining staycation places during the summer holidays? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Grace Gausden look at the state of play for the travel industry and holidaymakers – and how to protect your hard-earned cash if you do book. Highlighting the need to do just that, Grace explains why Teletext Holidays is under fire for still not refunding some customers for last year’s cancelled trips. Also on this week’s show, Simon runs through his anecdotal inflation theory and why trying to buy bikes or garden furniture, find a builder, or fill up a car tells a very different story to the official 1 per cent inflation rate. He also explains why worries over higher inflation are causing markets to throw a wobbly. And finally, we all know about how the Bank of Mum and Dad has to fund many of their children when it comes to buying a home, but what if you need to help your parents buy a property? A reader asked if there is a potential tax trap – the team explain the answer.
5/15/202148 minutes, 4 seconds
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Build up a cash pot then buy and sell your way to profits: Never Go Broke/This is Money special

This week saw the launch of new book - Never Go Broke: How To Make Money Out Of Just About Anything, co-written by This is Money personal finance editor Lee Boyce. In this podcast special, Lee is joined from Los Angeles by his co-author, Storage Hunters TV star Jesse McClure, to explain all to Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert. Jesse and lee discuss how they met, how the book was created, and their three step approach to putting more money in your pocket with a little bit of entrepreneurial endeavour and reselling. The book is broken down into three parts: how to build up a cash pot, learning the resale blueprint and investing the pot for resale profits. Step one is all about properly selling items in your home, making cash legitimately – and safely – online, and even making money from stuff you might think is trash. This is good both for your wallet and the environment. Step two sees Jesse outline some of the tips and tricks he uses everyday as a professional buyer and seller, while step three is all about hunting down spots to buy items to make even bigger profits – from car boots, to charity shops. While it won't make you a millionaire overnight, the pair believe it can be a great hobby, a way to stay afloat, or to set the foundations to becoming a professional at it. The authors also share some of Jesse's big wins and tips for getting started straightaway.
5/7/202154 minutes, 58 seconds
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Are you itching to spend after lockdown or planning to save?

Are you itching to spend or planning to save? Lockdown savers are forecast by the Office of Budget Responsibility to have stashed away £180billion by the middle of this year.   That collective cash pile has been built up by those who have been fortunate enough not to see their finances hit by the pandemic, but have seen their outgoings drop substantially.   We’ve already seen some big spending themes come out of this, as people splash out on everything from home improvements, to luxury garden furniture, expensive pizza ovens and hot tubs.   The expectation is that as lockdown eases and people are released into the hoped for freedom that vaccines bring, they will go on a spending spree.    But will that definitely happen and will the economic rebound be strong enough to create a virtuous circle that delivers the much-talked about Roaring Twenties?   Or will people be more cautious and adopt their newfound savings habit more permanently?   On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert, dig into the save vs spend debate and look at how the giant behavioural and psychological experiment that lockdown represents might play out for the economy and people’s personal finances.   Also on this week’s show, the team look at both investing in the big themes of the coming decades and buying a holiday let for profit.   And finally, if a fence comes down how do you find out who has to pay for it and is there any truth in the old ‘yours is the one on the left’ rule?
4/30/202148 minutes, 11 seconds
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Are 95% mortgages to prop up the property market wise?

Life is tough for first-time buyers. House prices were already expensive before the coronavirus lockdowns and defying all logic a mini-boom has sent the average house price up £20,000 further over the past year. At the same time mortgage lenders have indulged in a flight to safety, canning the vast majority of 95 per cent loan-to-value mortgages and bumping up the gap between rates on 90 per cent mortgages and those for borrowers with more equity. Once more into the breach has stepped the Government, with taxpayer aid for banks and building societies to offer more 5 per cent deposit mortgages. But is this a wise move? Should we stop meddling in the mortgage and property market, as short-term assistance ends up meaning long-term pain as more credit is extended and house prices climb ever higher? And could it be that while the 95 per cent mortgage push is the wrong move at the national economic level, on a personal level taking one might prove a good move for some, who could end up paying less than they do in rent. On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert discuss the 95 per cent mortgages, the rise in house prices and whether buy-to-let is still a good investment. Also this week, the lowdown on the Barclaycard customer service meltdown as long-standing customers see their credit limits slashed. And finally, you want a shed-office (aka a shoffice) to work in down the bottom of the garden, but can you power it with solar panels?
4/24/202156 minutes, 48 seconds
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Was the Coinbase listing bitcoin and crypto's coming of age?

Was the blockbuster Coinbase stock market listing a coming of age for bitcoin and cryptocurrency or a top of the bubble moment? The world’s leading crypto exchange platform listed on the US stock market this week and at one point hit a hefty $100billion valuation, before slipping back to $60billion. That’s still a very big number, especially for a business that made $322million last year. But Coinbase is profitable, its earnings are growing rapidly, it can cash in whether bitcoin and crypto prices rise or fall, and the cryptocurrency genie is well and truly out of the bottle. So, could it prove to be a Facebook or Google of the crypto world?  On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Simon Lambert look at the Coinbase float and what it means for the crypto and investing world. They also discuss the Spac frenzy, how it’s leading to lucky dip investing for some but also more companies coming to market, and whether once you know what’s in a Spac it could ever be worth investing. Also, on this week’s podcast, the team look at low risk investments that could be an alternative to a paltry 1 per cent five-year fixed rate cash Isa and Tanya updates on the women underpaid state pensions. And finally, Barclaycard has slashed customers’ credit limits and left many of them baffled and annoyed, so what on earth is going on? 
4/16/202150 minutes, 12 seconds
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Is working from home here to stay and how do you make a career leap?

On Monday, we take a step towards normality – you can get your hair cut, have a beer outside at the pub and visit a clothes shop. But what about the future of the office? Will we ever go back full-time, or is a hybrid model more likely – and if you're tempted by a shed office, what should you look out for? On this week's podcast, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss the future of work and the pros and cons of WFH life, including the 'shoffice.' Elsewhere, should you claim home working tax relief and how much could you get for doing so?  And what can you do if you want to change career, whether that is a huge leap or a 'bridging' one. Plus, are workers heading for a horrible shock when it comes to retirement and what can be done to navigate it?
4/9/202147 minutes, 6 seconds
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What's behind the rising tide of financial scams?

Financial scams are on the rise. The coronavirus lockdowns have seen a fresh burst of investment cons with fraudsters impersonating legitimate companies to steal tens of thousands of pounds. Unwitting savers are being lured into fake savings and investments, such as fixed term bonds or share schemes, and transferring large sums to fall victim to clone fraud. What’s behind this burst of crime and how can people protect themselves? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert discuss the rising tide of fraud, how to stay safe and what more can be done to combat it. Also, on the show, the pair look into the cases of the mortgage prisoners, trapped paying high rates ever since the financial crisis while others have seen their monthly payments slashed. The Deliveroo float is also on the agenda – why did the shares slump as it hit the stock market? And finally, campervans are in hot demand, making this a good time for VW to be launching its new mini Caddy California: with sleeping space for two and an optional tent that turns into a home on wheels for all the family. Would you want one?            
4/5/202150 minutes, 21 seconds
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Hot or not? How to spot if you’re in a buyer’s or seller’s market

The headlines are telling you the property market is running hot, that the stamp duty holiday extension is stoking the fires, and buyers are ignoring the economic slump to pile in. There’s just one problem: your home is on the market and you aren’t even getting any offers. Perhaps you are in a property coldspot. As property watchers will tell you, the house price index-driven view of a national housing market is something of an illusion. In reality, there are lots of different local property markets and they don’t all blow hot and cold at the same time. At the moment, while some areas are running hot, others are cold – and it’s not as simple as city vs village, or urban vs rural. Even within London, there are some areas with high demand and others just a few miles away where it is tough to sell. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Adrian Lowery and Simon Lambert look at how to take the temperature of your local property market and how that can help you buy or sell. They discuss what next for house prices – and whether they can possible keep rising at such a robust pace from here, or if we could see more stability and an end to Britain’s casino property market. Also on this week’s show: how to invest in companies that will help improve the environment, the FCA’s warning on thrill-seeking young investors and the best Isa investments of all time. And finally, the electric car grant has been cut and will be axed for all cars costing more than £35,000. Is this foolish as we try to wean the nation off petrol and diesel, or a wise move to stop subsidising those already wealthy enough to buy an expensive brand new motor?
3/27/202150 minutes, 53 seconds
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How to save or invest in an Isa and why it's worth doing

What’s the point in an Isa? This is a regular grumble as savings rates are now so low that earning 1 per cent would be a big deal. But wouldn’t you rather have all of a small amount instead of a small amount minus tax? And if you are investing, an Isa makes a lot of sense – embracing your gains and dividends in a nice tax-free wrapper. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert talk Isas: from the classics, cash and stocks and shares, to the upstarts the lifetime and junior strands. The team discuss why an Isa is worth having, even a cash one when the personal savings allowance exists and rates are rubbish. And Simon gives his quick guide to investing easily in an Isa, with a whistle-stop tour through the ‘why, how and what’ that could help you grow your wealth long-term. The team also discuss whether a lifetime Isa is worth having and whether a junior Isa or a slice of your own is the best place to save for children. And finally, if you’d like to both turn a profit and make your money do some good, what about ethical investing? Is the ESG label (environmental, social and governance) just a marketing ruse and how ethical are these funds? We run through the spectrum of investments that try to be ethical and give some ideas on what might fit the bill
3/19/202148 minutes, 10 seconds
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Is the UK primed to bounce back - and what next for Scottish Mortgage?

Is the economy primed to bounce back? That might sound like a strange question when you’ve just had the news that UK GDP fell by 2.9 per cent in one month, but January’s lockdown slump was nowhere near as deep as expected. It seems that despite a tough lockdown being imposed, shops and big chunks of the economy being shut and schools being closed, the UK has adapted to restrictions better than thought when it comes to doing business. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Jayna Rana and Simon Lambert discuss the prospects for recovery and also the businesses that have pivoted and started-up over the lockdown year. While economies have suffered, stock markets have rebounded strongly – and in the case of the US and its growth star stocks, repeatedly surpassed previous record highs.  That’s been good news for UK investors backing the growth story, particularly the legions of savers with money in the giant Scottish Mortgage investment trust. But a growth stock wobble in the US has sent Scottish Mortgage sliding – with the trust down 27 per cent at one point on its January peak – followed by a rapid bounce back to erase some of those losses. Should investors be worried or is it a buying opportunity – and what is the one key investing lesson that Simon says this highlights? Also on this week’s show, the mortgage that lets you fix for life – bringing potentially a 40-year fixed rate until 2061. And finally, would you buy your local pub to rescue it from the threat of closure? If the answer’s ‘yes’ then there’s some good news: Rishi Sunak wants to help you.
3/12/202150 minutes, 4 seconds
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The 'escape velocity' Budget and the £3bn underpaid state pension victory

The Budget this week was notable for two things: Firstly, The Chancellor decided to delay settling the coronavirus bill to another day and, secondly, the true scale of the women's underpaid state pension scandal was laid bare at £3billion. The collossal short-changing of married women on their state pensions was uncovered by This is Money columnist Steve Webb and journalist Tanya Jefferies just over a year ago. Their investigations, campaigning and tenacity has paid off and now women affected should get what they are owed - to the tune of an astonishing £3billion, according to Budget documents. Tanya joins Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert to explain the issue on this week's podcast, as the team also trawl through the Budget to explain what it means for people. One day Britain might have to try to balance the books and pay the bill for the coronavirus rescue, but that day didn't arrive with the Budget. The Chancellor Rishi Sunak openly indulged in some stealth taxation by freezing personal allowances and income tax thresholds in the future and said corporation tax would rise, but kept the cash flowing to aid economic recovery. Furlough was extended, there will be an encore at the stamp duty holiday party, the business investment of Eat Out to Help Out was launched, and a new 5% deposit mortgage scheme has been launched (without being called Help-to-anything, so that's something at least). The self-employed also got some more help, with new entrepreneurs getting assistance, but bizarrely those who previously earned more than £50,000 as sole traders and paid lots of tax are still left out in the cold. The tax burden is set to rise but this was no austerity Budget and Britain's debt and deficit are scarily big. So will Rishi's third Budget in a year be what Britain's economy needs to achieve escape velocity as lockdown eases (and hopefully never comes back)?
3/6/202155 minutes, 15 seconds
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Should the stamp duty holiday be made permanent?

Rumours are swirling ahead of the Budget that Rishi Sunak will extend the stamp duty holiday by three months? The idea is that this would help stop the collapse of chain after chain as buyers pull out, renegotiate or have to find more money if they miss the deadline. The excuse being given is that conveyancing delays are holding up sales. But wouldn't a three-month delay just kick the can down the road by another 12 weeks and lead to another cohort of buyers potentially affected? Would it be better to just make the stamp duty holiday a permanent vacation?  Cut the tax properly, with no time limit, accepting that high stamp duty tax is a barrier to people moving? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Grace Gausden and Simon Lambert discuss the stamp duty break, whether it was a good idea and whether it should be extended or the tax cut altogether. Also this week, Grace fills us in on the latest Grace on the Case and Simon puts forward his idea for improving Isas. And finally, you might be bold enough to book an overseas holiday but would you be brave enough to start a travel company now?
2/28/202150 minutes, 16 seconds
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What happens next to the property market and house prices?

Since the stamp duty holiday came in last summer, there has been a property market mini-boom despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Is it losing puff yet and if not, when is it going to run out of steam and will we see the tax holiday extended? The typical home added £20,000 of value in 2020 according to the Office for National Statistics, while prices of detached homes are growing far quicker than other housing stock. On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost take a look at the latest property market data to dissect what it means. On 3 March, we will have a Budget. Will it give an indication as to how we could foot the huge bill linked to the pandemic? Will there be tax rises? And are there simple ways to protect your wealth? How many shares should you hold to diversify and is fund manager Neil Woodford really about to stage a comeback. Meanwhile, Lee gives a free wine course from Aldi a go as part of his consumer trends column – does he have what it takes to become a Master of Wine?
2/19/20211 hour, 24 seconds
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We dodged a double-dip recession, so what next?

The double dip recession is off.  The GDP figures are in for the final three months of 2020 and the UK economy grew by 1%, according to the ONS, despite widespread expectations that it would shrink again. This means that even if the latest – and hopefully last – lockdown shrinks the economy in the first quarter of 2021 then we will avoid the dreaded double-dip – as you need two consecutive quarters of negative growth (forgive the economics speak) for a recession. Of course, we don’t know when this lockdown will end or how heavy an impact it will have on the economy, so what happens in the first half of 2021 is up in the air. But why didn’t GDP fall in the final stretch of last year, is there any way we could we claw our way to growth in the first chunk of this year, and how bad was the coronavirus year of 2020 for the UK? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, George Nixon and Simon Lambert dive into the GDP numbers to take a look at what this all means. Also on the show, are we finally going to see an end to the scam refund lottery from banks for those conned into sending money to fraudsters, George explains what people need to know about that and also the issue of disabled children child trust funds. Plus, why has Tesla bought bitcoin, what does it mean and what on earth is Elon Musk playing at with his crypto tweets at the moment. And finally, should you head for Oxbury Bank – the farmer-focussed lender with a new top savings rate?
2/12/202152 minutes, 2 seconds
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Will you own up to your investing mistakes?

Mistakes. We all make them, but whether we will admit them freely often depends on what they are and how we made them. Investing mistakes can be among those that are tough to swallow and own up to. Often the easiest thing is to brush them under the carpet and try not to think about it too much. But looking at where we went wrong and learning from it is an important part of long-term investing. On this week’s podcast Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert discuss investing blunders. Simon confesses some of his and what he thinks he’s learnt from them over the years, the team look at new research on why people give up investing and how big a part loss aversion plays in that. And This is Money invites listeners to get in touch and reveal their investing slip-ups to feature in a future show (no names need to be mentioned, of course). Also on this week’s show, is the Bank of England flirting with negative rates or just indulging in Maradona monetary policy? And what on earth is an estate rent charge on a prospective new home and should it put you off?
2/5/20211 hour, 10 seconds
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Should the GameStop frenzy be halted to protect investors - or allowed to run its course?

‘It’ll end in tears.’ How many times did you hear your parents sound that warning - and how often did you actually pay attention? The army of traders playing with fire in the GameStop stock market frenzy this week have had their warning from a plenty of those who supposedly know best. But it’s fun, they feel a common sense of purpose, they’re giving the big boys a bloody nose, and for now they’re winning. And so the game continues? But should it have been allowed to get this far? Should the trading platforms have tried to nip this in the bud, should watchdogs have stepped in, or in a free market should we just let people get on with stuff – even if it’s punting call options on ramped up shares? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert discuss the Reddit-led rebellion, where small traders got together on the Wallstreetbets thread to take GameStop from a beaten-down and heavily-shorted stock to a cause celebre. The bedroom traders piling in realised that by combining forces they could make the share price rise and beat the hedge funds at their own game, putting them in a short squeeze. But is this really a rallying point for a financially disenfranchised generation still angry at the financial crisis and its after effects, or a get-rich-quick bandwagon that’s being jumped? Will those who hold the line win out, or as with any bubble will it be the little guys and girls who lose big? Also on this week’s show, the team discuss the property tech tricks that can help you get a hedgie-style edge when buying a home (or at least convince you that you know a little more than the next person) and whether a five-year fixed rate mortgage is a no-brainer. The latest Grace on the Case investigation that won £13,500 for a widow given the runaround by VW Financial Services over her late husband’s car is explained. And finally, just in case we are ever allowed to fly anywhere ever again, is it worth taking Nectar’s new Avios deal.
1/29/202143 minutes, 33 seconds
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Should you cash in bitcoin profits or wait for the moon?

In case you hadn’t noticed, bitcoin went on bit of a tear recently. And as the price of the leading cryptocurrency soared again, so did the number of stories written about it. Bitcoin is an interesting tale, a welcome diversion in a Covid-bound world, and the circus around cryptocurrency is the gift that keeps on giving for journalists. But the vast majority of those column inches focus on two things: bitcoin’s price and should you invest? A question that’s not so much asked is what should you do if you’ve reaped handsome profits on bitcoin or another cryptocurrency?  Should you cash in those gains or – to combine a couple of crypto phrases - hodl on the basis that it really could go to the moon?  (Where that moon is and when it’s been reached is as yet undefined.) On this week’s podcast, we dive into the story of a This is Money reader and listener who told us about what it’s really been like to hold bitcoin long-term and how although he’s not quite got Lamborghini money, he did buy a Skoda and pay off some of his mortgage. Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert also look at the rival cryptocurrencies to bitcoin and Argo Blockchain, the small UK listed company that’s come from nowhere to place among investors top recent share buys. On a more pedestrian note, the team also discuss inflation-beating savings accounts and where they can be found – spoiler alert, don’t get too excited – and property guardians: would you live in an empty building for cheap rent? And finally, there are some new concocted financial terms doing the rounds – how many can Simon and Lee guess correctly?
1/22/202144 minutes, 51 seconds
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Is this the answer to pension freedom without the pain?

More than five years since pension freedom arrived a solution to take the pain out of investing in retirement is being lined up. Before pension freedom many savers were locked into buying an annuity with their personal pensions or defined contribution work schemes – and a lot of them felt they were getting a raw deal. That’s meant that keeping a pension invested and drawing on it as you choose in retirement has proved a very popular option. It is also a very tricky one to navigate – but now some simple help is at hand, so will it crack the conundrum of pension freedom without the pain? Tumbling annuity rates, an industry that failed to make sure people shopped around and the gamble on life expectancy that meant if you died early then you and your family would lose out, made annuities hugely unpopular. So, Chancellor George Osborne came up with a big bang approach that meant nobody had to if they didn’t want to anymore. The problem is that many people had simply opted for a ‘pay money into my pension while working and not think about it’ approach and so had no real idea how to invest for retirement. Now the industry has come up with a solution that involves savers being offered four ready-made investment deals when they first dip into their pension pots, if they do so without financial advice. On this week’s podcast George Frost, Tanya Jefferies and Simon Lambert, discuss whether this is the answer that savers need. They also look at the tsunami of pension and investment scams, what people can do to protect themselves and ask whether it’s the FCA or Google and the social media companies that should be doing more to crack down on it. Simon outlines his theory on why just as we are about to be able to get out and enjoy ourselves again, some big ticket inflation might hit. And the team look at another Santander 123 account rate cut – is it time for customers to finally give up, or is it a deal still worth having? 
1/17/202147 minutes, 10 seconds
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Are investors right to buy British for better times after lockdown and Brexit?

Happy new year, happy new lockdown. 2021 has seen off 2020, but schools and large chunks of the economy have shut down again and people have been ordered to stay at home, as across the UK the nations adopt their own version of lockdown.  It’s probably been the gloomiest start to a year for as long as many can remember and a tough winter for people, businesses and the economy lies ahead. So what happened? The UK stock market jumped, of course.  Contrary as this may seem, there is some logic to investors buying into the hope that better times lie ahead. We have Covid-19 vaccines being rolled out that will hopefully make this national lockdown the last people have to endure – and we also have a Brexit deal. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at what the fresh lockdown means for the economy and why investors are choosing to look straight through it and develop a new appetite for buying British. Are UK shares undervalued and a great opportunity for 2021 and beyond – and will a strong consumer rebound once the economy is reopened prove the catalyst the FTSE needs? The team also discuss the potential implications of the Brexit deal for people’s finances and businesses. Meanwhile, the FTSE 100’s gains may have been substantial for a week on the stock market, but they are nothing compared to bitcoin’s continuing rise. The cryptocurrency cracked $40,000 this week: what’s going on, are people making real money out of this, and is there any idea what could happen next? Also, on this week’s podcast, the team talk moving home and getting your property looking attractive for a sale and with everyone stuck at home again, how to improve your wifi.
1/8/202155 minutes, 1 second
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The look back at 2020 and Zoom Christmas taste test episode

Making predictions can be a mug’s game and never has that proved more true than for any made at the start of 2020. It’s been an astonishing year, when the lives and freedoms we took for granted were dramatically disrupted – and one where ordering people to stay at home triggered the biggest economic crash in the UK since the Great Frost of 1709. While looking forward to what might happen in 2020 will have proved fruitless, looking back certainly provides a few things to talk about. On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look back over 2020 and by popular podcast listener demand combine it with the return of a socially-distanced Zoom Christmas taste test. The team look at the low points, the high points and the bits in the middle of the year that has passed so far – and probably still has more to give. From the economic nosedive, to the flirtation with negative rates and the stock market and housing market’s surprising buoyancy, they pick through the main issues. And they look for the stories that provided some light relief, including Britain’s unlikely pandemic spending spree and hot tub boom.
12/24/202059 minutes, 7 seconds
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Is buy now, pay later bad news or savvy spending?

Is buy now, pay later the demon it’s made out to be?  Klarna, Laybuy and the rest of the delayed spending crew are coming in for lots of scrutiny at the moment.  Shoppers love them and shops pay them, but there are concerns on over-spending and the cost of not meeting payments. Yet, surely spreading the cost of a purchase interest-free is a sensible financial move? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert discuss the rise of the buy now, pay later firms, how they work, how they make their money on interest-free credit, and why there are worries over what on the surface looks like a great deal. On the topic of shopping, the team also talk trying to avoid Amazoning everything this Christmas – and where to turn to get things from local shops with convenience. Also, on this week’s show they look at why the Bank of England held interest rates even as more tiers pain descended on Britain, the website that matches start-up ideas and the people who can do the work and finally Grace Gausden joins the show to discuss her Grace on the Case consumer column.
12/18/202051 minutes, 20 seconds
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Would a 'wealth tax' work in Britain and could it help pay off the huge coronavirus debt?

This week, a new in-depth report from the Wealth Tax Commission recommended a one-off 'wealth tax' on the richest households rather than hiking taxes for the masses. It comes as the national debt has spiralled this year as the Government spent more than £280billion tackling the pandemic and its financial fallout, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak claiming the 'economic emergency' has only just begun. How would it work, could it be a good idea and how unpopular would it prove? Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost take a look.  Elsewhere, millions of mortgage payment holidays have been handed out since March - an agreement with lenders to help homeowners during the coronavirus crisis. But for one couple who extended the payment holiday, it turned into a credit report headache when they looked to downsize. In the property market, a new report suggests that stamp duty savings are now being wiped out by house price gains in recent months. Should investors run to the hills if one of the companies that you are invested in or are tempted by has a big pension scheme? And lastly, we give yet another update on the port fiasco in Britain, with the perfect storm of coronavirus, Brexit and Christmas.
12/11/202058 minutes, 42 seconds
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How bad is the Christmas crisis on the High St?

December had barely begun when two of Britain's biggest High Street names collapsed. Sir Philip Green's Arcadia, the group that contains Topshop and Miss Selfridge, fell first - followed swiftly by Debenhams. Bonmarché, owned by retail tycoon Philip Day, then also slumped into administration. So how bad is the crisis on the High Street, if these stores couldn't even make it through the Christmas trading period? Can traditional bricks and mortar compete against the online giants and upstarts?  Have the likes of Boohoo and Asos, put the fashion High Street online-only and there is no place for the likes of Topshop anymore? Or is there more that lies behind this story, such as financial engineering, debt, sale and leasebacks, and the lack of wriggle room that leaves when things take a downturn? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert discuss the pre-Christmas High St collapse. Plus, why you should avoid gift vouchers and cards this year, the art of flipping houses for a profit - and why those after a quick buck should beware - and why it is worth having a pension.
12/5/202053 minutes, 44 seconds
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Is there still time to go bargain hunting for investments?

'Be greedy when others are fearful.' Warren Buffett's investment adage was tested this year when the coronavirus crash hit and sent stock markets tumbling in late February and early March. But as nations went into lockdown, economies nosedived and draconian measures surpassing most seen in living memory were introduced, it was hard for most investors to get up too much of an appetite, however many times they may have heard that line. There seemed to be no way that markets would recover for some time and the most likely course was down.  Then the rebound came, but still it all looked to good to be true - as if it was just fools and their money being parted in a FOMO rally. Except, it turned out to have legs. The world's dominant stock market, the US, has been on a tear since late March and many other countries have bounced back too. So, has the opportunity to go bargain hunting passed? Could our own humble stock market be one of the last places left where you can do it? Are we missing a trick and ignoring the fact the world has changed and there is no point talking about cheap value investments, just get on the tech train? On this week's podcast, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert discuss investing bargains: what that means and whether there are any left? Also, while the stock market has been on the rise, the economy has been taking another lockdown beating. Chancellor Rishi Sunak updated us this week on the state of the UK economy, so how bad was the news? Also this week, NS&I and Marcus cut rates, so what can savers do now, and finally, is triple glazing worth splashing out on?
11/27/202050 minutes, 24 seconds
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Is Britain ready for electric cars? We talk driving, charging and buying

For better or worse the internal combustion engined car has shaped economies and the way we live over the past century. Now Britain has been told that new petrol and diesel engine cars will not be allowed to be sold in just nine years’ time. But the car itself isn’t going anywhere – just the way it is propelled and hybrids will still be allowed – so how much difference will the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars make? Is the rise of the electric car inevitable anyway and even with Brexit is it more important what Germany, France and the rest of Europe choose to do, than what the UK decides? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert talk electric cars: from what the shift to them means, to what they are like to drive, charge and live with. Simon explains his experiences of charging electric cars without a home wallbox and why he thinks the Government needs to buck its ideas up on public charging and stop making policy only for those with a drive. He also talks through what three popular electric cars, the Renault Zoe, Peugeot 208 and Tesla Model 3 are like to drive and why the Porsche Cayenne with a conscience shows the way forward for those who feel they need a big, fast, luxury SUV. Also on this week’s podcast, the team discuss yet more pain for savers and the chaos at major port Felixstowe and why it matters to businesses and consumers. And finally, Bitcoin’s back… but as it climbs towards its previous peak, is it different this time?
11/20/202053 minutes, 36 seconds
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Will the vaccine value rally continue for investors?

There have been some clear winners and losers in the rebound from the stock market crash as coronavirus and lockdown hit. Tech stars, companies with a  strong digital presence and those who have seen business increase as a result of lockdown – from B&Q-owner Kingfisher, to cycle and motoring store Halfords, and takeaway deliverer Just Eat - have been the only game in town. But, as news of the most successful Covid-19 vaccine trials yet was revealed by Pfizer on Monday, there was a dramatic reversal of fortune: it was the companies beaten-down by lockdown that soared. From aerospace engineer Rolls-Royce, to cinema operator Cineworld and travel-focussed caterer and retailer SSP, shares that had been languishing at lowly valuations and clouded by pessimism got a sudden dose of optimism. So why did they rise so strongly, is this the much-heralded switch from growth to value investing and what does that even mean? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost look at the vaccine rally, whether this marks a new chapter for investors and the economy… and what the risk of being disappointed again is. Some investors hoping to take advantage this week couldn’t, however, as DIY investing platforms struggled under the weight of record days of trading from customers. Can those Hargreaves Lansdown, or other platform, clients try to claim any money back for trades missed? Also on this week’s podcast, the potential capital gains tax raid being lined up – with perhaps some unintended consequences – and the surge of Curry’s PC World complains to This is Money. And finally, the Government is soon expected to bring forward its ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, with the favoured alternative being electric.  But if you act now and go electric but don’t have a driveway for home charging is it practical – and can you take a lead across the pavement instead?
11/15/202049 minutes, 4 seconds
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How bad will Lockdown 2 be for the economy?

When lockdown arrived in March it sunk the UK economy.  The message was clear: Stay home.  And people did just that; there was a dramatic shift to either working from home or shutting down businesses entirely.  For a couple of weeks pretty much the only place you could go was the supermarket, followed a little while later by the opportunity to head to B&Q to queue for an hour and try to do a click and collect. Now a second lockdown has arrived for England and the message is once again stay home, but things are very different this time: considerably more remains open.  As England’s lockdown arrived, Wales and Northern Ireland were already in some form of lockdown and Scotland is running its own tight tiers system. Yet, while rules vary across the nations, more businesses remain open, Britain has got used to working from home, and industries that can’t do that are permitted to keep going. So, what happens now to the economy? How bad will the hit be? And is it just the hospitality sector and leisure sector that will be hammered this time round? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert look at the economic effects of Lockdown 2 and how things could be better or worse. Meanwhile, the Bank of England responded to the lockdown by keep rates in positive territory, but pumping another £150billion into the financial system through quantitative easing. More QE has been done since March that in all the years after the financial crisis: what does this mean for the economy and normal people? Also on this week’s podcast: is it time to call the end of the property mini-boom, why are some of the self-employed still being left out while furlough is extended – and should Simon bother to try and get his Ryanair flight money back in vouchers?
11/7/202051 minutes, 38 seconds
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Is this the end of 'free' banking and who is winning the current account switching battle?

Murmurs from HSBC HQ this week warned that an overhaul of its business model could leave customers paying a monthly fee for their current accounts. This week, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost ask whether this is really a possibility, if banking actually is free anyway and what happens next. We also look at who is winning the battle of current account switchers and whether people are just too loyal to their bank. This weekend marks the end of the furlough scheme, replaced by something new – while other financial support is also changing, including free overdrafts and mortgage payment holidays. What impact did the second wave fear and upcoming US election have on the stock market this week?  Bitcoin has seen a surge in price this week, what has behind its rise to the highest level since the crazy end of 2017? And boilers – one reader has been told that their 28 year model is too ancient to service. Is this a fair call?
10/30/202049 minutes, 22 seconds
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Has the V-shaped recovery turned into a double-dip?

Has the V-shaped recovery been put on hold?   Lockdowns across Britain’s major cities, the tier system and more businesses being forced to close their doors or operate far below usual business levels means the direction of travel has shifted dramatically from the summer’s optimistic reopening of the economy.   It's likely that the UK will emerge from recession with growth over this quarter, but is it on track to head straight back into another slump?   Coronavirus measures, rules that hobble some sectors and a renewed sense of fear will slam the brakes on – and the effect was great enough to make Rishi Sunak upgrade his support for jobs and businesses again this week.   On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert look at how bad this winter will be and whether Britain can battle its way out of the slump thanks to the resilience in parts of the economy that has surprised many this year.   One element of the economy that is doing much better than expected is the property market and Rishi’s stamp duty holiday has come under fire for driving up house prices, so is it time to make it permanent, ease the need to rush and encourage people to move more often?   Also on this week’s podcast, Georgie and Simon look at the latest temperature check of Britain’s retirement prospects and how hard the pandemic has hit them.   And finally, buy a new appliance and it comes with a guarantee but do you really need to fill in that little form or go online to register it? Or is that just a swizz to get your personal details?
10/24/202039 minutes, 15 seconds
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Should British investors worry about the US election?

While the world worries about coronavirus, there is another decade-defining event going on – the US election. Will Donald Trump win a second term as US President and have the world dance to his tune for four more years, or will Joe Biden take charge – and what on earth would that mean for people? There is less than a month to go until the US election and under normal circumstances you would expect all the focus of stock market commentators to be on that. It’s not normal circumstances though. The second wave of coronavirus and renewed lockdowns have the world’s attention and the election, if not a sideshow, is definitely not as centre stage as we would usually expect. So, does that mean it doesn’t matter for investors, or should be thinking about it and positioning themselves for the outcome? Does it even matter if Trump or Biden wins, as long as the Fed keeps printing and stimulus keeps coming, and would any decisive win be better than a disputed result? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Sarah Davidson, discuss the US election and what it could mean for our money over here in the UK. And if two septuagenarians arguing about who is going to be the boss of the free world isn’t your thing, what about investing in the future beyond that? Keeping on the investment tip, the team dive into the world of green money and how to invest to back improving the world, or even get a green mortgage or current account.
10/16/202046 minutes, 57 seconds
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Is Boris's 95% mortgage idea a wise move?

The cornerstone of the Prime Minister's Conservative Party speech this week was turning Generation Rent into Generation Buy with state-backed 95% mortgages. The idea is that this will help first-time buyers frozen out by the need for big deposits - and combining it with long-term fixed rates will reduce risk? But is this a good idea or a bad plan? Is more help just what first-time buyers could do with, or is inflating the property market with more cheap money the last thing we need? On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and George Nixon talk mortgage plans and house prices. Plus GDP is still rising  but not as strongly, so is the V shaped recovery off and what will further lockdown measures do to it?  And what are the charts that tell the real story of the coronavirus economy?
10/10/202051 minutes, 40 seconds
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Can we keep our lockdown savings habit?

Lockdown Britain has produced a nation of savers, ONS figures showed this week, with people salting away almost 30% of their disposable income on average. But for those hoping that we might finally have got the savings habit, there’s a catch. Those figures cover April to June, a three-month period when most shops were shut, along with pubs, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs, and going on holiday was a near-impossible task. Deprived of the opportunity to spend, Britain put money aside instead – but is not spending the same as saving? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost dive into the lockdown saving phenomenon and look at what triggered it, whether there was anything other than an inability to spend that drove saving so much higher than in previous recessions and how the paradox of thrift plays out. They also look at where people can put the money they have set aside – with interest on savings deals negligible – and whether the sudden imposition of a savings habit bodes well for people building up better nest eggs when life gets back to normal. Some won’t have been so lucky in lockdown, however, with job losses mounting. The team look at how this affects those already committed to moving home. And finally, are brand new mobile phones a waste of money? Chasing the latest handset is an expensive game, but a new breed of cheap but high quality phones are changing the minds of some of those committed to holding onto old ones.
10/2/202052 minutes, 4 seconds
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Will the Winter Economy Plan save jobs and how does it work?

There won't be another budget this year. Instead, we had the Winter Economy Plan unveiled this week as fears over a second wave of coronavirus infections - and the further economic turmoil it could create - takes hold. Despite repeated calls to extend the furlough scheme, Chancellor Rishi Sunak held firm. How does this new Jobs Support Scheme stack-up, will it be enough and what else did Mr Sunak reveal? Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost take a look. Meanwhile, importers are worried about container delays at Felixstowe Port, with coronavirus measures reportedly creating a backlog. NS&I made some brutal cuts to savings rates and its Premium Bonds – why did it make the move, just how severe are the cuts and where can savers head next? We could be about to see the end of the loyalty penalty - when sticking with one insurer for your car or home really doesn't pay – and it may save households nearly £4billion in the next decade. And lastly, hot tubs… the hot weather at the start of lockdown saw many people snap them up. But, now, many are complaining of faulty ones, with difficulties getting them fixed.
9/25/202050 minutes, 27 seconds
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How to make an offer and avoid overpaying for a home

Britain is in the grip of a mysterious property mini-boom. Talk of a property market more buoyant than it’s been in years, of viewings and offers flooding in and family homes in hot demand, doesn’t seem to just be the usual estate agent puff. Evidence from mortgage reports, surveyors and data on estate agent activity, appears to bear this out. The stamp duty holiday and lockdown itchy feet have combine to make parts of the market a sellers’ one, so as a buyer what can you do to get a decent offer accepted and avoid overpaying? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce talk buying homes. They discuss what’s going on, whether all parts of the market are flying (not quite), why some homes go to above asking price offers but others linger, and how as a buyer you can get a good deal, while as a seller you can also try to go under offer swiftly at a decent price. Also, on this week’s show, the team discuss the rise of the lockdown trader and why more people – and younger ones at that – are buying shares. They look at inflation and how many savings account beat it. And finally, why has the Royal Mint said it probably won’t need to make anymore 2p pieces or £2 coins for a very long time?
9/18/202059 minutes, 39 seconds
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Could you fall victim to lockdown fraud?

As if 2020 wasn’t already proving to be a painful enough year, fraud has soared in lockdown. Fraud victims are now losing at least £11.5million a day but the real total is estimated at £80million, as only about 15 per cent of cases go reported. Cases are up 43 per cent in lockdown, according to Action Fraud figures, and the amount lost is up a staggering 286 per cent – meaning a victim loses £8,000 of their savings in average every minute. So could you fall victim to lockdown fraud? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost discuss how people are being conned, the red flags to watch out for, what your rights are if you fall victim and why it’s not enough to think it won’t happen to you. Also on this week’s show, will the rule of six knock the chance of a V-shaped recovery for six and what on earth is the Government playing at with its Brexit threat to break international law? And finally, there’s a savings lottery out there with a better chance of winning £50,000 than the Premium Bonds. Family BS’ windfall bonds have a minimum investment of £10,000 but a one in 714 chance of winning monthly prizes of between £1,000 and £50,000… but there’s a catch, it’s also possible no one will win. So, is it worth signing up?
9/11/202051 minutes, 27 seconds
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What's behind the UK property and US shares lockdown mini-booms?

The property market in the UK and the stock market in the US appear to be pulling off gravity-defying feats. The coronavirus crisis is still here, waves of job losses keep on coming and almost everyone is agreed there is more bad news to come. Yet, shares in the US and house prices in the UK are on the up. Is there anything behind this other than cheap central bank money and the belief that it will keep flowing and propping up asset prices? Perhaps, we have underestimated the resilience of the high flying tech stars and the British home buyer? On this week's podcast Simon lambert and Georgie Frost look at the parallels and differences between the British and American national obsessions of the property market and stock market. Plus, the mortgage crunch that is locking out first-time buyers from the party and the Metro Bank customer cruelly scammed twice are on the agenda. And finally, missing Eat Out to Help Out already? We reveal how to keep supporting the economy / wasting money / stuffing your face (delete as applicable depending on your view) for at least the rest of this month.
9/4/202045 minutes, 13 seconds
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Do you know how your pension is invested – and what will happen to the triple lock?

A large chunk of workers are unaware that their pension savings are invested in the stock market. When asked in a recent survey what they think happens to their cash, the most common answer was that they had 'no idea.' It doesn't make for pretty reading – Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost look at why it matters, and what can be done to get people more interested in their retirement pots. It comes as a reported rift has broken out at the top of government over the state pension triple lock.  A key election promise, but there is a problem: With it rising on whichever is highest: inflation, average earnings growth or 2.5 per cent, it could go up a huge 18 per cent in 2021 under those rules. What changes could happen?  From next month, your teen could be much richer as the first Child Trust Funds mature. What can your 18 year-old do with the cash? One option is not to buy private flights. Lee puts his weekly Consumer Trends column in the spotlight to reveal how much it costs to charter a flight, after one company reports a surge of interest. And what on earth is a hard seltzer? Sales in the US are booming and they have now come to Britain, will they prove as popular this side of the Atlantic?
8/28/202043 minutes, 12 seconds
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Online supermarket battle intensifies with forthcoming M&S and Ocado tie-up

Since the start of lockdown in March, more Britons have ordered supermarket shopping online to be delivered to their door to dodge the crowds and beat the queuing mayhem. This could be perfect time for Marks & Spencer, who will start its long-awaited tie-up with Ocado at the start of September, as the latter ends its 20 year long relationship with Waitrose. M&S is starting a 'back to basics' assault, lowering the prices on everyday items and it comes as its clothing division continues to struggle. Meanwhile, most major supermarkets are now offering same day – and in some cases, next hour – deliveries, are the days of doing the 'big shop' in large stores over? Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost take a look. This week saw a shock rise in the cost of living: why has it happened, where will the inflation figure go next and just how many savings accounts now offering more than 1 per cent interest? Seven US firms - Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google parent Alphabet, Microsoft and Tesla – have seen stratospheric value growth this year. Is it another dotcom bubble waiting to happen? The Department for Transport is mulling over how to allow self-driving cars on the motorway from next year, we take a look at how it works. And lastly, we celebrate our pensions agony uncle Steve Webb, who this week wrote his 200th This is Money column.
8/21/202057 minutes, 40 seconds
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Is the coronavirus recession as bad as it looks?

We are in the worst recession in living memory for the UK with GDP plummeting by 22.1 per cent in the first six months of 2020. But strange as it may sound, does that matter? We knew things would be terrible as the coronavirus lockdown pressed the pause button on the economy and people’s lives. Shops were shut, businesses were shuttered, everyone who could worked from home, almost 10million people were furloughed, international travel was halted, property sales were frozen and children didn’t go to school for four months. If you’d have predicted that was what 2020 would bring last New Year’s Eve, nobody would have believed you and they might even have called for help. So, it should come as no surprise that the ONS released figures this week showing that this year’s astonishing actions crashed the economy – although the fact that the UK suffered more than any other major economy other than Spain is a cause for concern. The question is, what next? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost dig into the GDP figures to find out why the UK was hit so hard, whether we can read anything into the ONS’s figures and what to watch out for to identify if the economy is recovering better or worse than expected. Also on this week’s show, they discuss how amid all that carnage some households are getting their finances on track, how to buy a property in pandemic if you are an aspiring first-time buyer and how to keep your pension on track. And finally, the Government in its wisdom has decided to push on with getting Brexit fully done - even if it means no trade deal by the end of the year – and that will mean imported cars get more expensive. But fear not, new car buyers, because we’ve got the best British-built options instead – from a Nissan Juke shopping cart, to a gorgeous McLaren and the wonderfully bonkers Ariel Atom.
8/15/202043 minutes, 32 seconds
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Can you invest for profit and your money to do good? We talk socially responsible investing

Can you make a profit and get your money to do some good?  The stereotypical image of the stock market and investing isn’t one of caring about the world around you, it’s more characterised by a make money at all costs attitude. But like many stereotypes that’s not accurate.  Most personal investors are just ordinary people trying to grow their wealth over the long term – and like the population at large many of them care about the environment, people being treated well and business being done properly. But while it has never been easier to be a DIY investor, how often do people really think about where their money is going and what it is doing? Socially responsible investing is a concept that seeks to change that. Trying to get ordinary investors to engage with their investments and use them to improve the world, whether that is at a corporate, social or environmental level. On this second This is Money investing special podcast, Simon Lambert is joined again by Rob Morgan, Charles Stanley Direct’s pensions and investment analyst, to explore the world of socially responsible investing. They talk about what it means, where the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) buzzphrase has come from, how things have changed from the early days of ethical investing and what kind of investments people can make to improve the world we live in.
8/13/202023 minutes, 27 seconds
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Are negative interest rates off the table?

Interest rates may have been slashed to the bone in the wake of the coronavirus crisis but the threat of a dive into negative rates has remained. This week, however, the Bank of England opted to stick at 0.1 per cent and upgraded its view on the economy for this year, saying GDP will only fall by a worst-in-a-century 9.5 per cent rather than a worst in 300-odd years 14.4 per cent. It also hinted that negative rates could do more harm than good, so does that mean a base rate below zero is off the table for the UK? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost discuss negative rates: what’s the point, do they have any positives and beyond costing savers’ interest how would they prove harmful? They also talk gold and why the price of the precious metal has soared 35 per cent this year, to rise above the $2,000 mark and whether it can keep going. For goldbugs it is a long-term store of value, a safe haven and a hedge against inflation, but will fears of bumper inflation at the end of the decade prove unfounded - and is part of the gold price sentiment-driven in the same way Tesla shares are? Buying gold and taking rates negative are seen as glass-half-empty measures, but are things brighter than we think? The housing market is doing better than expected, car sales have posted a surprise 11 per cent annual rise and Britain went mad for eating out at the start of the week, thanks to Rishi Sunak’s discount deals. Are these indicators of a V-shaped recovery? The job losses that continue to pile up will weigh on that and the team have tips on what to do if you are made redundant or it is a threat. And finally, if you do fancy splashing out and have your eye on a new car, you might think it is time go electric. Simon runs through What Car?’s new special awards for the best electric cars in every category.  
8/7/202055 minutes, 16 seconds
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Is this the end of summer holidays? The pain in Spain and what happens next

After a great deal of fuss about air bridges and people being able to go on summer holiday, things suddenly changed last weekend.  A swift about turn saw a 14 day quarantine period imposed for those arriving in the UK from Spain at just six hours’ notice, hitting tens of thousands of holidaymakers who are there already, those with trips booked and leaving Britons hoping for some Spanish sunshine stuck in travel limbo… again. So is this the end of summer holidays for 2020? Are holidays to Spain off the cards for some time, and can you go to France, Italy, Greece or anywhere else safe in the knowledge you can come home and not have to take an extra fortnight off work? On this week’s podcast Georgie Frost – in Spain and facing a 14 day quarantine if she can get back – is joined by Simon Lambert and Grace Gausden to talk holidays, travel insurance, refunds, air bridges and whether even a staycation is safe. Plus, as savings rates take another tumble should you lock your money away for five years at 1.1 per cent just to protect against further falls? And finally, is buy-to-let back? A stamp duty cut, low rates and a weaker property market has got property investors interested again but are they saving money now just to lose it in future?
7/31/202046 minutes, 21 seconds
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How to start investing and grow your wealth

Over the long-term investing in the stock market has proven to be the best way to beat inflation and grow your wealth. But how do you know when the time is right to start? What are the things to consider when working out what investments might suit you? And do you need to wait until you are wealthy before you become an investor? In this first of two special This is Money podcasts, Simon Lambert is joined by Rob Morgan, of Charles Stanley Direct, to help listeners through the investing maze and give them an easy to understand guide to getting started investing The most recent edition of the longstanding Barclays Equity Gilt report showed that investing in the UK stock market has delivered an average annual above inflation return of 5.3 per cent over the past 50 years, whereas cash has returned 1 per cent. But investing is not without its risks. You must be prepared to potentially lose money and may need to ride out market crashes, as we have seen in the coronavirus crisis. However, another thing that the crisis has thrown up is more people saving money, as they cut back on spending. A This is Money poll showed 71 per cent of readers said that lockdown had left them with more spare money to save. So, if you have a rainy day pot of cash stashed away and want to start investing the money you have beyond that, where do you get started? Alternatively, if you are already an investor and want to improve your portfolio, or watch out for the traps that eat into your wealth, what can you do? On this podcast, Simon and Rob look at those questions and more. Plus, download the second episode of the two-part series in a week's time when they discuss how to use your investments to improve the world and make a profit – as the pair explore the world of socially responsible investing.
7/24/202035 minutes, 33 seconds
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Will the Government tinker with capital gains tax to help pay the coronavirus bill?

The Chancellor has ordered an urgent capital gains tax review which could hit many homeowners and investors, depending on the outcome. With Rishi Sunak and the Government looking at ways to foot the coronavirus bill, will CGT be changed and will they keep their manifesto pledge to not raise income tax, national insurance or VAT? On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce, and Georgie Frost look at what could happen to CGT and why. We discuss the problem facing 'cladding prisoners' – people who are trapped in flats wrapped in dangerous materials that are unable to sell, or take advantage of the stamp duty cut, with banks nervy to lend to would-be buyers. A reader contacts us about an unusual letter from their bank seemingly randomly asking if they are a tax resident of Egypt, with no connection to the country whatsoever. Are you an aspirational recycler? We talk you through our guide on how to recycle, properly. Travel is still on our lips, with Georgie booking a trip to Spain: What do you need to consider if you're tempted to do the same? And finally, we look at the cheapest cars to insure, with a surprising choice at number one: a sporty, two-seater convertible.
7/17/202053 minutes, 28 seconds
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Will a stamp duty holiday and Rishi's rescue be enough?

The showstopper was a big stamp duty cut, the important element was about keeping jobs afloat, and the rabbit out of the hat was a great British meal deal. But the question is, was Rishi Sunak splashing the cash in the summer statement enough to get the nation’s confidence back in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, or will real recovery require more down the line? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce, and Georgie Frost run the rule over the Chancellor’s performance (spoiler alert, he’s good) and the substance of his speech (you’ll have to listen to the show for the verdict on that). They also ask the awkward question of how are we going to pay for all this – and does that even matter right now? Plus, was that a killer blow for the ‘bad tax’ that is stamp duty; will a £1,000 bung be enough for a company to keep someone in work; how badly will the hospitality industry be hit; and just how crazy would you have called someone who forecast at the start of the year that by summer we’d have an official Eat Out to Help Out scheme? Listen to the podcast to hear the team’s verdict on all this and more.
7/10/202054 minutes, 2 seconds
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The self-employed excluded from the coronavirus rescue

The Chancellor’s coronavirus rescue plan for the British economy has been bold and big, but one important part of the workforce feels somewhat hard done by. A chunk of the self-employed have been excluded from Rishi Sunak’s support in a way that employees have not. More than 9million employees are having 80 per cent of their wages up to £2,500 a month paid by the taxpayer under the furlough scheme, with no limits barring high earners from help. In contrast, anyone who is self-employed and has made more than £50,000 in recent years gets no help whatsoever.  Those hit by the £50,000 cap are not the limited company directors who can pay themselves in dividends, they are sole traders paying national insurance and income tax in full on their earnings. At a time when the government is throwing hundreds of billions of pounds at the coronavirus crash to support people and boost the chances of recovery, is it fair to exclude this group of the self-employed? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Tanya Jefferies look at how this has happened and whether there is any hope left for those affected that things might change. Tanya also updates listeners on her ground-breaking investigations into widows underpaid state pension, which have seen her win tens of thousands of pounds back for those who got less than they should have. Simon reveals the best and worst performing funds of the year so far and tries to tackle the question of whether the US stock market can just keep on trucking. And finally, recent podcasts have featured how Britain has gone mad for hot tubs in lockdown but there is a new hot property in town – the awfully-named ‘shoffice’. 
7/4/202047 minutes, 52 seconds
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Has lockdown left you with more money to save or struggling?

In an unpredicted turn of events, the coronavirus lockdown has been good for some when it comes to their bank balances. People collectively tucked away £30billion in savings accounts in March and April, around three times as much as the two months previous - with this credited  to surplus cash and moving money to safety. A large slab of that went into easy-access accounts despite plunging rates. Meanwhile, we cleared a record amount of personal debt, according to Bank of England figures. The ONS says households are spending £183 less a week, but while some might be lucky to salt that away, many wouldn't come anywhere near it. Lockdown saving is not a universal picture. Many are facing up to lost income or losing their jobs entirely. In this podcast, editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost take a look at the figures. Much of the money stashed away at big banks pays 0.1 per cent or less, meaning collectively, billions of lost interest – where are rates heading? National Savings and Investments currently has a few best buy accounts, how long can it prop up the market and are we turning our backs on stocks and shares Isas? Meanwhile, the IMF says the crisis will wipe £10trillion off the global economy: what's happened to the V-shaped recovery? With pubs and shops slowly reopening, will Britons head back and spend their cash to help the economy? Simon talks about investing like Warren Buffett and what opportunities are out the post-lockdown world. With the heatwave that has smothered Britain this week, we take a look at how much it costs to run items that are designed to cool us down, and those trendy garden gadgets.
6/26/202050 minutes, 9 seconds
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Are banks triggering a mortgage credit crunch?

Banks and building societies have been slashing their mortgage ranges for those with smaller deposits. The number of mortgages available for those with a 10 per cent deposit has plummeted by 90 per cent compared since the start of March. This week, Nationwide announced it won’t lend on deposits smaller than 15 per cent, while TSB says even that’s not quite enough. What’s going on and is this triggering a mortgage credit crunch? On this week’s podcast we look at how the mortgage squeeze compares to what happened after the financial crisis, how this will affect those who want to buy and those who need to remortgage. Will the crunch last and send house prices down? Or has Britain’s property market got the kind of Terminator characteristics that will see it claw its way back up from coronavirus? Also, this week, as inflation nosedives we look at how savers can now beat the cost of living – are they really better off? And finally, while the nation is supposedly feeling the punch from the economic effects of coronavirus, there are some strange spending patterns going on...  ...This is Money has uncovered a hot tub sales boom in lockdown, but why?
6/19/202046 minutes, 49 seconds
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The rise of the lockdown investor - tips to hunt for better returns

Stock markets crashing tend to put savers off investing in shares, but there has been a sizeable rise in new investors in Britain during lockdown, reports suggest.  That came as savings rates plummeted (again) and people decided to go hunting for a bargain amid the stock market turmoil in March and April. But who are these novice investors and what do you need to think about to get started?  On this week's podcast This is Money editor Simon Lambert tells host Georgie Frost what first timers need to know about building an investment portfolio - and gives some tips on easy ways to get started and why British isn't always best for investors. Managers can invest in their own fund or investment trust, but how do you find out if they do - and whether they're buying or selling, and does it matter?  Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs backed Marcus Bank has pulled its best buy easy-access savings account – assistant editor Lee Boyce reveals why and how we are set to see rates tumble even further. Should you gamble on taking a European summer holiday in July, August or September and if you are tempted, what do you need to know? Euro 2020 should have been starting today, but at least for sport-starved fans Premier League football returns next week.  However, you'll need a major tournament-style wallchart if you plan on catching the action, with Amazon Prime, BBC, BT Sport and Sky Sports all having games on – how do you watch for the cheapest price? And finally, property sales in England have started to edge up but apparently million-pound-plus homes in the country are leading the way. Are buyers really swapping Millionaire's Row for Millionaire's Lane?
6/12/202052 minutes, 7 seconds
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Are electric bikes and scooters the future of transport after coronavirus? (Or will it just be cars?)

Since lockdown began in March, there has been a huge uptick in cycling and walking, as people got out and about while staying at home.  But while before coronavirus we were all told public transport was a good thing, now with restrictions easing and Britain slowly going back to work, Britons have been told to actively avoid it. Does that mean the inevitable return of the car, or with the Government promising billions to create a new era for cycling and walking, is there a brighter and greener future for mobility Could one of the keys be electric bicycles and scooters? Editor Simon Lambert reveals all to host Georgie Frost and assistant editor Lee Boyce after giving a GoCycle GX folding electric bike a trial. How good are the batteries, how long do they take to charge, how much do they cost, what schemes are available to purchase them and what is the point of them? Meanwhile, the car industry has been rocked by Covid-19, with job losses aplenty and sales grinding to a halt. Registrations sank 89 per cent to the record-lowest May since 1952, but despite that, sales of electric vehicles were up 22 per cent – and the Tesla Model 3 was the best seller. Could it be time to head to a showroom to haggle a bargain, will there be yet another scrappage scheme and why has Fiat launched a pay-as-you-go model of ownership? This weekend could also be a good time to fill up, with petrol prices set to head higher after weeks of lower motoring costs: many Britons have been able to find unleaded for under £1 a litre. And finally, with more people using their cars to make deliveries, are they properly insured?
6/5/202048 minutes, 8 seconds
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Are we all going on a summer holiday?

It's nearly June, the sun is shining, and right about now people would usually be eagerly anticipating summer breaks they’ve booked, or planning where to go away. Meanwhile, the sunny weather over the past few months would usually have led to thoughts (and lots of features) on a staycation summer. But this isn’t any given year. Coronavirus and the lockdown means we are advised not to travel abroad, don't know when we will be able to, and might have to take an extra two weeks off to quarantine when we get back. That should means it’s Cornwall, Devon, Norfolk, Wales, or a week in Skegness on our minds, instead of France or Spain.  Overnight trips are still barred though, the domestic holiday industry is unsure when it will be back up-and-running, and some locals are reportedly not too keen on visitors. So, will we get a holiday this summer and how can you protect yourself when booking and paying? On this podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost talk holidays: where to go, when you might be allowed to, and the all-important financial side involving booking, cancellations and refunds. There is also the thorny question of how travel will look in the future and whether the holiday industry will bounce back while people still have long waits and fights for refunds on cancelled trips fresh in their mind? And finally, what about opting for van life instead?  Volkswagen revealed this week that quotes for its California campervans have soared in lockdown – and Simon fill us in on what it’s like to go away on a 2,000 mile road trip in one, having done so the summer before last. He’s also got an idea, involving buying a campervan and renting it out, so that it pays for itself and turns a profit.  Classic man maths or solid money-maker, you decide?
5/29/202043 minutes, 2 seconds
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Could your savings rate go negative?

The threat of negative interest rates is looming large for savers. This week, a government bond auction saw UK gilts sold at a negative rate for the first time, while Bank of England boss Andrew Bailey refused to rule out the base rate flipping below zero. But could you end up with a negative rate on your savings account? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost look at the weird world of negative rates – an upside down where investors effectively pay to lend the government money, banks are charged interest for depositing funds with the Bank of England, and you’d end up being stung rather than rewarded for saving. Not that there’s much reward for saving in many places right now: a This is Money investigation this week revealed that 235 savings accounts now pay 0.01 per cent interest.  That is 10p per year on £1,000 saved and some may prefer not to be insulted in that way and have their bank or building society join the six accounts where absolutely zero is paid. The best accounts pay just over 1 per cent and while that’s not much, at least savers are getting a real return on their money, with inflation at 0.8 per cent. But another warning has been sounded and it’s that the end game of through-the-looking-glass monetary policy could be inflation soaring. The team look at what the argument is and whether it stacks up. The base rate is at 0.1 per cent (and could go negative) and bond yields are on the floor, because of the economic destruction of the coronavirus crisis.  The furlough scheme is one of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s flagship efforts to combat this, but another This is Money investigation this week revealed companies that have taken advantage of the taxpayer’s offer to pay 80 per cent of their staff’s wages are now threatening to make them redundant anyway. And finally, on a lighter note, if you’re feeling brave then you might decide now is the time to buy a home, while house prices and confidence have taken a knock, but is the estate agent allowed to tell you what others have offered?
5/23/202049 minutes, 1 second
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How many state pensions have been underpaid? With Steve Webb

A This is Money investigation has revealed a string of women who have been underpaid their state pension, but are they just the tip of an iceberg? On this week’s podcast, our pensions agony uncle Steve Webb and pension and investing editor Tanya Jefferies tell the stories of the women paid thousands less in state pension over the years than they should have been - and discuss their probe into the matter. Steve estimates that there could be tens of thousands of women who have been underpaid state pension. This is Money has called for a full review, but the Department of Work and Pensions is reluctant to act other than on a case-by-case basis.  Should more be done? Also, on this week’s podcast Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost discuss the reopening of the property market, who might be brave enough to buy and sell now, and what the forecasts are for sales and house prices. Estate agents Knight Frank predict a 7 per cent drop, while the Bank of England says property prices may fall 16 per cent, but agents claim that lockdown has created pent-up demand. And, as the furlough scheme is extended, we look at the implications of 7.5million people having 80 per cent of their wages picked up by the state and how Britain weans itself off that.
5/15/202050 minutes, 59 seconds
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Santander's 123 chop and how do we pay for the coronavirus crash?

The latest Santander 123 account rate cut, trying to turn a profit on mortgage holidays, how we pay for the coronavirus crisis and furlough scheme and the crash in car sales all feature on this week’s This is Money podcast. Once upon a time, Santander’s 123 could lay claim to being the king of the current accounts. As banks battled to customers to switch, Santander’s cashback and 3% interest-packing deal was one of the main challengers for the crown. The shine came off slightly when that interest rate was chopped to 1.5% in 2016, but now the 123 account has been doubly dented with a rate cut to 0.6% announced on the very same day the rate was already being cut to 1%. In all but name it’s now the Santander 1, 2, 0.6 account and that doesn’t quite have the same attraction. But when letters are coming through the post telling you that your savings account has been chopped to 0.01%, perhaps it is still worth bagging a current account paying 0.6%. On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost look at why Santander has chopped again, if the deal is still worth taking regardless, and whether the great current account switching push has fizzled out. Next up on the podcast is mortgage holidays. Figures show almost 2 million people have taken up the option of a break from their mortgage payments, but some who don’t need to take one have been wondering if it might be a financially savvy move to do so anyway. Could you save or invest the skipped payments and make money in the long run? And even if that is possible, is it ethical? Plus with 6.3 million people furloughed, can we really expect the mortgage holidays to end in June – and how does the nation pay for the colossal coronavirus rescue package? And finally, Britain’s best-selling car in April was Tesla’s Model 3 but astonishingly it wasn’t the most sold vehicle. That accolade went to a van, the Mercedes Sprinter, but will the motor industry be changed by all this?  
5/11/202038 minutes, 25 seconds
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Is the Fomo rally the real deal, or will shares fall again?

It’s been called the Fomo rally, as shares picked themselves up off the floor after a diabolical March and bear markets turned bullish. The FTSE 100 closed a notch below 5,000 on 23 March, the day it was announced Britain was going into lockdown, but somehow managed to bounce 23 per cent to the middle of this week before slipping back. In the US, April was even more astonishing – the S&P 500 had its best month since 1987. So, what’s going on? Is this the stock market signalling the start of a coronavirus recovery, or have investors merely been piling in driven by Fomo – the fear of missing out. The big US tech names’ star turn has helped drive confidence and in the UK it has been the big names hit hard that have rebounded over the past four weeks, including housebuilders, Next, Cineworld, ITV and the FTSE 100’s top riser is cruise ship firm Carnival – up 63 per cent as brave investors buy in. But are investors getting ahead of themselves and simply all chasing in the same direction like kids with a football?  On this week’s podcast, we look at the rally, what’s driving it – beyond Fomo – and the history of false dawns in stock market crashes, known as the dreaded dead cat bounce. Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost also discuss how Britain gets back to business and how the plans might shape up for getting us back into factories, offices, shops, pubs, restaurants and everywhere else. Plus, would you dare book a holiday now? If so, the podcast duo discuss what you need to consider. And finally, the clock has have passed by quickly for a generation of cars that some of us grew up with and the Metro, Fiat Panda and early Vauxhall Astra are now 40 years old, tax exempt, and theoretically classic cars… but are they? 
5/1/202049 minutes, 53 seconds
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Meaning Business: Craig Wilson on the Ventilator Challenge and Williams Advanced Engineering

Meaning Business is a new podcast series, where Simon Lambert speaks to people from the world of business, who are doing interesting, innovative and meaningful things. It will appear in your feed, in addition to our usual weekly This is Money podcast. In these interviews, Simon will find out more about the other side of business away from profits and growth - and how it can be a force for good.  Meaning Business will uncover the stories behind business ideas, the inspiration driving entrepreneurs and how those interviewed cut their path to where they are today. On this first episode, Meaning Business gets topical and speaks to Craig Wilson, Managing Director of Williams Advanced Engineering and part of the Ventilator Challenge UK project. Williams Advanced Engineering draws on the motorsport heritage, knowledge, technology and way of working of the Williams Formula One team, and it has been involved in Ventilator Challenge UK – working with other high-tech British engineers to get more ventilators built quickly to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
4/29/202030 minutes, 48 seconds
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Is investing instead of saving worth the risk?

Should you save cash and accept low interest rates, or invest and take the risk that you could lose money? This is the perennial dilemma for those with some money to set aside, who are looking to build their wealth. And it’s not been made easier by a rollercoaster 20 years. Since the turn of the millennium, we’ve had three hefty stock market crashes, but we’ve also had the past decade of historically low interest rates. In response to paltry savings rates, more people have been encouraged to invest in shares for a better return, but the coronavirus crash has left the UK’s flagship stock market index, the FTSE 100, below its level on 31 December 1999, and burnt the fingers of many recent investors. So, is it worth investing, or should you just stick with the relative stability of cash? On this episode of the This is Money podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost look at our exclusive statistics on who is investing, who is bowing out of the market, and what the new generation of younger investors are doing. They also dive back into the question asked last week: how long do you need to invest for to avoid losing money? With some charts and data sent through to the team by Duncan Lamont, head of research and analytics at Schroders, they compare how putting money into either cash or the stockmarket fared over the past 150 years against inflation – and what the likelihood was of losing money over varying time periods. The team also look at what might happen next to house prices after the coronavirus lockdown put the property market into a deep freeze. Simon dives into the varying predictions of how much property prices could fall – and the bullish suggestion of one estate agent that it’ll all be fine. And finally, we discuss the businesses that we spoke to this week who are fighting veteran insurer Hiscox, because they believed they should be covered against coronavirus with policies that cite infectious or contagious disease… but it says they are not.
4/24/202058 minutes
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How bad will recession be and what will recovery look like?

The economic destruction of the coronavirus crash was laid bare in reports from the Office of Budget Responsibility and IMF this week. Lockdown has already wiped £50billion off the UK economy and is costing the nation £2billion a day, said the OBR. Meanwhile, the IMF warned the global economy would take the biggest hit since the Great Depression in the 1930s, with advanced economies shrinking 6.1% this year and developing countries by 1%.  But although the OBR forecast an astonishing 35% slump in UK output in the second quarter of this year - with a three-month lockdown - the other side of its chart showed a substantial bounce-back. What will we need to do for that recovery to happen – and what will it look like? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost look at the reports on the economic impact of Covid-19 and at the potential bounce back, along with which sectors and businesses could seize the day when it comes. They also discuss the big tech firms that have benefitted from lockdowns and working from home around the world.  The lofty valuations of these companies marked the top of the previous stock market boom, but their shares have fared better than most in the coronavirus crash. Can the FAANG stocks (and Tesla) pick up where they left off? And finally, investors are told to think long-term with the minimum investment period traditionally cited as five years. But have the events of the past 21 years on the stock market shown that now we need to think in decades instead?  
4/19/202047 minutes, 14 seconds
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The looking for good news episode

It can be tough to find good news at the moment but on this special Easter podcast we go looking for some. And amid the coronavirus gloom, there are some good news stories to tell, from how Britain has adapted to working from home, to the appreciation shown to our valued frontline workers and NHS staff, and those volunteering to help others. On the podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss this and tell the stories of some of the small businesses that have been sought opportunity in adversity. From the pub doing meals and pints to go, to the garden centre that has stared delivering and the milkman who has seen business boom, these are inspiring stories of entrepreneurial spirit and helping out the local community. The team also reveal how you can visit the world from the comfort of your sofa – it’s not a real holiday but you can at least do some sight-seeing.  Meanwhile, Lee goes on the trail of the apps keeping us social in the lockdown: from Slack at work, to Zoom video chats, and Houseparty fooling around with friends, which are the ones worth trying? And finally, if you are feeling really brave maybe you could peruse a cheap French manor house while you are stuck at home and weigh up your own move to a chateau.
4/10/202058 minutes, 39 seconds
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Is furloughing workers the best way to save jobs in the coronavirus crisis?

Every year Collins Dictionary chooses its word of the year and just three months into 2020, it feels like coronavirus might be a shoe-in for the title. But among the other words likely to be picked as high-fliers, it seems that furlough will also be in with a shout. Until a few weeks ago, it's unlikely many people had ever considered what being furloughed would mean, but now it's the topic on many workers’ minds. The concept of asking workers to go on furlough lies at the heart of the government’s coronavirus jobs rescue scheme – as it seeks to stall firms making people redundant and offers to pay 80% of their wages up to £2,500 a month. But is picking up the wage bills of big businesses a wise move, will it help save jobs and is the price worth paying because the cost of not doing it is worse? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss what it means to be furloughed and whether the emergency plan can work. They also look at the travel industry chaos and how airlines attempts to dig themselves out of a hole by dodging cash refunds is backfiring. Why aren’t people getting money back for cancelled flights – and is there a way forward that could help airlines and customers? Also on the agenda are the household bills rising at just the wrong time – and finally, at the opposite end of the scale, how did Agent Million deliver this month’s Premium Bond jackpot news to the lucky winners while still managing social distancing?
4/3/202044 minutes, 52 seconds
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Will coronavirus sink the property market?

Britain is on lockdown and so is the property market. The Government has told people not to move home while the coronavirus lockdown is on, and the property market has been frozen as estate agents are instructed not to do viewings and valuations and surveys can’t happen. Meanwhile, banking giants Barclays and Halifax have axed a big chunk of their mortgage ranges – only offering new deals through brokers to those with the largest deposits – and the industry says it has been overwhelmed with requests for mortgage holidays. Amidst all this, many are asking the inevitable question: ‘What will happen to house prices?’ On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost look at what buyers and sellers can do, how the freeze is affecting those due to move, and explore what could happen next for the property market. They also discuss Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s rescue package for the self-employed and why it is a welcome measure that seems to have some glaring gaps. And finally, among all this coronavirus chaos, the team remind listeners not to forget the tax deadline and why in troubled times it’s even more important to use the tax-friendly investing and saving that pensions and Isas provide. We won’t send a drone round to make sure you do it, but you’ve been warned.
3/27/202052 minutes, 58 seconds
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Will helicopter money save us from the coronavirus crisis?

Britain has been told to stay at home, pubs have been ordered to shut and you’re not even allowed to go to the gym instead. The coronavirus crisis has turned the consumer economy upside down. Businesses and workers risk going bust on an almost unprecedented level, unless a rescue plan that works can be cooked up. Cutting interest rates and quantitative easing was the medicine in the financial crisis, but that’s not working this time round, so is it time to start up the helicopter and drop some money. Helicopter money, people’s QE and a universal basic income are three of the highly unusual measures suggested, as we go through the back of the financial looking glass. All involve handing out money directly to people and businesses to combat a global economic crisis triggered by pressing the pause button, but is that wise? On this week’s podcast, we discuss why rescue attempts so far have failed to stop share prices falling, how Chancellor Rishi Sunak stepped things up with a £350billion bailout plan, and what might happen next, with ideas such as helicopter money, people’s QE and universal basic income. We also discuss how the interest rate cut to a historic low of 0.1 per cent will affect borrowers and savers, how brave investors can buy in if they are willing to risk some money on a future bounce back, and why supermarkets are unable to keep up with panic buying. And finally, if the podcast audio isn’t up to the usual standards, please accept our apologies, we are working hard to make sure we can keep recording without access to a studio.
3/20/202059 minutes, 49 seconds
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The Budget, the base rate cut and the stock market crash

Well, what a week. We've had a Budget, a 0.5 per cent base rate cut and stock markets going haywire thanks to coronavirus and oil price crashes. Why did the Bank of England cut rates to 0.25 per cent on the morning of the Budget and what are policymakers hoping to achieve? How did Rishi Sunak perform in his first Budget as Chancellor and what was announced in his speech? On Thursday, the FTSE 100 saw its second biggest dive on record. What is happening to the markets and where does it end? On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost, dissect what has been one of the most turbulent weeks in living memory. In the Budget, we had a number of coronavirus measures – but also some titbits of personal finance news that could hit the pound in your pocket. We also look at what coronavirus means for travel insurance and your refund rights to events
3/13/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 5 seconds
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Does Nationwide's savings lottery show there's still life in the cash Isa?

Every year, between March and April, there used to be a cash Isa season. Banks and building societies clambered over each other in the race to top the best buy tables. This hasn't been the case for a while. However, Nationwide - with a new savings lottery - and Coventry - with a new deal - have offered signs of some green shoots this year, but is it even worth having a tax-free savings account anymore? On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost go to Isa-town, to talk cash savings deals, the best services to invest, and how to overcome the fear that coronavirus-induced stock market falls have delivered.   Elsewhere, the coronavirus also hit the Geneva Motor Show, but the motor industry decided many of the launches could take place online instead.  What cars were unveiled? Well it broadly fell into two camps, very expensive limited edition hypercars and electric cars that might be the future for the mass market. Simon and Lee talk through the best of them. Meanwhile, a reader takes the taxman to court over a child benefit penalty and finally Lee cracks open a low-alcohol beer at Adnams brewery, in Suffolk, and asks: has the taste become better... and why?
3/6/202048 minutes, 28 seconds
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Making the Money Work: Shappi Khorsandi on getting comedy to pay the bills?

On this episode of Making the Money Work podcast, comedian Shappi Khorsandi joins Andi Peters and Simon Lambert to discuss how she built a career in comedy, her unusual life as the daughter of an exiled Iranian poet - and how she once hired Alan Carr to work in a charity call centre. This is the final episode of five in the Making the Money Work series, in partnership with FSCS, that has appeared in the This is Money podcast feed every fortnight since the start of the year. We hope you have enjoyed them. Your usual This is Money podcast will continue to be published every Friday How do you make comedy pay the bills? That’s not a problem for the handful of star names with giant arena tours, but what about the majority of comedians who’ve dedicated a life’s work to standing up and making people laugh without raking in millions? Shappi tells of her route to becoming a comedian and how she realised a job in an office wasn’t for her early on, swapping that for being a cleaner and nude life model for art students - because she could do those jobs while daydreaming.  Later on, she says having stripped off to sit for artists meant she was less worried about getting up on stage and doing stand-up in front of a crowd. The comedian, who has appeared on popular TV shows including Have I Got News for You, QI, Live at the Apollo and Mock the Week, is a single mother-of-two who supports her and her two children alone and has struggled to make ends meet. Shappi says she spent many years being ‘skint’ but that when her career took off, she was so taken aback at suddenly having money that she had to learn she had earned it and was worth it, and not to be overly generous in giving it away. She says she loves her work so much that she cannot imagine ever doing anything else, but now plans her comedy and writing so that the money she earns enables her to spend the time she wants to with her children. And as for the money she earned for doing I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here?  That, says Shappi, bought her entire year of bedtimes with her children.
3/3/202026 minutes, 46 seconds
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Bull markets don't die of old age, but do they die of coronavirus?

Bull markets don't die of old age, we've been told countless times in recent years, but do they die of coronavirus? That is the question that rattled investors are asking themselves after an astonishing week in which the FTSE 100 has fallen 12 per cent. Stock markets around the world have sold off, as investors dump shares driven by a combination of the fear that a crash is finally arriving and the forecasts that coronavirus and attempts to stop it spreading will cause a global slowdown. The UK stock market is down 15 per cent from its mid-January recent peak - what should investors do at times like these? On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss why coronavirus has hit markets so hard, why investors should not act rashly out of fear and panic, and consider the advice from investing experts. Elsewhere, we reveal how we helped a couple get their £25,000 savings back after their phone number was ported away without consent. Things get a little silly as we talk about how to deal with those difficult and bizarre interview questions that don't have a correct answer. And finally, the 100 most iconic cars of all time have been named in a survey voted for by Boundless members – previously known as the Civil Service Motoring Association. We reveal what topped the charts.
2/28/202048 minutes, 11 seconds
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NS&I and Marcus Bank cut rates - what's the point of saving?

This week, savings have been in the spotlight with National Savings and Investments cutting rates on a number of its offerings, including popular Premium Bonds. Both Marcus Bank and Saga also cut easy-access rates. On this week's podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost look at what's behind the cuts and question: should savers head elsewhere, and what is the point of tucking money away for little interest? Nationwide Building Society has launched a Start to Save easy-access account with a £100 lottery – is it any good and can it help get people into the savings habit? We cover a curious case of one reader who found their Spotify infiltrated by someone with appalling music taste. Simon reveals how he was stung by the loyalty penalty when a renewal letter came through from his insurer Halifax. It hiked his premium, but after weeks of back-and-forth, couldn't give him a concrete reason as to why. And Lee looks at whether a Fitbit is worth the money and how a fitness tracker helped his mum, with an underlying health condition, become healthier.
2/21/202046 minutes, 1 second
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Making the Money Work: How to make being a comedian, writer and podcaster pay with Tessa Coates and Stevie Martin

From hosting their podcast Nobody Panic, to being in comedy trio Massive Dad, writing scripts and articles, and putting on Edinburgh shows, Stevie and Tessa have a lot of things to juggle. The pair tell Andi Peters and Simon Lambert their tales of living on a shoestring to get ahead in the London publishing world, including sharing a one-bedroom flat and sleeping under the kitchen table. The duo also explain how to set up an Edinburgh Fringe show and why it is similar to launching a small business, from fronting the cost to book a venue, to selling tickets and hoping you can break even or maybe even make a little money. And Tessa tells of the difficulties of trying to get a mortgage, even with a contract to write a pilot season of a new show for US television. In the Making the Money Work series, in partnership with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, we talk earnings, budgeting and savings with those whose lives and finances roam far from the norm. The five podcasts are hosted by Andi Peters, alongside This is Money’s Simon Lambert, and every fortnight you can listen to a new interview with different special guests talking about their financial lives.
2/18/202029 minutes, 20 seconds
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Will the new Chancellor give pension tax relief the chop? This is Money podcast

This week started with rumours of a pension tax relief cut and mansion tax, saw the Chancellor fall on his sword, and ended with people none the wiser about whether a Budget tax raid is more or less likely after all that. Sajid Javid exited the stage to be replaced by one of his own men, Rishi Sunak, after an attempt by Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings to take back control at the Treasury was rebuffed by the short-lived Chancellor. The question now is just whose idea the pension tax relief and mansion tax plans were and whether they are now on the cards or not (or was the whole shebang just a bit of Machiavellian manoeuvring)? What we do know is that a Budget is due in less than a month, so other than the national purse strings being loosened for the ‘levelling-up’ agenda what are we likely to see? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Tanya Jefferies and Georgie Frost delve into the Chancellor saga, what we know about the new man, and what could happen in the Budget that will affect your finances, from a stamp duty cut, to IR35 easing and a tax raid on the wealthier. Also on the show, the team discuss an inheritance puzzler where a reader asked if it’s possible to challenge his father’s will that would leave him £25,000, while his brother would get £5million. Another reader problem about paying for care is answered too, where a reader fears losing the house they live in now his mother requires care for dementia. And finally, on a lighter note, do you drive one of Britain’s most popular second hand cars? And what makes a car a contender to get onto that list?
2/14/202043 minutes, 26 seconds
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Are you ready for an electric car? From range anxiety, to Tesla’s boom, and how to buy at 40% off

Would you swap your car for an electric one? If the government gets it way, soon many more of us will have to. The proposed ban on selling new petrol and diesel cars was dragged forward by five years to 2035 this week – and hybrid cars were bundled into the showroom clear-out too. If that sticks, this means that by 2030 – just a decade from now – it’s highly likely the vast majority of cars being sold new will be pure electric. For a modern world that has been shaped by the internal combustion-engined motor car that’s quite the change. On this week’s podcast, we deliver an electric car special. Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce look at the logic behind banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars, whether the move can be pulled off and why hybrids are now also on the naughty list. Charging infrastructure, range anxiety and questions over their lifecycle environmental costs are issues flagged by electric car sceptics, are they right? Meanwhile, the thing holding many people back from buying them, argues Simon, is cost. Second hand supply of electric cars is thin and choice is limited; and while the pipeline of new models is picking up dramatically, they remain pricey compared to a standard petrol car. But there could be a game-changer in the form of a salary sacrifice perk combined with a change to benefit-in-kind rules, so should you be badgering your boss to sign the company up so that you can buy a new electric car at 32% or 42% off? Fittingly, this week the great Tesla adventure tale delivered another riveting chapter. In the first two days of the week, shares rocketed more than 35 per cent and have doubled since the start of 2020. Can Elon Musk’s stock heading for the moon be justified in any way? Also, on this week’s show we talk about the 5 per cent interest offered by Zeuk – and our exclusive on the Financial Conduct Authority hitting back at adverts. And finally, why did Lee Boyce take his wife and daughter out to lunch with a set of scales to eat a watermelon steak?
2/7/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 26 seconds
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Making the Money Work: Alastair Humphreys on how to fund a life of adventure:

How do you decide to become an adventurer? For Alastair Humphreys, the decision in his twenties stemmed from his love of a challenge, the outdoors and curiosity about the world. The decision led to a life of adventure, in which Alastair has spent four years cycling round the world, run six Sahara Desert marathons, been on an Arctic expedition, busked his way round Spain, spending only money he could earn, and has written 13 books. But Alastair’s adventure philosophy isn’t about big expensive trips, he would rather do things on a shoestring - and wrote a book encouraging others to have their own cheap ‘microadventures’ close to home. Alastair joins Andi Peters and Simon Lambert on the third episode of the Making the Money Work podcast to tell us about funding the life of an adventurer and building a career out of his exploits. He also explains why he wants to help people live more adventurously – even if that’s just heading out of town and sleeping under the stars on a hillside. As well as talking microadventures - and encouraging Andi to try out sleeping in his garden - Alastair reveals how he comes up with ideas and money for his feats, whether it is walking a desert or rowing the Atlantic. He tells Andi and Simon about how he once headed for Spain without a euro in his pocket and no bank or credit cards, with the aim of busking his way round and only spending the money that he could earn from playing the violin. Alastair also reveals how he manages his money and saves, shares his thoughts on writing books and why self-publishing can pay off, and explains why being told he was an idiot for not having a pension - after a talk to a pensions firm - spurred him into saving for retirement.
2/4/202030 minutes, 30 seconds
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It's Brexit Day, so what happens next?

It’s Brexit Day – and whether you voted leave or remain, are celebrating, or commiserating, we wish you a happy one. After 11pm on Friday 31 January 2019, Britain is officially no longer a member of the European Union. The big question is, what happens next? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss both what Brexit means immediately for consumers and travellers, and how things may pan out for the economy and our finances over the year ahead. Where do we stand on Ehic medical cover in Europe, driving on the continent, mobile phone roaming, flight compensation and expat pensions? And what will the trade discussions on our future relationship with Europe and the rest of the world mean for the nation’s finances, businesses, inflation, the pound and interest rates? Also on this week’s podcast, the team dive much deeper into house prices than the usual survey, with a look at 174 years of property affordability and whether we can learn anything from a 70 year period when they got cheaper. They discuss Neil Woodford’s investors getting some money back and finding out how much they have lost so far and the curious case of the Lloyds customer of years who won a surprise bumper PPI payout that proved to be the ultimate loyalty penalty for being ripped off.
1/31/202047 minutes, 57 seconds
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Are tax returns too taxing - and could you not know you need to do one?

Are tax returns too taxing, why did new overdraft rules backfire, are challenger banks biting and what are the cars that hold their value best? We answer these questions on this week’s This is Money podcast.  It’s tax return time. The organised will have safely filed their tax returns long ago, but there are still plenty of people who don’t yet feel the last minute has arrived. But what if you are meant to fill in a tax return and don’t realise? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss the ten reasons that people may have to fill a tax return in, even though they are employees paid through PAYE. The team also discuss whether much of the tax return is really needed, or whether people are needlessly spending time filling in an over complicated form for an overly complex system. Also on this week’s podcast is the overdraft row that’s blown up on the back of the FCA’s attempt to improve borrowing and bank’s deciding that 39.9 per cent rates sounded about right. The team discuss whether the challenger banks are starting to bite and why people are attracted to them. The ten cars that should hold their value best are also revealed, from a Dacia to a Bentley. But remember that even the best of these will lose you 35 per cent. And finally, Simon tells us about the new episode of the Making the Money Work podcast with London 2012 Olympic-medal winning boxer Anthony Ogogo.
1/24/202051 minutes, 4 seconds
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Making the Money Work: Boxer Anthony Ogogo on what happened after the London Olympics

In this second Making the Money Work episode, Andi Peters and Simon Lambert talk to Olympic bronze medal winner and former professional boxer Anthony Ogogo about how people fund a boxing career and whether an Olympian makes much money.   Anthony tells us about building his boxing career and how an amateur boxer has to support themselves on a shoestring – even when they are heading for the Olympics.  He discusses his subsequent professional career and how after injury forced his retirement, he is swapping the boxing ring for the wrestling ring.   The 30-year-old was one of the sportsmen and women celebrated by Britain as the nation enjoyed the thrill of the London 2012 Olympics and a slew of medals.   Then aged 23, the middle-weight boxed his way to a bronze medal to add to the gold that he had won in the Junior Olympics in 2004.   Anthony, who was also a promising footballer who played for Norwich City’s youth team, had taken up boxing at the age of 12 and by the time he arrived at the London Olympics he had also won a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.   He turned professional after the 2012 Olympics and had a short but successful career in which he challenged to be world champion.   He suffered a number of injuries before a fractured eye socket forced his retirement from the sport in 2019, with 11 wins and just one loss in his professional career.   In a statement on his retirement, Anthony said: ‘I’ve been through a lot in my career. I’ve had 17 operations and suffered every pain imaginable. I’ve won, lost, cried and hurt. But if you were to ask me would I do it again? In a heartbeat. I love this game’   He signed off with the words ‘Never give up’.   Anthony discusses how he got through hard financial times when he was injured, why he’s been careful with money and tried to save, and what it’s like being a cash-strapped up-and-coming fighter in the boxing world where those at the top are making millions.   Unable to box anymore due to his eye problems, Anthony is now on the path to a new career as a professional wrestler with All Elite Wrestling and he tells us how he intends to build that and what his financial resolutions for the future are. About Making the Money Work In our new podcast series Making the Money Work, in partnership with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, we talk earnings, budgeting and savings with those whose lives and finances roam far from the norm.   The five podcasts are hosted by Andi Peters, alongside This is Money’s Simon Lambert, and every fortnight over the next ten weeks you can listen to a new interview with a different special guest about their financial lives. This is Money’s Podcast will continue to appear each Friday as usual, and the Making the Money Work podcasts will be published fortnightly as a bonus episode in the feed.
1/21/202026 minutes, 5 seconds
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Has Santander signalled the end of current accounts with benefits?

Santander is to cut the rate of interest customers can earn with its 123 current account. It will mean one of Britain's most popular accounts will have dropped from a top tier 3 per cent when it launched in 2012 to 1 per cent. Why has the high street banking giant done this and could it result in an exodus of people moving? Does it signal the end of current accounts with benefits? It is also capping the level of cashback customers can earn while putting a blanket 39.9 per cent overdraft rate in place – following a similar move from its banking rivals. Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost take a look at what it means for the current account market, whether there are other – better – accounts to switch to and how it managed to become so popular. Also on this week's podcast, we look at the rise of the buy now, pay later form of credit and whether it is another debt trap to watch out for. Why have nearly 40,000 people put in retrospective planning applications? And can you really hide a castle behind a haystack… Lastly, the love affair with car buyers and SUVs shows no signs of abating – sales continue to grow at a faster rate than any other group. We list the five reasons, allegedly, not to snap one up and whether you should consider an alternative.
1/17/202056 minutes, 24 seconds
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Is this the plan that will finally help savers?

Savers had a resoundingly duff deal over the decade that just ended, as they paid the price for the borrowing binge that proceeded it. Understandably, many feel somewhat aggrieved – like a moderate drinker who got the hangover that should have gone to the party animal. But it’s not just ‘emergency’ low interest rates that turned permanent that delivered the pain, banks and building societies paying little respect to loyal customers and undermining them with rock bottom rates on legacy accounts has also played a major part. Now, the financial watchdog has a plan to deal with the so-called loyalty penalty. A standard savings rate across all easy access accounts and Isas, with the ability to offer better rates over limited periods, for example, 12 months. When bonus time was up, that standard rate would act a floor to protect savers against the 0.01 per cent-paying accounts of this world. Is this a solution to the problem, or just some tinkering that all but mandates bonus accounts and does nothing to tackle saver inertia? Simon Lambert, Sarah Davidson and Georgie Frost tackle the plan to improve the savings market on this week’s podcast – and discuss whether this is a wise idea for a new decade or a recipe for more of the same. Also, on this week’s podcast, as a decade ends and one begins, we look at the property market: what happened to house prices in the 2010s and how did it compare to the 2000s, 1990s and 1980s, and also what will happen this year and in years to come? The team also look ahead to the 11 March Budget and what may crop up for our personal finances, along with the growing population of over-90s and how we look after our nonagenarians properly.    
1/10/20201 hour, 4 minutes, 16 seconds
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Making the Money Work: Kiko Matthews on how you fund rowing the Atlantic

This bonus podcast episode is from This is Money's new special series Making the Money Work, in partnership with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Andi Peters and Simon Lambert talk to record-breaking Atlantic solo rower Kiko Matthews. How do you fund a life less ordinary? For most of us financial life means paydays, bills, mortgages and attempts to save or invest, but for others it is very different. If you decide to row the Atlantic, are an Olympic boxer, or have made a career out of having adventures or doing comedy, what on earth do you do with your finances? In our new special podcast series Making the Money Work, in partnership with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, we talk earnings, budgeting and savings with those whose lives and finances roam far from the norm. The five podcasts are hosted by Andi Peters, alongside This is Money’s Simon Lambert, and every fortnight over the next ten weeks you can listen to a new interview with a different special guest about their financial lives. This is Money’s Podcast will continue to appear each Friday as usual, and the Making the Money Work podcasts will be published fortnightly as a bonus episode in the feed. The first episode features Kiko Matthews, who on 22 March 2018, became the fastest woman to row the Atlantic, solo and unsupported, over 49 days, 7 hours and 15 minutes.  Through sponsorship of her world record attempt she raised more than £105,000 for King's College Hospital by the end of that year. But that isn’t even half the story, because in 2009 Kiko had been diagnosed with Cushings Disease, a rare and life-threatening condition, which causes tumours on the pituitary gland that controls the body’s hormones. That life-changing discovery led her to quit her job as a science teacher, qualify as a paddle-boarding instructor and set up her own business, before deciding to row the Atlantic, despite not being a rower. Midway through her training in 2017, her Cushings Disease returned and although she had to undergo neurosurgery, Kiko pushed on with her Atlantic rowing attempt. Since then, Kiko has focussed on environmental campaigning and recently cycled round the coasts of Britain and Ireland completing beach cleans. On this podcast, Kiko tells us her fascinating story, discusses her finances - and reveals just how you go about funding rowing the Atlantic.
1/7/202028 minutes, 44 seconds
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The biggest financial stories of 2019

Does Woodford trump Brexit and the election, were you more concerned about the wealth gap, or do all those pale into insignificance next to the challenges of climate change? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Tanya Jefferies discuss the money stories that shaped the final year of a tumultuous decade. Fallen star fund manager Neil Woodford dominated the financial headlines after his fund was frozen at the start of June, with investors still waiting to find out how much they will get back as it is wound down. That saga was enough to push Brexit and politics out of the main headlines for a while, but they loomed large over the whole year.  January triggered a period of fretting over no deal, March saw the Brexit deadline come and pass, summer saw Theresa May out the door of Number 10 Downing Street and Boris Johnson in, only for the new Prime Minister to miss his own Brexit deadline and gamble on an election that he won handsomely. Where does that take us next – and will the set of negotiations we are about to enter into with the EU, after Brexit finally happens on 31 January 2020, prove even tougher. The election also brought campaigning on wealth and inequality – and this topic has also never been far from the agenda in 2019, whether it’s the gap between rich and poor or young and old.  Should we worry more about it? What is triggering the problem? How much do high house prices have to do with it? The team discuss that and the defining global issue of the year: climate change. How will countries stepping up their attempts to reduce carbon emissions shape the next decade – and does it present an investment opportunity? We hope you enjoy this final podcast of 2019, thanks for listening, and have a very merry Christmas. We’ll be back in the next decade.
12/20/201954 minutes
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Does the Boris bounce have legs? What the election means for your finances

The stock market and the pound bounced as Boris Johnson claimed his 80 seat majority in a better-than-expected election win. But will the honeymoon period last into the New Year, beyond Brexit on 31 January, through a Budget in early February and past the negotiations about how exactly our future relationship with the EU will pan out? The Conservative manifesto was thin on detail, but on this podcast we discuss what was in there, what else we know Boris might do and what we think he could do with the big majority this general election delivered him. And we ask whether the man who wants to be a great Prime Minister, can deliver the goods on the NHS, reshape the economy and get stuff done?
12/13/201946 minutes, 35 seconds
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Are the rich really getting richer and poor becoming poorer?

The combined wealth of British households is up 13 per cent between 2016 and 2018 - with the average standing at £286,600. But it's not all about house prices. In fact, the bulk of the rise is thanks to private pensions rather than property inflation, according to the Office for National Statistics. And it says that despite plenty of election claims to the contrary the rich aren't getting richer - but does that claim stack up?  On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost delve into the figures and ask: is financial inequality growing? We look at whether a reader can retire at 58 with a £6,000 pension – but £420,000 in a savings account. Meanwhile, as Vanguard reveals details of its new self-invested personal pension is this now the best home for cheap and easy retirement savings outside of the workplace? On the not so bright side for investors, M&G has suspended trading on its commercial property fund as savers dash for their cash. And finally, away from the serious stuff, we ask do you have to pay inheritance tax on a stamp collection - and just how much do you need to hold in Premium Bonds to have a strong chance of winning a £1million jackpot prize.
12/6/201953 minutes, 26 seconds
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What does the election mean for your finances?

Will this election really prove to be about Brexit?  That issue was predicted to define the vote, but while each party’s Brexit stance will be at the forefront of people’s minds there are many other factors that now seem to be heavily influencing how the 12 December general election is shaping up. One of the biggest is the battle over the economy and our personal finances. There’s a sizeable difference between Labour’s tax and spending plans and those of the Tories. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats propose their own sizeable tax and spending rises but at less than half the Labour increase. So what do all these promises and plans mean for you? On this week’s podcast, Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Lee Boyce dig into the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat manifestos to find out. The Conservatives have already said they will spend an extra £34billion a year by 2024 and added a further £3billion to that in their manifesto. But Labour plan an extra £82.9billion of spending – with a further £58billion bill for compensating so-called Waspi women hit by the rising state pension age. Both parties claim they can fund their plans through tax – the Tories by halting corporation tax cuts and Labour by radically overhauling the tax system, including 45p tax for many more people and a new 50p ‘super rich rate’. The Lib Dems have their own proposals to add a bit to income tax and hike capital gains tax. What is the chance of any of these plans working? Will the tax rises pull in the money expected – and can the spending be used wisely? And what of the other things Britain needs to achieve? Is more housebuilding compatible with combatting climate change, protecting the environment and looking after the countryside – and what have beavers got to do with it? Listen to this week’s podcast to find out.  
11/29/201950 minutes, 59 seconds
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How does Labour plan to raise taxes and spend?

Labour's election manifesto has been revealed and it involves a huge £82.9billion spending spree – to be funded by a similar tax rise. It outlined a 45p income tax rate above £80,000 and to leave no one in any doubt about its intentions opted to call its new 50p level above £125,000 the Super-Rich Rate. On this podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce run through the main financial points of Labour's manifesto, with a look at all the parties' plans due at a later date after the Tory manifesto lands. They look at the other Labour moves, including for capital gains will be taxed at the same level as income – with the annual allowance axed - sending the current 10 and 20 per cent CGT rate for investors in shares and funds – and 18 and 28 per cent for property investors - up to 20, 40, 45 or even 50 per cent. Entrepreneurs would lose their special 10 per cent capital gains tax rate that rewards them for building businesses. Dividends would also be taxed the same as income, with the dividend allowance removed. Inheritance tax reforms would be reversed, taking the amount a married home-owning couple can potentially leave tax-free down from almost £1million to £650,000. Elsewhere, corporation tax will rise to 26 per cent, VAT will be added to private school fees, second home council tax will treble, 10 per cent of company shares will be put into employer funds with workers and the state sharing dividends, and a transaction tax would be brought in for the financial sector. On the other side of the coin, Labour has promised billions for the NHS, infrastructure, public sector pay rises, free broadband for all, a rent cap for tenants and to nationalise the energy, water and rail industries. The team also discuss the Conservative's bid to fend off an NHS winter crisis caused by pension taper rules that are forcing older doctors to avoid doing work so that they do not get hit with big tax bills. Also on the agenda, how buy-to-let repossessions are rising as landlords feel the squeeze and why falling house prices in London and South East mean some families are managing to reclaim inheritance tax after homes sell for less than originally thought. And finally, we discuss the reg plate lotto, where drivers can try to win an entire lifetime's worth of free petrol or diesel, worth almost £280,000.
11/22/201932 minutes, 40 seconds
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What would you spend a lottery win on? It could be you (but it probably won't)

It could be you. It probably won't, of course, but maybe, just maybe, it could be.  That's the attraction of Britain's lottery for its millions of players and this week it reached its 25th birthday.  For self-proclaimed Lottery mug, Simon Lambert, that's two-and-a-half decades of spending money on the draw week-in, week-out because foolishly he has six numbers committed to memory. For some lucky people though, it's meant winning a life-changing sum of money, albeit for a handful it probably didn't change life for the better. On this week's podcast, Simon, Georgie Frost and George Nixon look at 25 years of the lottery and the story of a couple, Elaine and Derek, from Newcastle who won £2.7million shortly after the game started. So what did they do with the money - and what would our podcast team do? Also, this week we discuss the 100 per cent mortgages for students who want to try their hand at becoming buy-to-let landlords. Meanwhile, providers that know your new card details before you hand them over and Black Friday scams are also on the agenda.
11/17/201946 minutes, 52 seconds
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Motoring special: Buying electric cars and are insurers gaming drivers?

What’s the best new or used electric car on the market, would buying your insurance on the day you need it drive up the price, and does London’s diesel-crunching ULEZ make sense? Those are the questions and more on this motoring special edition of the This is Money Podcast. On it, Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert are joined by deputy motoring editor Rob Hull to talk cars and money. First up, is our exclusive on how insurers are sneakily pushing up prices for those who buy cover close to when they need it - bad news if you want to choose and buy a car and then drive it away. The team also look at attempts to crack down on older petrol and diesel cars, such as London’s ULEZ – soon to be extended all the way out to the North and South Circular – and ask whether the crop of electric car alternatives available now are enough to tempt people en-masse. Simon argues that one of the key problems is not how good new electric cars are (albeit they are now pretty good) but the issue of buying second hand and the limited choice and consumer concerns. Meanwhile, Rob says that although a brand new electric car may be tempting to those committed to greener motoring, many buyers are likely to sit on their hands expecting a better choice of longer range vehicles to arrive soon. One of those won’t carry a Golf badge, as VW is ditching its trusty model name for its new ID range of electric cars. But before they arrive a new Golf will. The Golf is a car that has long set the benchmark for family hatchbacks, so with the wraps coming off the next eighth generation one what can we expect inside, outside, and - all importantly nowadays - in terms of tech?
11/8/201941 minutes, 2 seconds
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How to burglar proof your home with thefts soaring in the winter months

Insurance claims for burglary rise by a third in the winter months and sometimes it can be down to households not doing basic checks.  This week, editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost take a look what you can do to protect your home. Elsewhere, can you use Section 75 when booking a holiday on a credit through a third party? We take a look at what common myths many have when it comes to consumer rights, including: if a shop prices an item up wrong, is it obliged to sell it for the lower amount? We tackle a question that could be on the minds of parents – should you pay off your child's student loan, or help them buy a home? And just how bonkers is the current student finance system? Savers aged over 50 are being sent newly-revamped and shortened 'wake-up packs' about their pensions – a good idea? And finally, could you have an old comic book gathering dust worth a pretty penny?
11/1/201949 minutes, 6 seconds
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Does loyalty pay? As Nationwide axes its savings rewards and Tesco brings in paid-for Clubcards, we take a look

What's the difference between loyalty and inertia? Do we get too little reward for the former and show too much of the latter when it comes to shopping and banking? That's the question Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost tackle in the podcast this week. It comes as Tesco – one of the original loyalty scheme pioneers – revealed its new paid-for Clubcard Plus, costing £7.99 per month. Meanwhile, Nationwide Building Society has also announced it is scrapping its hugely popular loyalty savings accounts held by 1.6million people. Which are the firms and organisations the team feel some loyalty too - and what are the ones they stick with out of sheer laziness?  And with another small energy firm going bust, should we in fact be staying 'loyal' to some of the established giants for peace of mind? Elsewhere, we look at a study comparing the costs of buying and renting a home claiming the former could leave you £350,000 better off: do we finally have conclusive evidence? Also, when you buy shares in a company, do you need to check what bosses of the business are up to? Are they themselves buying into their own company – and if not… why not? We also run the rule over statistics showing how many cars there are with more than 250,000 miles on clock with a full MOT. The team reveal the best workhorse cars, the high-milers they've owned and ask listeners to tell us below: what is the biggest mileage you've racked up on a car?
10/25/201953 minutes, 1 second
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Will investors benefit from Woodford being axed and what happens next?

Neil Woodford's Equity Income Fund, which has locked in investors' money since June, will never reopen – the star fund manager has seen his empire toppled. Editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost, ask: what is next for investors and what lessons will be learnt? We also talk about where it went wrong and what it could mean for the investment industry. Elsewhere, we reveal what makes a 'comfortable' retirement – and what changes you can make to ensure that you are doing enough to secure one. We reveal whether you can find rare quarters from the US in your change while visiting. Meanwhile, a reader asks whether they need to come clean to their car insurer as they're about to tick over the mileage they quoted when they started their annual policy.
10/18/201949 minutes, 21 seconds
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Does buying a property at auction really get you a good deal?

If you want a good deal, an undervalued gem, or a fixer-upper to make money on - buy a home at auction. That's the common theory, but does it actually work in practice? There's a chance you might find an underrated home, but there's also the risk that you may get caught up in competition with another buyer and overpay - as many who end up in a bidding war do. On this week's podcast, we switch off Homes Under the Hammer and go watch some real life homes go under the hammer at a property auction. Reporter Grace Gausden tells us about the auction room atmosphere, and Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and George Nixon discuss tips to make sure you stay on the right side of a bargain hunt. Also on this week's podcast, the team discuss whether those owed money from before Thomas Cook went bust can get flight compensation and why Barclays is stopping customers taking out cash at the post office. Plus, Simon explains the circular economy and why it's important to get capitalism on side to stop trashing the planet. And finally, buying a brand new car isn't very green, but you could save a lot of money on them at the moment as dealers are pre-registering them to meet sales targets and then selling them at up to 40 per cent off. The team explain why.
10/11/201954 minutes, 12 seconds
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It's crunch time for Brexit, but should you protect your finances or try to profit?

It’s crunch time for Brexit and things could go one of three ways. Theoretically, a no-deal Brexit shouldn’t be able to happen and the Prime Minister has to ask for an extension instead, but we are faced with the bizarre prospect of the Government saying it might be able to dodge the law… and so maybe no-deal could still happen. And then, of course, there is the possibility that instead of no-deal or an extension, we actually get a deal. Amid all this, we’ve had news that the UK economy slowed earlier this year and fresh fears over recession, global trade war worries have stepped up a bit, an election’s on the cards, the stock market’s been tumbling and interest rates are going to head down not up. So, is it time to batten down the hatches, or should you be optimistic and aim to be greedy while others are fearful? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Tanya Jefferies and Georgie Frost look at what the latest episode in the Brexit soap opera means for our money, from savings and investments, to mortgages and holiday money. They also discuss the question of whether it is too late to protect your finances against no-deal? Also on this week’s show, the women’s state pension age case defeat and what it means, the almost certain 4 per cent rise for the state pension next year, and what Drastic Dave’s departure from Tesco means for the UK’s biggest supermarket. And finally, you might fancy a classic car but think you can’t afford one – but the team have got ten bargain cars tipped for future classic status that put one in reach (and Simon explains how man maths means they’re almost free).
10/4/201951 minutes, 13 seconds
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How much do you need to save into a pension?

We are regularly told that we aren’t saving enough into a pension, but how much is enough?    A recent report suggested that while auto enrolment has dragged more people into saving for retirement, it has also lulled them into a false sense of security.   Currently, the system means 8 per cent of a worker’s salary must be going into a pension – unless they opt out – but that includes their contribution, basic rate tax relief and what their employer puts in.   Experts suggest that depending on when you start that number needs to be more like a minimum of 12 per cent or even 15 per cent. So how can you make sure you are salting away enough to live in the style you’d like in retirement?   On this week’s podcast Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost dive into the world of pension saving and the tricks you can use to get more going into your retirement pot.   Also this week, they talk Brexit-proofing your pension, wills – and how to get one if you don’t have one, and what you need to think about if you are moving house to try to get your kids into school.    
9/27/201919 minutes, 51 seconds
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Is a tough property market the best time to buy a home?

The best time to get a good deal on buying something is when other people don’t want to. That should theoretically make now a decent time to try to buy a property, but will that work in practice? The property market has run out of steam and house prices are rising at a far more moderate rate than in recent years  While the headline figures mask regional differences – London and the South East have seen prices fall, while cheaper areas are still seeing gains – even drilling down into the numbers shows most places are slowing. Rightmove reported this week that the traditional back to school bounce was cancelled, as asking prices failed to rise for the first time in September since 2010 this month. Meanwhile, the ONS, Nationwide and Halifax reports have all pointed to a period of much slower house price inflation. The problem is that often to buy a house you need to sell one and-  even if you can do that - estate agents and analysts point to a distinct lack of properties being put up for sale. On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Grace Gausden dive into the reports on what is going on in the property market, to try to answer the question of whether now is a good time to buy. Also on this week’s show, the team discuss energy vampires and what’s true and what’s false in energy saving claims. The delay to the smart meter rollout is on the agenda too. As the Climate Strike arrives, they debate whether buying carbon credits to make up for flying is wise - or whether we should just be flying less instead. And finally, if you fancy doing the complete opposite, the podcast finishes with a look at why now is the best time to book Christmas flights… or do your bit and get the train instead.
9/20/201931 minutes, 19 seconds
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Should we rip up capital gains tax rules? And how to save 40% off a new car

Entrepreneurs and investors pay less tax on their profits to reflect the risk they take.    That’s the principle that lies behind capital gains tax being lower than the rates charged on employment income.   But the influential think-tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, wants to rip up that system and charge the same rate on gains from selling shares or property as income tax – and hack back the annual capital gains tax allowance to just £1,000.   It even wants to remove the special low entrepreneur rate given to those who have sold a business that they built up.   Is this the kind of For the many not the few move that Britain needs to level the playing field between those with plenty of capital and the ability to make investments and those who don’t?   Or is it just another planned tax raid on those putting their money to productive use and growing our collective wealth?   On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost dig into the IPPR’s proposals and look at whether this is the kind of thing that could become Labour party policy?   They also look at long-term investments that have paid off, risky investments to be wary of and the one thing plenty of people are happy to sink thousands of pounds into  knowing that they will lose a big chunk of their money – a brand new car.   The good news is that due to a perfect storm of a deadline on new regulation and crashing sales, there are some astonishing deals on pre-registered ‘new’ cars with as much as 40% off. The bad news is that you’ll still almost certainly lose money.
9/13/201936 minutes, 36 seconds
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Was that as good as it gets for savers this time round?

Savers have been dealt a series of blows over the summer and the latest came this week with an NS&I cut, so was that as good as it gets this time round?   On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Sarah Davidson and Georgie Frost look at why savings rates have started to slip again, and how the mortgage price war, stuttering UK property market and even Donald Trump’s trade spat with China fit in with that.   Meanwhile, after one of the most tumultuous weeks in British politics in a decade – at the end of which we are still unsure whether a no-deal Brexit or General Election are on the cards or out of the question – the team look at how to protect yourself against the fallout.   Should you act to bolster your savings, mortgage, pension and investments against potential risks?    Is that just good financial planning anyway?    Does stock piling food ever make sense?   The trio look at the expert advice and share their opinions on those topics.   Away from the Brexit row, a domestic political hot potato was being thrown around at the beginning of this week too, Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s idea for right to buy for tenants to purchase their landlord’s buy-to-let property a discount.   The team look at what the concept is, whether this could ever work and who would foot the bill?   And finally, are electric cars greener once you factor in the build and the battery? A new survey says it has the answer.    
9/6/201945 minutes, 24 seconds
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Those born in the 1980s are financially worse off than the generation before: are they really facing a state pension age of 75?

This week, This is Money takes a look at a raft of inter-generation financial divide stories that have popped up in August. This includes why those born in the 1980s have less disposable income than those born in the 1970s according to the Office for National Statistics and why the Bank of Mum and Dad is creaking. Assistant editor Lee Boyce, reporter George Nixon and host Georgie Frost run the rule over these statistics, along with proposals to raise the state pension age to 75. This was from a right-wing think tank The Centre for Social Justice and has left many industry experts irate. We also discuss data showing that two thirds of older people say they feel hurt by the inter-generational financial criticism that they are lording it up at the expense of younger generations. Elsewhere, why easy-access savings account rates could be a better bet than fixed-rate offers and why you should act if you have a Marcus Bank savings account. We also talk metal bank cards – why on earth would you want one and who is offering them?
8/30/201944 minutes, 59 seconds
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Can consumer power help the planet? Green investing, eco-travel, electric cars and your own back yard

It's fair to say environmental issues have moved to the forefront of the agenda in recent times – a large chunk of households in Britain are becoming more eco-conscious. This week, editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost take a look at potential changes you can make to help the pound in your pocket turn a little greener. Simon explains his rallying cry for us to be his acronym 'Layby' rather than being labelled 'Nimbys'. Layby – or look after your back yard – is a movement to look after the country we live in. When it comes to investing, there is a growing movement where savers who want to combat climate change invest a small amount of money in the very companies eco-activists traditionally rally against, such as fossil fuel giants Shell and BP – so why? You don't have to do a Greta Thunberg, the young Swedish activist, and sail for two weeks to your holiday destination to lower your travel carbon footprint... what can you do to be a more eco-friendly tourist? And finally… it's hard enough trying to predict how rapidly a normal car will depreciate, but estimating the loss of value of an electric vehicle is a whole other ball game. We reveal all.
8/23/201926 minutes, 28 seconds
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Is there a recession looming, will the pound keep falling and what next for interest rates?

The pound has been battered and bruised of late and it took another blow last week with gloomy news about the UK economy. With a no-deal potentially in the offing, how much more of a pounding will sterling take? Editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost look at what lies behind the decline, why it's fallen so much when jobs, wages and inflation aren't doing badly and what it could mean for interest rates. We also ask: is a recession coming? And as the cost of living nudged higher, with inflation recorded at 2.1 per cent, what was behind the surprise increase? Elsewhere, should you fix your mortgage for 10 years? Banks and building societies are increasingly catering to the rising demand. One of the biggest last minute holiday hassles is sorting out money and something we often leave to the last minute. But you could avoid all that and sign up for a credit or debit card that comes with no extra fees spending abroad and doesn't load currency conversions in the bank's favour.
8/16/201936 minutes, 25 seconds
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Tricks ruthless scammers use to steal your pension revealed on the This is Money podcast – would you fall victim?

If you think you're too savvy to fall victim to a pension scam - or any scam for that matter - you might want to think again.  Almost half of 45-65 year olds would potentially fall victim to six common tactics used by fraudsters, Financial Conduct Authority research claims. Editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost take a look, as it's revealed the average victim loses £82,000. A psychologist also reveals five common tricks used by scammers to get you to part with your cash, whether it is pension-related or not. Elsewhere, we reveal how one reader was facing his house sale falling through thanks to a little known Cifas fraud marker being attached to his name via telecoms giant Sky. We teach you how to complain properly, as we aim to arm listeners with the knowledge they need to take on big firms when they do something wrong. The RAC launches a new insurance that could beat the car rental rip-off and the AA warns about keeping on the right side of the French driving law.
8/9/201951 minutes, 49 seconds
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Self-employed workers could soon see incomes hit thanks to tax changes – will you be one of them?

Changes in tax rules that will be introduced next year could hit the income of anyone who's self-employed - such as IT experts and business consultants. Editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost look at why it is being called a 'ticking timebomb' for contractors. Elsewhere, as the PPI deadline fast approaches, what will it mean for banks and consumers – and why you should DIY a claim before it's too late. Things go from bad to worse for Neil Woodford investors, as money will be locked in now until December at the earliest. The Financial Conduct comes in for criticism after failing to warn savers about a scam they knew about for nearly a month resulting in huge financial losses for three of our readers. And John Lewis gives advice on where to stash valuables before heading away with help from six ex-burglars.
8/2/201949 minutes, 10 seconds
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Will there be a Boris bounce or Brexit hangover? How the new PM could affect the pound in your pocket

Out go Theresa May and Philip Hammond, in come Boris Johnson and Sajid David – will it result in your finances falling out of top gear, or going on a grand tour? That's the question editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost tackle this week, as we have a new Prime Minister at the helm, and a new Chancellor as his sidekick. Boris has hinted at a stamp duty cut, an income tax cut, a fix for the social care crisis and promised more police officers and better infrastructure. Can he deliver on all that? And, more pertinently, will Mr Johnson manage to succeed when it comes to Brexit by Halloween?  We discuss all this and what other tricks may he have up his sleeve to help your finances? Meanwhile, we reveal why you may want to think twice before logging into public wifi at coffee shops and hotels. And there are top tips on how you can fight the financial fear of the school holidays. And we also discuss why going for a classic car maybe a better investment when it comes to convertibles and celebrate the mundane vehicles that used to be a common sight on our roads, but no longer are.
7/26/201951 minutes, 10 seconds
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Who’s afraid of a no-deal Brexit? What the next PM taking us out Europe without a deal means for your money

  The threat of no deal is looming larger – just a few months after people had decided a softer Brexit was on the cards.    This week we had the Office of Budget Responsibility’s verdict on what a ‘benign’ no-deal Brexit scenario might look like for the economy. It would cost us £30billion, unemployment would rise to 5%, the pound would fall 10% and house prices would go down by the same amount.    And that’s not based on the IMF’s worst case scenario. The Chancellor said things could actually be more painful, Jacob Rees-Mogg suggested it was the wrong way round and we could be £80billion richer.   So could no deal really happen? What would it mean for your money? Are the OBR’s forecasts just more Project Fear? Or is ignoring experts measured forecasts Project Daft?   On this week’s podcast Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost dive into Britain’s unpredictable short-term future.   Also on the show, we look at what we can learn from a trip back to This is Money a decade ago, consider why Lloyds is getting back into the investment advice business with Schroders Personal Wealth, and answer a couple of reader questions on faking a break-up and staging a divorce to dodge pension tax and whether if you break off an engagement you get to keep the ring.   Who said love is dead? Enjoy.
7/19/201947 minutes, 46 seconds
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Inheritance Tax is the most hated of all taxes – should it be overhauled?

It's official: IHT is the country's most hated tax. That's according to the Office of Tax Simplification, who have been looking into the quirks of the system at the request of the Chancellor. What needs to change – and could a Labour plan, bubbling away in the background, really be the answer? Editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost take a look. Whatever happens with IHT, most want to leave as much of their wealth as possible to loved ones when they pass away – so just how do you do it and how many bend the rules? Elsewhere, we update on what's going on at Deutsche Bank as thousands of jobs across the globe are axed. Eon goes green and says millions of its customers will now receive 100 per cent renewable electricity – but what does that mean? And on the topic of green, we have details of the first all-electric Mini – how much will it cost, what is its range and most importantly... is it any good?
7/12/201940 minutes, 13 seconds
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What have we learnt from the Woodford fiasco - and will anything change?

t’s been more than a month since Britain’s most high profile fund manager Neil Woodford was embarrassingly forced to close the doors to his flagship fund. Since then, investors have been unable to sell out and this week - after the first 28 days of closure rolled round - Woodford Equity Income locked savers in for another four weeks. Over the past month, Woodford, his business, its associates and the entire fund management industry have been thrown under the spotlight, but ultimately, will all this fuss and fiasco make any difference? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Alex Sebastian look at what next for the investment world, what has changed and whether once the noise dies down it will simply be back to business as usual. Can we learn anything from the Woodford mess? Are there other investments we should be looking at? Is this just another reason to ditch active management for passive funds? Will we still continue to love our star managers? All this and more comes under the microscope, as the team look to Woodford and beyond and consider the business of making money from making other people’s money.
7/5/201936 minutes, 44 seconds
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Would you sign up to an estate agent offering to sell your home for free?

The bumper fees we pay to estate agents to sell our homes are a common gripe, so what’s not to like about one that offers to do it for free? Yes, free.  Online agent Housesimple says that it will sell your home at no charge, rather than the 1.5 per cent you might pay a traditional High Street agent, or even the £900 or thereabouts that rival fixed fee agents charge. So, what’s the catch and would taking up this kind of offer be a good idea? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Will Kirkman dive into the murky world of selling houses and whether estate agents are worth their fees. They also look at how much it costs to get on the property ladder around the UK and why it’s got more affordable in London, with one major caveat. On the agenda this week, in addition to that, is the help or lack of for mortgage prisoners and how to get your pension to last to 100. The team also take a trip back to the 1970s, to find out why a decade famed for being economically rubbish for the UK also managed to deliver the last time unemployment was this low. And finally, Simon has some tips on how to do well in our £20,000 Fantasy Share Picking Game, which include not copying him thanks to his lowly 1,400th place in the practice league.
6/28/201949 minutes, 45 seconds
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Will there be a mis-selling scandal over final salary pension advice?

Two-thirds of savers are being told to abandon final salary pensions - and this is despite the Financial Conduct Authority saying that advisers should start with the standpoint this is not a suitable option.   That revelation arrived this week as the FCA said too much advice on valuable pensions is 'still not of an acceptable standard.'   Are people getting the right advice about their gold-plated pensions, or are they right to jump ship? That's the question tackled by editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost this week.   Meanwhile, a reader discovers an old Post Office Savings Bank book from the 1960s – but what is it worth now and can you even take the money out.   Premium bonds – how do you really find out you've won the jackpot?   Britain has a net zero emissions target for 2050, but what are the best electric cars to buy now?   And forget fantasy football, we reveal the details of our fantasy share picking game where the winner will scoop a giant £20,000 grand prize.
6/21/201946 minutes, 15 seconds
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Upsize, downsize: Is swapping your home ever a good idea – and what are the pitfalls?

Much is made of the difficulties faced by first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder, but less talked about is the problem facing second steppers and those looking to downsize. As growing families struggle to afford to move up the property ladder could intergenerational house-swaps be the answer?  That's the question editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost tackle this week. What are the potential stamp duty and inheritance tax traps to look out for, and is it a good idea? Simon debunks the different ways businesses report profits and what to look out for, and updates on Neil Woodford. Lee runs the rule over the top easy-access savings deals as a number now match Marcus Bank's 1.5 per cent rate. Meanwhile, we talk about the plans to protect physical cash, as usage continues to dwindle – that, despite a launch of a new set of Peter Pan 50p capturing the public imagination.
6/14/201939 minutes, 55 seconds
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What's gone wrong for fund manager Neil Woodford and retail mogul Sir Philip Green?

It's been a rocky week to say the least for Britain's most recognisable fund manager Neil Woodford – he suspended trading in his flagship fund, leaving savers unable to access their cash. And we still don't know the future of Sir Philip Green and his Arcadia empire, after a crucial rescue vote was suspended. This is Money assistant editor Lee Boyce, retail reporter Emily Hardy and host Georgie Frost discuss how it has gone wrong for the pair. What has led Woodford to this point, could there be a Financial Conduct Authority investigation, are savers trapped in the fund safe – and can he recover? Arcadia – with brands like Burton and Topshop – could be set to close 50 stores with the loss of 1,000 staff. What is a CVA and why hasn't Sir Philip managed to get a deal approved this week? We also discuss the High Street in general and a worrying set of figures – what can be done to help stop the decline? Elsewhere, we run the rule over a 'bonkers' plan for first-time buyers to raid pension pots for deposits and Lee urges savers to engage with their retirement savings. And we finally manage to get the Pensions Minister to give us a precise figure on how many people may have received incorrect state pension forecasts.
6/7/201947 minutes, 37 seconds
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Incorrect state pension forecasts means many face a poorer retirement – how big a problem is it?

We often talk about good retirement planning being key to more secure and happier future – but what happens if the figures you were working on were completely wrong – and it's not your maths to blame… Editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost discuss a string of incorrect state pension forecasts sent out that will result in many facing a poorer retirement than expected. The Government only admits to making occasional errors but a former Pensions Minister reckons the latest cases could just be the tip of the iceberg. Elsewhere, we talk about a new code which will be give better protection against authorised push payment scams, which costs people millions of pounds each year. We update on Tesco Bank and its stops mortgage lending and explores the sale of its loan book. Simon gives an overview of Buffettology – how can you can potentially channel your inner Warren Buffett to become a better investor. Could you be rich from the Premium Bonds and not even know it? And which firms offer the best salaries in Britain? It's all crammed inside this week's podcast.
5/31/201940 minutes, 29 seconds
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It might save you money but does the mortgage price war spell trouble in the future?

The mortgage price war claimed a high profile victim this week as Tesco Bank scrapped lending.   A great adventure into the world of banking - billed as a major challenge to the High Street banking giants with mortgages promoted in the aisles – has come to an end.   Tesco Bank will continue with its other products, but why has it ditched mortgages, why have a string of other smaller players shut their doors in recent months, and why did building society behemoth Nationwide issue its own caution on home loans this week?   On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Sarah Davidson and Georgie Frost dive into what is currently a weird world of mortgages: where a greater supply of money to lend than demand to borrow it means there are some very cheap deals on offer.   They also look at whether this may end up causing problems further down the line and ask how long it will be before more risky lending edges back in.   Also on this week’s show, the team look at a reader’s problem with a neighbour upstairs, who has stripped the floor back to floorboards and is creating noise issues, despite a lease that says there must be carpets. How do you enforce that?   Thomas Cook’s troubles and what they mean for holidaymakers are under the spotlight too.   And finally, ever wondered why sometimes drivers get a ticket but at others escape with just a warning, or what really drives police officers mad behind the wheel?    You need to listen to the segment on the secrets of a traffic cop revealed.
5/24/201946 minutes, 38 seconds
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Would being richer make you happy?

There’s an old saying that money doesn’t buy happiness, which is often swiftly countered with the suggestion that while this may be the case, having enough not to worry about it definitely helps. There are no shortage of cautionary tales that tell us it is better to be happy than rich, but does it matter if some people have an awful lot more money than others? And does it matter to both them and society how they got it - and whether it was earned by hard work? An in-depth five-year study was launched this week that aims to look into inequality in Britain; and not just at earnings and wealth, but also inequality in education, opportunity, gender, race, geography, class and generation. It arrived with a snapshot of Britain today and on this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Tanya Jefferies and Georgie Frost dive into the picture that paints and discuss whether we need to worry about inequality or not. They also look at how to work out how wealthy you are – and why that matters even if you subscribe to the money doesn’t buy happiness mantra. This week’s podcast also reveals the perks that you can get if you are over-60, after Jeff Prestridge wrote about those he discovered that he can now pick up now he’s had a big birthday. More seriously, the team flag the vital help that over-65s can get if they are struggling. And finally, if you’ve ever thought you’d like to live in a certain part of town, on an exact street, or even ‘in that house there’, we look at the new service Knock for Sale that will send owners a card for you for £5 to tell them you are interested and maybe tempt them to sell.
5/17/201953 minutes, 50 seconds
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Have you ever wanted to build your own home?

Many people say they would like to have a crack at a Grand Design of their own – or even a more modest one – but finding somewhere to build it is a problem. That’s why despite self-builders typically turning an immediate paper profit of 15 to 30%, according to specialist BuildStore, not many of us take the plunge.  Things could be about to change for the better, however, as keen to encourage more people to self-build the Government has told councils to launch Right to Build registers and make land available. On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost dive into the world of building your own home and look at whether the plan to raise self-build’s profile will work or fizzle out. From finding a plot, to using an architect, and getting involved yourself or employing someone to build it for you, they discuss how to do – and the barriers that may stand in your way. Plus Simon reveals how both his parents and his uncle - on separate occasions - went down the self-build route. Also on this week’s podcast, the team look at whether pensioners should get a stamp duty break and if you can sell your home for less than it’s worth to avoid equity release and care costs. Neil Woodford’s claim that his strategy will come good is in the spotlight and Simon reflects on whether sticking with his Woodford investments was a wise move. And finally, Britain’s car buyers may love an SUV but we reveal why choosing one will hit your pocket harder than a good old fashioned estate car.
5/10/201943 minutes, 6 seconds
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Would you pay more tax to make sure you get care in old age?

Social care is a mounting problem for Britain but the issue is a can that has been kicked down the road repeatedly. Rather than tackle the fact that the state can't afford to care for today's elderly - let alone those that our ageing population will deliver in future - politicians have dodged and fudged.  This week a new suggestion emerged involving a hike in National Insurance contributions for over-50s.  Editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost take a look and ask: is it a good idea?  Elsewhere, we take a look the MPG figures given by manufacturers for cars and how to tell if that local shop or restaurant has really closed down for good.  Simon talks about a new flight tax concept and we reveal how to fightback against the those irritating customer service chatbots.
5/3/201957 minutes, 15 seconds
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Is it possible to help the planet and save cash – and would a Prius make you happy?

We haven't glued ourselves to train carriages, politician fences or the London Stock Exchange. No, this week's This is Money podcast opts for a less confrontational approach to the environment, with useful tips and tricks that are good for the planet as well as your wallet.  Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost look at the green movement and what it means for the financial industry and businesses. Are they doing enough?  Alongside that, we look at what we - the consumer - can do to help the environment and save money along the way. Simon has three places you can make a big difference by adding pressure or changing behaviour, from picking green energy deals, to what to do about flying.  Meanwhile, the hybrid car of choice, the Toyota Prius, isn't just for Uber drivers and eco-conscious celebrities as it tops a survey of most satisfying motors to drive.  Elsewhere, outside of the green bubble – we look at where a pair of 40something business owners with no pension should invest.  We continue to puzzle over the baffling state pension top-up system and ask: just how far over the limit could you potentially drive in your area before being issued with a ticket?
4/26/201947 minutes, 24 seconds
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As TSB commits to refund all defrauded customers, will other banks follow suit – and should they?

TSB says defrauded customers will now always get their cash back, which has piled pressure on other banks to do the same. But will they – and should they have to? That's the question assistant editor Lee Boyce, reporter George Nixon and host Georgie Frost tackle in this week's podcast. In all, £354million was stolen last year authorised push-payment frauds and until now, banks had refused to pay compensation, claiming the victims should have been more careful. Elsewhere, we take a look at some of the new breed of smartphone apps could help you build a savings habit without even trying, as a report shows that many bury their head in the sand when it comes to financial decision making. Private landlords may no longer be able to evict tenants at short notice and without good reason under a major shake-up of the rental sector. The rate of annual house price growth in Britain has fallen to its lowest level for nearly seven years – with London and the South East seeing value drops. And finally, an investigation has found Amazon is flooded with fake reviews which could be misleading us into wasting our money – should we trust the five stars and how can you spot the duds?
4/18/201949 minutes, 45 seconds
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Are you one of the millions in line for a pay rise this tax year?

There are three certainties in life. You know the drill. You’re born, you will die and you will listen to this podcast about tax.  As another new tax year is upon us, editor Simon Lambert and host Georgie Frost explain the tax changes that will affect you.   There is a nice pay rise for more than 20 million people as the personal allowance is raised.   And Simon answers some of the questions on everyone’s lips: What is the lifetime allowance? What is inheritance tax? Why do married couples get a tax break? Should families be rewarded when both parents work? How does national insurance work? And why do the cost of stamps and all your bills all go up on the same day? You'll learn an awful lot about things you need to know about tax without having to read about it.  Enjoy.
4/12/201931 minutes, 48 seconds
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Is the 8% return on your 'savings' really just a complex fraud?

As we fast approach one fifth of the way through the 21st century, the world of finance is modernising in ways that would have been unimaginable a few years ago. And not always in a good way.  The language of ‘savings’ has evolved to the point of dishonesty and even fraud. On this week’s podcast editor Simon Lambert and reporter George Nixon join host Georgie Frost to look at fancy new Innovative Finance Isas, at savings products that claim to offer 8% returns and to be protected by the official savings watchdog but are in fact risky investments – and the fraud investigation at London Capital and Finance, where thousands of ‘savers’ lost millions of pounds. Simon guides listeners through the dark side of mini bonds and the complex web of companies that savers’ money was poured into at LC and F before it collapsed owing £236m. The City watchdog supposedly overseeing the company is also now being investigated . On a cheerier note, George explains how teenagers are able to invest on the stock market and how easy it can be to get started, plus a couple of new free share dealing services, an old-fashioned holiday trap and whether insurance companies would pay out if your flash car crash is on video and on social media. Enjoy.  
4/5/201938 minutes, 36 seconds
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It's not too late to sort your Isa or pension before the tax year ends

The end of the financial year is looming - April 5 - and it means the clock is ticking if you haven't sorted your Isa or pension.  Editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost have an Isa special for your ears this week. When it comes to cash Isas, you may already be too late as some banks and building societies have already pulled their best buys. Lee reveals his top cash picks for 2019, why there has been a move to cash tax-free accounts and why they are still worth having, even with rates still low. Simon reveals all you need to know about getting started on investing in an Isa – and why it could be worth looking at greener options.  The team call in the experts to give their last minute fund ideas and reveal why our Prudent Investor is nervous about what Brexit could do to his cash.
3/29/201937 minutes, 19 seconds
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With gas boilers set to be banned in new builds, what will power our homes in the future?

The Government wants to scrap gas boilers in new homes by 2025 – but what are the viable alternatives? And how much will they cost? This week, This is Money editor Simon Lambert, reporter Grace Gausden and host Georgie Frost explore the options. And on the energy theme, you can now ask Alexa: when will my electricity bills be cheapest? Energy company Octopus has teamed up with Amazon, the creator of Alexa, and will pay customers to use electricity at off-peak periods. Sound too good to be true? We also talk 'dumb' smart meters and reveal which energy firm we're leaving en masse... Plus the team teach you the tips of the successful haggle as it emerges which telecoms giants are easiest to bargain with. Enjoy.
3/22/201943 minutes, 16 seconds
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Can Britain afford to pay MORE tax? Why the tax burden has hit its highest level since 1969

With all the shenanigans in Westminster this week you could be forgiven for failing to register we had a Spring Statement at all – let alone clocked its finer points. Editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost fill you in on what you may have missed.  It includes forecasts from the Office for Budgetary Responsibility on the UK economy, along with income growth, interest rates, the pound and house prices. We also have the true scale of the tax burden on families and businesses, with the overall tax take equivalent to 34.6% of Britain's economy, a level not seen since Harold Wilson was Prime Minister. Income tax receipts will rise nearly £54billion in the next five years, with steep rises forecast for National Insurance, VAT and Corporation Tax. A hike in probate 'fees' was waved through without a vote or debate in parliament by classifying it as a fee not a tax – but the ONS is now calling it a tax. The OBR also reveals that two flagship savings schemes have not been anywhere near as popular as planned, while boilers are out – as are feed-in tariffs from solar panels. Enjoy.
3/15/201945 minutes, 9 seconds
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Is the cash Isa finally bouncing back – and is it still worth having?

Put on your party hats, it's Isa season! After years in the doldrums could we have a proper Isa battle on our hands in 2019? Santander and Coventry Building Society have launched two best-buy easy-access tax-free deals, and that appears to have put some wind in the sails of This is Money assistant editor Lee Boyce. Editor Simon Lambert and host Georgie Frost – along with Lee – talk all things Isas: whether they are worth it, the options and importantly, are the new top rates a potential catalyst for more competition? Elsewhere, we take a look at new fintech firm Dozens, offering a five per cent return spotted after a recent London Transport advertising blitz. There is a victory for This is Money readers, as Virgin Money refunds credit card customers stung by charges after unwittingly setting minimum payments rather than paying the full balance when changing card. Simon runs the rule over a 95% interest-only mortgage launched by Newbury Building Society. Finally, we talk about our latest Freedom of Information request to find out just how many motorists actually get fined for idling engines to defrost windscreens. Enjoy.
3/8/201946 minutes, 2 seconds
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What would YOU do if you won a tidy windfall from the Premium Bonds?

National Savings and Investments has launched Ernie 5.0 – its fifth generation machine that draws the Premium Bond numbers. It now takes just 12 minutes for numbers to be generated by the Electronic Random Number Indicator Equipment compared to 10 days back in the early 1970s. This week, editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost answer the question – what would you do if you gained a windfall, big or small, either from the Premium Bonds or by other means? What does it mean to win big and what are the first things you need to think about if you’re lucky enough to come into some cash? And when it comes to gifting some of your windfall to children, should it go towards their student loan, help with a house deposit, put in a pension or help them get involved in investing? We also discuss a 57-year-old reader who was the latest star in our regular Money Pit Stop series, who wants to make sure his own investment portfolio can withstand downturns and provide him with a good income at retirement. Additionally, after we launched our This is Money Diaries this week, we reveal the concerns our 28-year-old first Guinea Pig has – and why we want the younger generation to get involved.
3/1/201945 minutes, 45 seconds
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Would you challenge a will? Why inheritance disputes are on the rise

A will may be considered the expression of someone’s last wishes, but more of them are being challenged. High property prices and increasingly complicated families are being blamed for the rise in disputes, but would you challenge someone’s will? In this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost dive into why inheritance rows are more commonplace and how difficult it is to try to overturn a will. Also this week, alongside some money-saving tips for millennials a heated debate kicks off about buying flat whites vs saving for homes at a time when house prices are sky high compared to ages. Simon reveals his lessons from holding Lloyds shares all the way up, all the way down and then all the time that they have bumped along since the financial crisis. And we dig into the case of a car park prang that led to countless phone calls from ambulance chasers – and how this manages to happen. Enjoy.
2/22/201947 minutes, 59 seconds
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Is this the clock ticking on a slowdown in the UK economy, or are we primed for a Brexit bounce?

Inflation has slipped to 1.8 per cent - below the 2 per cent target - and the Bank of England has downgraded the UK's growth prospects and indicated interest rate hikes are on hold. But at the same time, wages are rising by more than inflation and unemployment remains low. So has the clock already started ticking on a slowdown in the UK economy, or is this just some pre-Brexit jitters that could eventually be followed by a bounce? This is Money editor Simon Lambert, alongside assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost, dig into what's going on, as the growth forecast is slashed to the lowest annual rate since the recession a decade ago. But there's also some good news: lower CPI also means that more savings accounts are now inflation-beating and we look at where you can get a real return on your money and what the prospects for rates are. Elsewhere, we talk about the property market and a recent slump in prices in London and the South, along with why you should consider carefully how long your mortgage term is for. And finally it's a holiday double header. Firstly, how to play the game to avoid the traps of the air miles reward credit cards with the steepest interest rates but the best points and, secondly, with all-inclusive trips on the rise are they a good idea? Enjoy.
2/15/201944 minutes, 36 seconds
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How to start investing or become a smarter investor

Investing has proven to be the best way to beat inflation and grow your wealth over the long-term, but how do you get started? And if you do already invest but feel you’ve lost track of your goals or ended up with a jumble of investments, how can you improve things? In this second edition of a two-part podcast special on saving and investing, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost dive into how to be a smarter investor. They bust the jargon and look at why people should invest, how to get started, what investments you can choose and how to find the right ones for you. Simon discusses his experience of investing, what he got right along the way and importantly the things he got wrong. But why should you invest? Well, between 1900 and 2017 owning UK shares would have delivered an average return of 5.5 per cent, beating cash savings at 1 per cent and property at 1.8 per cent, according to the respected Credit Suisse Investment Yearbook. There’s no guarantee that history will be repeated, but companies should always have the ability to put money to productive use and reward investors with rising share prices off the back of their profits, dividend payouts, or interest on bonds. Listen to the podcast and tell us what you think.
2/1/201950 minutes, 13 seconds
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Everything you need to know about savings - and why you should ditch the big banks

In part one of two This is Money podcast specials, we tackle savings. When savings are mentioned, the first thought that springs to mind for many is: rates are low, what's the point? In the latest This is Money podcast, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost are joined by James Blower, the Savings Guru to explain why savings are important. James has inside knowledge of the industry, having helped a number of challenger banks set up their savings business. We talk about what the point of saving is and what you need to consider at different stages - and ages - of your life. How do you save for your children, what about Isas, does higher risk equal higher reward and how do you save for a house? We also talk about why the Financial Services Compensation Scheme is important and whether saving in cash over investing is ever a worthwhile exercise. James takes us behind the scenes at how rates are set and reveals why he believes better deals are on the horizon for savers. Furthermore, we call to action those who have left money languishing in poor paying accounts to help drive the banks and building societies to offer us better deals. Join us next week for part two when editor Simon Lambert tackles everything you need to know about investing.
1/25/201955 minutes, 58 seconds
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Boost for savers as CPI inflation falls to 2.1% - but the RPI controversy rumbles on

Inflation is within a whisker of its long-term target of two per cent – does that mean an interest rate rise off the table in 2019? Assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost talk about the latest inflation figures in the This is Money podcast – including why it has fallen, where it is heading next and what it means for savers.  Savings rates are up, with nearly 100 accounts now matching or beating inflation. Lee explains a nifty trick on how to beat inflation with a one year fixed-rate savings account and boost the rate even further. We also discuss the House of Lords report which let rip over RPI and CPI, and why it matters to the pound in your pocket.  Meanwhile, we reveal why it is important to not penny pinch on your travel insurance and how the zero per cent beer market is booming – and it's not just because of 'dry January'. This week, we don't have one, not two, but three coin stories for your enjoyment. How euro coins rattling around in your home could be worth a pretty penny and why 50p coins have had a moment in the sun.  Enjoy.
1/18/201949 minutes, 51 seconds
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Trouble on the high street: The winners and losers of the Christmas battle

Just how bad was Christmas for Britain’s shops? Retailers sounded the alarm early when advent brought a string of warnings about a terrible November, but this week we started to find out what the crucial festive period really brought. A rush of results arrived, as everyone from the big supermarkets to M&S, Debenhams and John Lewis updated on Christmas sales. The bar had been set low, but it turned out to be not quite so bad as thought – with a few winners and a bunch of losers who escaped the drubbing feared. On this week’s podcast, This is Money’s retail expert Emily Hardy, joins Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost to sift through the figures and look at who did well and who didn’t. The team also look at the crucial question of whether retailers with decent sales will turn those into profit, or whether getting items off the shelves at a discount cost them dear? Also on the agenda is what’s causing the malaise. Is it the internet, a lack of quality, or simply Britain hitting peak stuff? Simon has a theory based on sales, Amazon, people buying presents later and being a bit more discerning. Away from the high street, we also discuss how to get a new job in 2019 and find out about the man whose expensive £4,000 wasted romantic trip after a break-up spurred him on to create Transfer Travel - the ‘eBay for unwanted holidays’.
1/11/201941 minutes, 32 seconds
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New Year Special - the impact of last year's big stories and campaigns

Happy New NHS? Among last year's big stories was the 70th anniversary of our beloved health service and whether we are prepared to pay for it through higher taxes. Our campaign to out the rogue, sometimes criminal, private car park operatives began with a vengeance and will continue long into 2019. Editor Simon Lambert and host Georgie Frost also explain how to avoid losing your home because of inheritance tax. And are you ready to ditch your fossil-fueled car for an electric one yet? This story will run and run. Unlike the Range Rover Sport, which was judged to be the least reliable used car to buy last year. It's all part of our look back - and forward - over the big stories and campaigns of 2018. Enjoy.,
1/4/201956 minutes, 57 seconds
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Are you penalised for your loyalty? This is Money Christmas podcast special with posh vs budget supermarket taste test

Happy Christmas and welcome to the last This is Money podcast of 2018\. Today, we cover the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. For the ghost of Christmas past, we look at what has gone wrong for high street retailers and if that is spilling over to online firms. Ghost of Christmas present… or presents, we give five reasons why you should think twice about giving gift cards this festive period. And for the ghost of Christmas future, how you can give friends and family a gift that will last through 2019 - avoiding the loyalty penalty. As part of our campaign, we reveal the companies stiffing customers and what you can do to combat the problem. Elsewhere, assistant editor Lee Boyce takes the reigns for the infamous This is Money Christmas taste test – with editor Simon Lambert and host Georgie Frost tucking into mince pies, crisps and more, then having to guess whether it is from a posh supermarket, or budget one. And like post-Brexit Britain, there are no Brussel(s) in sight. Georgie also throws a bonus fiendish Christmas quiz into the mix – how many can you get right? Thanks for listening in 2018 - we hope you enjoy the podcast as much as we do making it. See you next year!
12/21/201856 minutes, 35 seconds
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Can you Brexit-proof your finances – and what happens next with Britain leaving the EU?

Nobody can escape the Brexit bedlam that has been playing out before our eyes, especially in the last week. In between backstops, trade deals, Norway, contempt of parliament, no-confidence, withdrawing withdrawal votes… what is really going on?  Editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost discuss Brexit in the latest This is Money podcast. Are we going to leave? Should we really have a second referendum and can you do anything to Brexit-proof your cash? We talk it all through in our Brexit special. Outside the Brexit bubble, we look into those DNA self-testing kits being plugged by a number of firms as the perfect Christmas gift – could you get more than you bargained for?  Simon reveals the best and worst performing funds of 2018 so far, in Top of the Pops fashion and Lee runs down the clever apps from challengers looking to encourage the savings habit.
12/14/201849 minutes, 50 seconds
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How to invest and save for your child to give them a bumper pot of cash when they turn 18

It might not be on the top of your to-do list when you have a child, but investing and saving for them to build a tidy nest egg for when they reach adulthood is best done sooner rather than later. In the latest