Plan your pension because winning the lottery is a long-shot

21 November 2014 16:40

“Yes, perhaps we’ll win the lottery,” said the attractive brunette sat a few places to my right.Smiling, despite her misfortune (neither she nor her husband had yet scooped a seven-figure lottery jackpot in almost twenty years of trying), our co-dinner...

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There's still a place for annuities

16 November 2014 17:48

Recorded between sessions for Strawberry Fields Forever, which took an unprecedented 55 hours of studio time (no wonder producer George Martin likened the finished article to Debussy), When I’m 64 succeeded in showing the Beatles’ supreme versatility.In...

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Twenty-somethings should consider their 'defined ambitions'

05 November 2014 18:38

I had a day of meetings in London last week, though before heading home managed to carve out some time with my daughter who has worked there for the last couple of years. She’s in her mid-twenties, unattached, loves her job, travels extensively...

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Exposure to managed risk is good

30 October 2014 16:57

We live very close to an all-girls secondary school, which means you rarely require a clock to check the time. The morning’s oft-repeated dull thud of car doors closing advises you that it’s somewhere between 8.30 and 8.45am, while you get ample...

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Cashcards: for emergencies only

24 October 2014 14:55

Older readers may remember the original ‘cashcards’ which first appeared in the late 1970s, although not all banks issued them. The ones distributed by NatWest, which allowed you to withdraw a tenner, were battleship grey in colour and credit card...

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National Insurance? It's a giant Ponzi scheme

14 October 2014 17:23

We’ve reached a stage where barely a week passes by without us being deluged with data or swamped with stats regarding the burgeoning ‘pension crisis’. Perhaps this is a good thing: maybe people are finally cottoning-on to the fact that, as life...

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There's a time and place for investment ideas

29 September 2014 18:17

For more years than I care to remember, or would wish to reveal here, I’ve accumulated a veritable mountain of newspaper and magazine clippings comprising details and articles focusing on possible investments.Over the years, the breadth of my shifting...

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What makes you happy?

22 September 2014 18:06

What makes you happy?There’s been an incredibly long pause between writing that last line and this as I considered how I would respond to the same question. I suppose the short answer is: it depends upon the interaction of a number of factors.Granted,...

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Large deposits essential for property market

17 September 2014 16:10

Most people experience some minor form of financial headache every now and then, an unwanted blip on life’s radar.You might recognise situations such as the one just before payday when, unable to afford it because your current account balance is a...

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We must nourish the brain and the belly

04 September 2014 15:52

I was always a big fan of school meals, probably because they were invariably hot and plentiful. Of course, growing boys are not generally fussy eaters. They tend to throw everything they can down their necks in the shortest possible time in order...

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The legacy baby boomers should leave

27 August 2014 16:42

Thanks primarily to their parents and a cohort of visionary politicians, neither of which they had much control over, baby boomers have long been described as the ‘lucky generation’.These are the folks who benefited directly from the establishment...

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Paxo spins some home truths

21 August 2014 10:45

If you had to compare Jeremy Paxman to a single food, it would have to be Marmite. Plenty of people disliked his apparently haughty, supercilious manner when he presented Newsnight, a position he held for a quarter century, although others, including...

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Little need to take extreme risks

13 August 2014 11:58

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 I’ve just finished reading Bill Bryson’s One Summer, a compelling mix of American social history, engaging asides and well-researched...

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This rule of thumb is worth remembering

05 August 2014 10:03

Perhaps the advice is no longer distributed as widely in our increasingly disposable, must-have-everything-now, overtly consumerist society, but there was a time when parents would drum the phrase, “waste not, want not” into their children, partly...

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Ignore ISA benefits at your peril

29 July 2014 08:56

Almost inevitably, following the Chancellor’s much-heralded March Budget, pensions and the obvious advantages of contributing to one, became the financial press’s new ‘big thing’.Self invested personal pensions in particular, formerly considered...

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