Good reads from around the Web.
Does the Government read Monevator: Part 4,643… According to The Guardian, the inheritance tax changes that are expected to be announced in this week’s budget have been revised.
sufferers readers may recall I am all for higher inheritance taxes.
I do appreciate though that I might as well believe in the redistributive powers of the Tooth Fairy, given how the tide of opinion is against taking money off dead people instead of taxing living ones who are, you know, doing useful work, building businesses, and so on.
But even leaving that aside, as I recently ranted the proposed changes to inheritance taxes to exempt the family home were foolish because of the damage they could do to the already broken property market:
…to take an asset – UK housing – that is in structurally short supply, where high prices cause daily misery for millions, and to make it even more attractive to sit in it, unproductively squatting for future gains – that is downright irresponsible.
What moderately wealthy empty-nesters living in a capacious four-bedroom house are going to downsize now, knowing that all it will do is expose the money they release to inheritance tax?
On the contrary, they will be advised to consider buying even bigger and more expensive homes to try to shield their (children’s) assets.
Mass downsizing alone won’t solve the housing crisis, but it would be a start.
Well, it seems that while Government wonks were a little slow not to think of this before, they may have come to their senses.
The Guardian reports:
It is understood the plans have now been amended to allow pensioners to move into smaller homes without missing out on the £1m relief on their former properties.
A new mechanism will mean that if someone sells their main residence and buys one that is cheaper, they will get the allowance up to the value of their previous home.
Of course, much as I jest that this blog is influencing government policy, I’m aware I wasn’t the only person who quickly appreciated the lunacy of the first plan.
So now – assuming the plan really has been reworked – let’s get thinking about the flaws of the new approach…
In the meantime, enjoy the heatwave, and make sure you carry a bottle of water with you when perusing any of these articles.
From the blogs
Making good use of the things that we find…
- Never fear the bogeyman – The Kirk Report
- Asset allocation and your human capital – EightAteEight
- The joy of portfolio boredom – Alpha Baskets
- Most US assets and bonds are having a tough 2015 – Capital Spectator
- Value investor Tom Gayner of Markel talks at Google – YouTube
- 15 problems with real world (versus paper) portfolios – AWOCS
- Debating the risk-free rate – Abnormal Returns
- Evaluating eBay post-PayPal – Microfundy
- Rethinking ETFs for income – DIY Income Investor
- Some stuff you should know about Greece – Reformed Broker
- Greece: The multi-year train wreck – Investing Caffeine
- A live blog of the Greek crisis – Telegraph
- Two Greek ETFs for those who like a flutter – Telegraph
- Good advice, or advice that sounds good? [Old but strong] – Jason Zweig
- If you wouldn’t buy it, you should probably sell it – Mr Money Mustache
- The £90 swimming pool – The Escape Artist
- Value averaging versus your mortgage – the FIREstarter
- Against secular stagnation – Bank Underground [The BOE’s blog]
Bung of the week: Psst, want to buy an electric car? Hurry up, warns The Guardian, as the £5,000 grant scheme is nearing its end point.
Mainstream media money
Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view these enable you to click through to read the piece without being a paid subscriber of that site.1
- Larry Swedroe: Passive is best in emerging markets, too – ETF.com
- Allan Roth: The case for a gambling side portfolio – AARP
- The technology tracker that’s beaten all fund managers – Telegraph
- Traders’ hormones increase risky behaviour – BBC
- Rare earth metals: Not so rare – Bloomberg
- Jim Slater: My seven rules for portfolio success – Telegraph
- Henry Dixon: Some out-of-favour share ideas – Telegraph
Other stuff worth reading
- Living the dream in your self-build home [Search result] – FT
- Big survey of pension firms’ charges for withdrawals – ThisIsMoney
- How not to be misled by data – WSJ
- A world without work – The Atlantic
- French ‘viager’ sell-to-stay home deals – BBC
- How Uber is muscling through US cities – Bloomberg
Book of the week: I just finished Ashlee Vance’s biography of Elon Musk. It’s quite a trip. My highlight was probably the email Musk sent to employees explaining why he wanted to delay an IPO until manned flights to Mars were routine. (Just for good measure, in the same email Musk cackled at those of his engineers who thought they could trade shares to beat the market…)
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- Note some FT articles can only be accessed through the search results if you’re using PC/desktop view (from mobile/tablet view they bring up the firewall/subscription page). To circumvent, switch your mobile browser to use the desktop view. On Chrome for Android: press the menu button followed by “Request Desktop Site”. [↩]