Good reads from around the Web.
Chancellor Philip Hammond says Wednesday’s controversial Spring Budget will be the last (and not just for him). The Spring Budget is set to become the Autumn Budget, while the Autumn Statement will be reborn as a Spring Statement. Oh, and the Spring Statement won’t really be a Stealthy Second Budget, supposedly. Meanwhile for now we all get Summer Off.
According to the BBC, this kerfuffle is aimed at giving us more time to prepare for tax changes and the like ahead the new tax year, which begins in April.
Well, maybe. Because does that seem to have been any motivation for governments in the past decade?
On the contrary I suspect Hammond may be secretly planning to launch a 24/7/365 Budget. One long unending rollercoaster of financial meddling, streamed on Facebook and pithily summarized via hourly Tweets.
So relentless have been the changes to pensions, taxes, and whatnot in recent years, it must be a drag for them to have to sit around waiting for another Budget to come along before they can have a fiddle again.
Instead, why not just get the latest wheezes out the door pronto?
We’ve had Just in Time manufacturing for years. Let’s have Just in Time policy! It can’t take long to get the back of a fag packet typed up.
(Lifetime ISAs, I’m looking at you…)
Dividends for dummies
Seriously, I have had colds that have hung around for longer than the shiny new Dividend Allowance was left unmolested.
I’d only recently updated Monevator to explain the ‘new’ dividend taxation regime, and now the Allowance has been slashed to £2,000. Annoying enough for me – imagine the hassle writ large across the financial services industry.
I mean, if the £5,000 Dividend Allowance is really so grossly ‘unfair’ then why wasn’t it unfair less than a year ago when this government introduced it? If we’re going to tax investments outside of tax shelters harder, then let’s get it all changed at once so we know where we stand, rather than hiking dividend tax rates, then introducing a new clunky complication to the system with the Dividend Allowance, and then immediately begin chipping away at it. Its policy by Frankenstein.
Ditto the NIC hikes the chancellor has slapped on the self-employed.
Hammond said he’s asked Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the RSA, “to consider the wider implications of different employment practices.”
That review is due to report in summer, but heck, why wait for Taylor’s considered conclusions? Let’s just get some NIC hikes rolled in now, ahead of the review, and keep everyone on their toes! They will likely be rolled back by a Tory backlash anyway, before being rolled back in again as a result of Taylor with the Autumn Budget.
And they wonder why people find this stuff so vexing?
More on the omNICshambles Budget:
- At-a-glance summary of all the Budget details – BBC
- Dividend Allowance to be cut to £2,000 – Money Observer
- This equals a 68% tax ‘pseudo dividend allowance’ cut in two years – Telegraph
- Why on earth raid the self-employed and small business? – ThisIsMoney
- “ISAs to come back into favour, say experts”. [Sigh. ALWAYS fill ISAs] – Guardian
- Tax on dividends is a raid on two million small investors – Guardian
- A novel take: “Dividend crackdown a tax on widows” – Telegraph
- The capital gains tax take has trebled under the Tories – Telegraph
- Theresa May’s honeymoon is officially over after the tax hikes – Telegraph
Sorry I’m a bit late with the links this week. Reasons!
Have a great rest of weekend.
From the blogs
Making good use of the things that we find…
- Who are you competing with? – The Reformed Broker
- Investing doesn’t have to be complicated – White Coat Investor
- My biggest investing mistakes – Can I Retire Yet?
- Active investing myths and market overvaluation [Podcast] – Canadian Couch Potato
- Why good (bad) companies can be bad (good) investments – Musing on Markets
- Meeting company managers is not all that – The Value Perspective
- A deep dive into Standard Chartered – UK Value Investor
- Europe still looks relatively cheap and attractive [Graph] – Schroders
- Reader Gregory flagged up this market-beating Hungarian fund – Concorde
- A quick look at a UK logistics and warehouses REIT – DIY Investor (UK)
- Eight lessons learned from running a prop desk – Yahoo
- Prospect theory, or why a watched portfolio never performs – Longboard
- The early retiree as identity cleanskin – Simple Living in Suffolk
- Capital gains Vs income Vs living within your means – Fire V London
- Late to the game – SexHealthMoneyDeath
- Mrs Money Mustache’s Etsy shop – Mr Money Mustache
- Now That’s What I Call Financial Independence: 7 – The Escape Artist
- Five steps to strengthen impact investing – EQ Investors
- We’re one of Chip Financial’s fav UK blogs! Here are the others – Chip
Product of the week: The Spring Budget saw Philip Hammond confirm a new NS&I savings bond will launch in April. ThisIsMoney is rightly underwhelmed. The three-year product will pay 2.2% – not even a market-beating rate – and you can only put in £3,000. Atom Bank pays the same, and will take £100,000. (Remember the FSCS limit though.)
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
- A clinical test of the five most important Smart Beta factors [Search result] – FT
- How to get started with a simple passive ETF portfolio – ThisIsMoney
- Hedge funds run by women outperform [Search result] – FT
- Does Warren Buffett not understand risk-adjusted returns? – Bloomberg
- The case for owning too many equities – Morningstar
- Goldman Sachs’ lesson from the ‘quant quake’ [Search result] – FT
- Mutant turtles: A real-life Trading Places story [Podcast] – Bloomberg
- Ultimate stock-pickers: Top 10 buys and sells – Morningstar
- SEC rejects Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF – ETF.com
- 15% of hedge fund staff work over 60 hours a week – Business Insider
Other stuff worth reading
- Why are Britain’s new homes built so badly? – Guardian
- No pay rise for 15 years, IFS warns workers [We’re a decade in] – Guardian
- £40,000 to buy your new-build leasehold back – Telegraph
- How to retire successfully – Guardian
- I always enjoy the ThisIsMoney podcast [Podcast!] – Share Radio
- Richard Dawkins: Britons have not spoken on Brexit [Video] – BBC
- Lonely EuroMillions winner moves back in with her mum – Daily Mail
- Is Russia’s president really the richest man in the world? – MarketWatch
Book of the week: Barel Karson was disappointed by passive guru Larry Swedroe’s The Incredible Shrinking Alpha, noting: “[The authors] seem only interested in one dimension: linearly factoring historical returns, and implicitly assuming these don’t change going forward.” Anyone read the book and care to comment?
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- Note some 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”. [↩]