What caught my eye this week.
One way to tell when someone is bluffing is when they rabbit on and on. I got that sense watching Philip Hammond’s Budget on Monday.
Oh, I don’t think he was being deceitful as such – although he did do the standard Chancellor sleight-of-hand trick by not revealing a National Insurance hike (see below) while boasting he was cutting taxes.
I also recognise his need to pepper his speech with dad jokes. Nobody wants to be known as Spreadsheet Phil, and Hammond has spent all his Budgets trying to shake that off that putdown with his Open Mic for MP gags.
But as the speech ticked past the hour mark, I sensed he really was making something out of nothing.
Rarely has so much been said by one chancellor for so little consequence to the status quo for the many, or the few.
Perhaps he was trying to bore MPs into backing a Brexit deal so they wouldn’t have to sit through an emergency Budget in March?
At least he didn’t tamper with pensions or ISAs.
- Summary of Budget 2018: Key points at-a-glance – BBC
- Are you a Budget winner or loser? Do the maths! [Calculator] – via Investors Chronicle
- Sneaky National Insurance hike may take back some of your tax cut gains – ThisIsMoney
Was there anything in the Budget small print that caught your eye?
The reader discussion following our recent annuity post is a must-read – Monevator
From the archive-ator: Passive investing when the stock market crashes – Monevator
Note: Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view you can click to read the piece without being a paid subscriber. Try privacy/incognito mode to avoid cookies. Consider subscribing if you read them a lot!1
Northern England house prices to rise at faster rate than London – Guardian
See how these ‘penny pinchers’ retired in their 30s [Video, feat. MMM] – PBS
Parents to get child benefit fine refunds as HMRC makes shock U-turn – Your Money
‘Red October’ wrongfoots bets on market bull run [Search result] – FT
Are you rich and what do you get compared to the tax you pay in? – ThisIsMoney
Products and services
Nutmeg is rolling out a phone-based advice service – CityWire
Monzo has introduced savings pots that pay… wait for it… interest! – Monzo
Leeds BS’ 0.99% discount mortgage is cheapest since BOE rate hike – ThisIsMoney
Ratesetter will pay you £100 [and me a bonus] if you invest £1,000 with it for a year – Ratesetter
NS&I got a boost this year, but there could be cuts to come – ThisIsMoney
What’s inside Vanguard’s new ESG ETFs? [US products, but they may come our way] – Morningstar
How market destruction gave birth to the ETF [Podcast, multi-part series] – Bloomberg
Comment and opinion
No one is crazy – Morgan Housel
Where the risk lies in a balanced portfolio – A Wealth of Common Sense
The upside of market corrections – UK Value Investor
Cash holders need a new drug – Abnormal Returns
The surprising power of the long game – Farnham Street
How to debate finance without being a jerk – Bloomberg
Get rich by being British – The Escape Artist
The 18-year property cycle – My Deliberate Life
Boutique fund managers are the best bet to try to beat the market – Institutional Investor
For active stock pickers: Making sense of the market mayhem – Musings on Markets
The biggest rallies come in bear markets – All Star Charts
Dear first-time angel investor – Roy Bahat
After 10 years, Bitcoin has changed everything… and nothing – Wired
Handy site tracking trade deals negotiated so far, per country – H.W.G.A.F.T.D.Y.
No deal Brexit could see interest rates rise [or fall] – ThisIsMoney
On news that David ‘Oops I Did A Brexit’ Cameron is mulling a return to politics – HuffPo
George Osborne has also confessed to regrets about the EU Referendum – BBC
Kindle book bargains
Anything to Declare?: The Searching Tales of an HM Customs Officer by Jon Frost – £0.99 on Kindle
Tiny Budget Cooking: Saving Money Never Tasted So Good by Limahl Asmall – £1.09 on Kindle
The Strategist: Be the Leader Your Business Needs by Cynthia Montgomery – £0.99 on Kindle
Off our beat
Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970 – Guardian
Cock Unsure: Some men are resorting to penis fillers to boost their self-esteem – BBC
What it’s like to listen to cricket on the radio for the first time – Young Vulgarian
Waitrose editor resigns after making a private joke. Book burning can’t be far away now – BBC
Empathetic budgies yawn when they see their peers do the same – New Scientist
A surfeit of lampreys: First evidence of stomach-turning medieval delicacy found in London – MOLA
Have you tried ambient literature? – Refinery 29
“The sense of responsibility in the financial community for the community as a whole is not small. It is nearly nil.”
– John Kenneth Galbraith, The Great Crash of 1929
Like these links? Subscribe to get them every Friday!
- 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”. [↩]