Some good reads from around the Web.
I don’t know how many of you buy shares listed on the Alternative Investment Market, but I am sure that if you do you’ll find the ban on holding AIM shares in an ISA as annoying as I do.
The theory is that AIM shares are too risky for ISAs. But given that you can hold everything from leveraged ETFs to foreign-listed mini-miners in an ISA, that theory is clearly poppycock.
Even more ridiculously from the ‘risk’ perspective, you can hold AIM shares in a Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP). You’d imagine if safety was the top priority, then pensions would come first.
There are plenty of very attractive shares on AIM, which UK stock pickers can’t ignore in their potentially futile quest to beat the market. There are plenty of basket cases, too, but that’s all part of the risks of stock picking.
The reality is surely that AIM shares were barred from ISAs because they used to have other decent tax advantages. The only one that survives is an obscure inheritance tax benefit that is solely used by the rich and their advisers in estate planning.
Now, I have nothing against the rich nor tax avoidance in principle (as opposed to tax evasion) but I happen to think inheritance tax is pretty fair as taxes go (the victim is dead!)
Anyway, it’s a pretty pitiful reason to maintain the ban.
I was pleased therefore to see a new petition to end the ban on AIM shares in ISAs has been submitted to the Government’s e-petition site.
There’s no chance at all it will make the required 100,000 signatures to trigger a government debate – you need to be lobbying to cut somebody’s head off to get that sort of support from the baying masses.
Perhaps 10,000 signatures might embarrass a mandarin into doing something sensible, though.
From the blogs
- Why did it all go right? [on early retirement] – A Grain of Salt
- Absolutely avoid absolute return funds – Swedroe / MoneyWatch
- Doom and depression death spirals – Simple Living in Suffolk
- Understanding yield – DIY Income Investor
- Are ETFs the next big financial scandal? – iii blog
- PIBS: To invest or not to invest? – MoneyGrowers
- When does freelancing take over? – Give Me Back My $5
- Santander prefs yielding over 10% – Fixed Income Investor
- Marx’s final crisis of capitalism? – Stumbling and Mumbling
- 9 financial life tips for teens – Len Penzo
- The secret of education – Early Retirement Extreme
Deal of the week: I’ve just started What You See Is What You Get by Alan Sugar, Lord of Amstrad. It’s half-price in paperback if you fancy it.
Mainstream media money
- No market for young men, says Grantham – Market Watch
- The hidden benefits of Big Government – New York Times
- Pensions slump as shares fall [rebalance ahead, guys!] – BBC
- Five indexing pitfalls – Morningstar
- Gold, unhinged – Motley Fool
- Millions pay ‘extraordinary’ pension fees – FT
- Synthetic ETF risk list [our own from April] – FT
- The hassles of holding share accounts overseas – FT
- The exhausting search for a safe haven – FT
- Cash can beat ‘cautious’ funds [I agree] – FT
- Will a ‘top stocks’ screener beat the market? – FT
- Halifax introducing a premium bond-style draw – Telegraph
- Gold slumps 9%, despite market turmoil – Telegraph
- World prays for an economic miracle – Independent
- How to use credit cards sensibly – Independent
- Rural downsizers go into debt – The Guardian
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