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This week's articles: 7 December 2012

This week's articles: 7 December 2012


Bin your bank

You can make better returns from lending out your money than by leaving it in a savings account. Leonora Walters explores the world of peer-to-peer lending and explains how to get it right.

Revenge of the building society

Building societies already offer some of the best mortgage and savings rates. Nick Louth finds out what else they can offer investors.

The importance of portfolio maintenance

John Baron stresses the importance of regular rebalancing and strategy scrutiny, after a good year for both his portfolios.


All you need to know about investing in the past seven days: what's rising, what's falling and what's making the headlines.



Extra borrowing little threat to gilts - Higher government borrowing need not mean higher gilt yields.

Chancellor plans double-whammy pensions raid - Wealthy savers have been dealt a double blow in the Autumn Statement with significant cuts to lifetime and annual pensions allowances planned for 2014.

George's big gamble on gas - The fact that growth prospects in the US have improved due to the success of the unconventional oil and gas industry has not gone unnoticed.

Drawdown investors welcome U-turn on income limits - The chancellor surprised the pensions industry by restoring the higher capped drawdown income limits that he withdrew in 2011.

Isa boost for savers and Aim - The chancellor ups Isa limit and gives hope to Aim companies.

Tesco's US plans go stale - Supermarket giant announces plans to pull out of the US as it faces serious headwinds across the business.

Italy's prospects look up - Italy has not fully recovered yet, but elements of La Dolce Vita are making a comeback.

The Energy Bill lacks detail - The wrangling over who will pick up the bill for decades of under-investment in the UK energy sector continues.

What next for Sirius? - Sirius Minerals is firming up its production plans for the York Potash project.




"Look after unemployment..." - Government borrowing will fall significantly only when unemployment does so. And this might not be for some time.

Next week's economics - The euro area recession has lasted longer than expected, next week's numbers should show.



Our columnists offer in-depth analysis and investment ideas:

The Editor: George giveth and George taketh away - The Autumn Statement delivers good and bad news for investors.

No free lunch: The Loser's Game.

Mr Bearbull: What drives China's currency - The renminbi has been weak for the past few months. What does that signal?

Simon Thompson: Small caps to buy now - Our companies editor sees share price upside in no fewer than three small-cap companies this week.

Chris Dillow Cheap or low growth? - Dividend yields help predict returns. But this might not mean that shares are now underpriced, but rather that the market isn't fully pricing in low growth.



Financial planning, tax and investment wisdom:

Reader portfolio: This passive portfolio has merits.

Inheritance tax relief slashed 33 per cent in real terms: Savers and their relatives are getting a raw deal as relief on inheritance tax has been falling in real terms for three decades.

Financial planning: Divorced tax savers stung for millions.

SmartMoney - Are you sleepwalking into retirement?



■ Shares in this housebuilder trade at a discount to rivals, but improving sales and profit margins means its dividend is set to rise sharply.

This insurer's IPO may have proved a success, but the technical factors that have lifted its shares may soon be overwhelmed by poor fundamentals.

■ Income seekers should take a look at the retail bond issued by this private education provider, secured against its valuable London properties.

■ A sell-off of this packaging manufacturer has left its shares looking too cheap.



This investment trust offers access to global growth companies at an attractive discount.







Akzo Nobel

Amino Technologies


Consort Medical

St Modwen



Fund news: UK equities "on the brink of bull run", says Buxton

Shares I love: Aerospace manufacturer Senior is a king of the small-caps, according to Neil Hermon, manager of Henderson UK Smaller Companies fund.

Top 100 funds update: Commodity funds are cheap

ETFs: 'Smart' ETFs aim for better results.

Interview: Jérôme Lussan has written a book about choosing funds. We ask him for some tips.



The lowdown on the latest company results:




Brewin Dolphin


Dixons Retail

First Property Group

Gooch & Housego

Greene King

Innovation Group




May Gurney

New River Retail



Phoenix IT Group





Tui Travel



Stock screen: We've tracked down the most undervalued, yet reliable, shares from the PIGS.


Sector focus: Global mall operators are in a league of their own and should continue to outperform London-listed real-estate.


Directors' dealings: Notable transactions at Next, plus a table of all boardroom share trades.


Week ahead: A summary of key company announcements expected in the coming week.



Download this week's takeover tables as a PDF.



Coppock: what our unique set of market indicators is saying now.

The Trader: Say 'I do' to stocks

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By Investors Chronicle,
07 December 2012

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