Monday morning kicks off with a rather slack attempt at making progress on a piece about Government-backed shared-equity schemes. Trouble is, my head is full of my own property-buying dilemmas.I have decided to upsize to somewhere bigger than my current shoebox-sized abode so I can be a proper freelancer and have an office. Since looking for a new house is more fun than thinking about mortgages or other minor financial considerations, I am a position where I have found my ideal property but have done nothing about selling mine. It is a little worrying that, when I write so much about mortgages, I have so little clue as to what I am doing. In the afternoon, Emma Simon from the Sunday Telegraph calls and commissions a piece based on an idea I had about the cost of credit reports. Just as I am about to start, Sam Dunn from the Independent on Sunday calls to commission a feature on switching energy suppliers. With both pieces having deadlines of Wednesday afternoon, I am in for a busy couple of days. Tuesday is spent with my nose to the grindstone trying to research and write the two features simultaneously. Eventually, I am tempted away from my desk for a couple of sets of tennis, hoping the pieces will somehow write themselves. Strangely, my friends labour under a misunderstanding that my freelance life consists of lie-ins and daytime TV with little or no work. So no one, least of all me, believes it when I announce I am off home for a couple of hours more work before bed. Wednesday sees the punctual completion of both pieces. Just as I am about to let out a sigh of relief and tune in to the 4pm showing of Holby City on UKGold, I get an email from a mortgage publication wanting a 2,000-word piece about lead-generation firms by Tuesday morning. I pause for a moment, trying to work out if this is do-able. Then I remember that I never turn anything down – work, men, nothing at all. So Wednesday sees another late night planning who to talk to for the feature. First thing Thursday, I tackle readers’ problems for my page in B magazine. As the resident “careers expert”, I have to reply to problems such as: “I am sleeping with my boss’s husband and my colleague has found out and is blackmailing me to do her work. What shall I do?” The rest of the day is spent investigating the murky world of lead generators, interspersed with regular visits to Ebay. In an effort to fund my upsizing project, I am auctioning my unwanted gear. I never cease to be amazed by the rubbish some people will buy and I wave goodbye to some rollerblades, a mug tree and four box files. On Friday, I head into London for lunch with the guys from uSwitch. Working at home means going into town is normally a treat but it is a bit more nerve-wracking these days, with armed police everywhere. We have a nice lunch, talk about a broadband piece I have lined up for next week, then I head home in time for the estate agent to come and take some pictures of my flat. So, if anyone wants an attractive one-bed flat in one of Crystal Palace’s most sought after roads, get your offers in early.
Liverpool Victoria is offering whole-of-life guaranteed premium life cover. The policy pays out a lump sum, with premiums guaranteed for the duration of the policy. Minimum premium is 5 a month and level or index-linked options are available. It features additional inheritance tax-guaranteed insurability options, which cover marriage, divorce, inheritance, and legal adoption of a […]
It is very easy to be cynical of socially responsible investments (SRI).
The FSA’s fourth life insurance newsletter issued last month warns insurers about the standard of advice given by their representatives.
I am in the process of buying an annuity with my pension fund and have been offered a contract which increases annually in line with the retail price index, subject to a maximum of 5 per cent a year. The initial annuity equates to my current annual spend. Am I right in assuming that if inflation is less than 5 per cent a year, I will be able to maintain my current standard of living?
The chart below demonstrates the change in US 10-year Treasury yields in the run-up to a Federal Reserve (Fed) hike, and what then happens in the weeks afterwards. This covers the 70 Fed hikes over the past 37 years. In the run-up to a Fed hike, US yields tended to rise. This is no surprise, […]
News and expert analysis straight to your inboxSign up
Latest from Money Marketing
Another investment manager offering enterprise investment schemes has alerted clients of a 10 per cent drop in value for one of its portfolios following new Mifid rules. Mifid II, which came into force on 3 January, requires firms to notify clients when the overall value of their portfolio, relative to its value at the beginning of each reporting […]
The recent enquiry by the work and pensions select committee has reignited the debate about the future of collective defined contribution schemes. Whether these sort of schemes can be incorporated into the current UK pensions landscape is a moot point. Let’s consider some of the arguments for and against CDC. First of all, it is […]
Retirement interest-only mortgages are set to become more popular following the FCA removing hurdles to selling them. The regulator sees RIO mortgages as a possible aid to the waves of maturing interest-only loans with no repayment strategy. However, the FCA also wants RIO mortgages to be sold more widely, for example as an additional option […]