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, […]
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The number of Sipp related complaints at the Financial Ombudsman Service has continued to rise. Between July and September, 767 Sipp enquiries were received, FOS data out today shows, compared with 678 for the previous three months. Sipp complaints are now more than 50 per cent higher than they were in early 2016. 193 made […]
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