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Holly's Blog: Chasing love & trends

11 July, 2017

Because of my unfortunate habit of writing about money, financial PRs send me press releases. This becomes particularly painful around royal births, Valentine’s Day and Christmas as the more tenuous connections between money and soapy nonsense are stretched tighter than a courtesan’s corset.

This year’s award for utter cojones goes to the 'Surrey netball teacher'-toned press release urging us to pay £50 into our partner’s pension this Valentine’s Day. I’m all for paying into a pension early doors to max your free Government top-ups and benefit from compounding (the snowball starting tiny but then getting bigger, faster), but come on!! There are multiple reasons why this as a gesture of ardour is frankly a silly idea. Hello Jane, I paid £50 into your pension. Oooh Freddie, come here you red hot love machine. FFS! 🤮

From footsie to FTSE

The markets are unsurprisingly rattled by the lunatics in charge of the asylum. Last week a whopping $6 billion was taken out of funds which invest in European shares. $1 billion has leaked out of British share funds since the start of the year. Nonetheless the FTSE100 has been pretty resistant – almost at the same levels it was this time last year. And the Vanguard LifeStrategy 100% equity fund – a mixed bag of global shares which gives us a snapshot overview – is down about 1% over the year. So investors are spooked, confidence is low but markets are kinda where they were a year ago.

On the other hand China, which fell by about 25% last year and was pretty much the worst global market, is up over 12% this year so far. It’s a good reminder that trying to second guess which markets will do well, and selling in response to bad years, is a pretty sure fire way to lose money. No different to optimistically booking a summer holiday in Devon because we had a heatwave last year – there’s every chance that this year you’ll end up sitting on the beach in your ski gear!

Seven weeks till tax year end, folks.

There is one date coming up that we know with certainty. April 5th and the end of the tax year. So we have about 7 weeks left to think about any loose change down the back of the digital sofa – and any Junior ISA, ISA or pension contributions. Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some practical tips for everyone from total beginners to the more seasoned investors! And we’ll also be publishing our 2019 Best Buys – after 2 months of trawling over 30+ DIY online investment providers, putting them through their paces and digging into the practical elements from a customer perspective.

One-third of each provider’s overall score comes from you – the investors and customers – and this customers' view is one trend we will unapologetically chase. If you do use an online investment service, please help us and leave a review ( the relevant provider page. It helps correct any unconscious bias we might have, calls out any overly rosy or unfairly negative views we have and helps make us better at what we do. The top 10 scorers will be awarded our Best Buy logo for 2019 and unveiled in a dramatic frenzy of excitement on 26th February.

Thanks for reading, thanks in advance for leaving your reviews… and have a great weekend!