'Forget the housing ladder - it's bad for our economy': City guru Gerard Lyons has a stark message that will shock Tory shires

'Forget the housing ladder - it's bad for our economy': Gerard Lyons has a stark message

Gerard Lyons was chief economist at global bank Standard Chartered. Then he gave it up to be economic adviser to London Mayor Boris Johnson. One thing he is sceptical about the great shibboleth of Tory thinking - getting people on the property ladder.

John Lewis invests half a billion pounds online as it predicts internet sales will overtake stores in just FOUR years

Pedestrians walk past a John Lewis store on Oxford Street in central London, England on December 15, 2013. 
Britain's biggest department store group John Lewis posted a 1.4 percent year-on-year rise in sales to 149.9 million pounds ($244.01 million) in the week to December 14, helped by strong demand for cooking equipment.
The group's home department achieved a record week, buoyed by the sales of roasting tins and carving trays in the run up to the festive season, John Lewis said in a statement on Sunday.  

The department store chain has embarked on an investment programme to be completed by the end of 2018.

Iron Lady's handbags go under the hammer, but will they rise in value? How to invest in political memorabilia

Iron Lady's handbags and blue suit go under the hammer: How to invest in political

NEW What price a piece of the Iron Lady? A huge collection of Margaret Thatcher's personal possessions - from her wedding dress to those famous handbags - goes on sale at Christie's in London this Tuesday, 25 years after she left office. Expected prices for the memorabilia range from £200 to tens of thousands of pounds.

The proof of recovery: Use of private jets on the up for the first time since 2008

Victor - Jet-set in Monaco, with superyacht.jpg

NEW The growth is modest - up 2.8 per cent year-on-year - according to research from Victor, a company specialising in private jet charter.

Sainsbury's will not be closing stores as supermarket is set for a strong Christmas, says finance chief

Customers shop at a Sainsbury's store in London, England. 
Britons will spend 20.3 billion pounds ($31 billion) on groceries over the festive period, a 1.4 percent increase on last year, industry research group IGD forecast on Wednesday. The group said its research found 19 percent of shoppers plan to spend more on food and drink over the Christmas period, defined as Nov. 20 to Dec. 26, than the previous Christmas, a trend which could be positive for the likes of market leaders Tesco and Sainsbury. REUTERS/Neil Hall

With just two weeks trading left before the big day, John Rogers said he was 'quietly confident'.

Britain in for export boost as the Fed is poised to raise US interest rates

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen addresses the Economic Club of Washington in Washington December 2, 2015.  REUTERS/Joshua Roberts (UNITED STATES  - TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

The US Federal Reserve Bank is set to raise rates by a quarter point on Wednesday bringing an end to the era of global rock-bottom borrowing costs.

'We cut the cost of our dream holiday using a house swap inspired by Cameron Diaz': Our 12-step guide to a trouble-free property exchange

Dowson family for home exchange story dubai..handouts from sally hamilton

It is one of Hollywood's corniest Christmas movies - but for some The Holiday, starring Cameron Diaz, is the inspiration for a luxury getaway on the cheap.





MIDAS SHARE TIPS: Profits set to soar as Dixons Carphone looks across Atlantic

MIDAS SHARE TIPS: Profits set to soar as Dixons Carphone looks across Atlantic

Dixons Carphone has flown since chief executive Sebastian James guided Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse through their merger last year. Expansion into America is the next big step and analysts believe that alone could add £65 million to the group's already sizeable earnings of £381 million last year. Not surprisingly, the electrical retailer's share price has jumped since the merger and the group is now worth £5.5 billion.

Shop till you drop... into a hotel bed in the same mall: Travelodge searches for sites in retail centres

CWD9G2 Travelodge Hotel at Crystal Palace, London.. Image shot 2012. Exact date unknown.

The private equity-owned chain, which has 523 hotels in the British Isles, has written to 20 owners of retail space to pitch the possibility of opening hotels next to or above commercial units.

Publisher of Guardian newspaper to axe jobs as it heads for £40m loss 

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 21:  A general view of the Guardian Newspaper offices on August 21, 2013 in London, England. It has been reported today that Prime Minister David Cameron had asked senior civil servant Sir Jeremy Heywood to contact the Guardian newspaper over protectively marked information leaked by Edward Snowden.  (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

The newspaper - and its Sunday sister title the Observer - are part of Guardian Media Group and ultimately owned by the Scott Trust, which exists to support the Guardian in perpetuity.

Apprentice scheme is failing us, says boss of design engineering firm Contechs with 350 vacancies

Contechs - Peter Jarvis (003).png

According to Contechs managing director Peter Jarvis, formerly chief engineer at Jaguar Land Rover, 15 per cent of his design engineers are now recruited from abroad and that is set to increase.

SIMON WATKINS: Why supermarkets' petrol wars are a cheap shot

This kind of tactic works in a growing market or where a rapidly expanding company hopes to take market share so that customers will stay loyal.

Sales at fashion website PrettyLittleThing set to hit £30m by the end of the year

pretty little things  - PR HANDOUT

The son of Boohoo.com founder Mahmud Kamani is following in his father's footsteps after sales at his internet site PrettyLittleThing.com rocketed 500 per cent.

'Vodafonepest': As the phone giant heads to top of complaints league for the fourth time in a row, one customer tells how call centre messages took a sinister personal turn...

Vodafone customer tells how call centre messages took a sinister turn

Despite rising half-year profits announced by Vodafone last month, customers unhappy with the company's lacklustre effort at problem-solving have shunted the network to the top of the complaints charts. For Karl Harris and his fiancee Gemma (name has been changed), the issue was one of harassment by an overseas call worker.

'I use my mobile number to collect dreaded soccer subs': How technology is changing our payment habits

Michael Kendry for financial. photo by Darren Jack..

By 2024 just one in three payments will be made with coins and notes. From contactless cards to fingerprint recognition, Sally Hamilton looks at the technology changing our payment habits.

Mobiles ring up £281 sales at Christmas as more people browse internet on smartphones for gifts

Close-up of a man using a smartphone.

Image shot 2012. Exact date unknown.

The increase of 15 per cent on last year highlights a growing reliance on smartphones when making gift decisions.

The great Christmas clean-up: As Cumbria is struck by floods again, we help to tackle the fall-out

The great Christmas clean-up: As Cumbria is struck by floods again, we help to tackle the

Chancellor George Osborne has promised £51million to families and businesses hit by the storms and floods in Cumbria and Lancashire. But with a maximum payout set at £5,000 each, individual help is limited. The Mail on Sunday provides key advice on how to deal with the financial consequences.

Vicious day for investors as mining and oil are hit again: £120bn wiped off the FTSE and Chancellor warns it could get worse

12D-front FTSE.jpg

The latest gyrations on global markets came amid fresh concern over the pace of recovery in China, while the prospect of an interest rate rise in the United States next week also spooked investors.

IMF warns on UK housing market and EU referendum and says we should ditch stamp duty and single person council tax discount

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), speaks at the Ending the Experiment event in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos, Switzerland. 
More than 1,500 business leaders and 40 heads of state or government attend the Jan. 21-24 meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) to network and discuss big themes, from the price of oil to the future of the Internet. This year they are meeting in the midst of upheaval, with security forces on heightened alert after attacks in Paris, the European Central Bank considering a radical government bond-buying programme and the safe-haven Swiss franc rocketing.                       REUTERS/Ruben Sprich (SWITZERLAND  - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Publishing its annual health-check of Britain, the IMF expressed some concerns about rising house prices, a housing shortage and the 'strikingly large' UK current account deficit.

'The big brands have helped my US fund grow by 60%': Facebook, Apple and the like are worth $2.3trillion - but should you bite?

'The big brands have helped my US fund grow by 60%': Facebook, Apple and the like are

The US Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates this Wednesday following a 'substantial recovery' in the economy. But despite a relatively rosy outlook, this does not mean investors should rush to send their money across the pond.

JEFF PRESTRIDGE: Why it pays to beat the crowd when investing

JEFF PRESTRIDGE: Why it pays to beat the crowd when investing

With crowdfunding here to stay, the regulator is keen to ensure the sector is not beset by scandal or misselling. On equity-based crowdfunding offers, for example, shares can only be sold to 'high net worth' individuals or those who take advice from a regulated investment adviser. Website information must also be balanced, highlighting risks as well as potential rewards. Not everyone, however, believes the regulator is doing a thorough enough job.

BLACKROCK THROGMORTON TRUST: The quasi-hedge fund that's happy to make money out of misfortune

graph 97.jpg

It is as happy 'shorting' specific stocks - betting on the likelihood that their share prices will fall, so delivering fat profits for the trust - as it is in holding shares for long-term growth.

The tax credits furore failed to stir radical debate - but Finland is about to find out whether a universal basic income could solve tax and benefits chaos, says ADRIAN LOWERY

LONDON - JANUARY 30: (FILE PHOTO)   In this photo illustration tax credit forms and money are seen, January 30, 2004  in London, England.  The Citizens Advice Bureau has said on June 22, 2005 that the government's tax credit system is subject to 'unacceptable' errors. A third of recipient families have been overpaid, whilst many will suffer when HM Revenue & Customs takes back overpayments. The report has called for overpayments to be written off.  (Photo Illustration by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

It is on the face of it a policy that would not sit well with those on the laissez-faire, small state, rightist end of the political economy spectrum: and indeed it is a favourite with the Green Party.

Battle of the brands: As Taylor Swift claims ownership of 'Swiftmas', big names are calling in their lawyers to fight off a surge in potential copycat trademark claims

Big names call in their lawyers to fight off a surge in potential copycat trademark claims

Global corporations have gone on the warpath against smaller firms, claiming they are copying well-known trademarks. City lawyers are reporting a leap in the number of legal challenges - the vast majority of which are made by big groups, in what many see as a David and Goliath battle between struggling entrepreneurs and big business.

Power firms 'charge £5,000 to move a meter': Energy giants accused of forcing families to use rogue traders because they charge too much for standard jobs 

B2PH4X Electricity pylons carrying power from the British Energy Dungeness B Nuclear Power Station across the Kent countryside

The Citizens Advice Bureau has warned people turning to dubious companies could be risking their lives if they use cowboy electricians and other disreputable companies to save money.

Holiday firms that charge MORE for children than adults: Families paying hundreds of pounds extra in new 'child holiday penalty'

It was spotted by one family after they booked a trip for next Easter on the Thomas Cook website. The Daily Mail has found the same issue applies to some breaks sold by other high street travel firms.

I struggled to earn a crust - until I struck gold as a rower: Olympian Ben Hunt-Davis tells how he worked in a bingo hall and survived on white bread

I struggled to earn a crust until I struck gold as a rower: Olympian Ben Hunt-Davis tells

British rowing champion Ben Hunt-Davis was so poor before he won his Olympic gold medal in 2000 that some days he would survive on a diet comprising loaves of Tesco 'value' bread. At the time, Hunt-Davis - who now takes £20,000 family holidays and spends £50,000 a year privately educating his children - was so desperate for money he struggled to even get to his rowing training sessions in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire.

How long would you have to graft to buy Ronaldo's Ferrari? Calculator reveals the number of years to buy top footballers' cars (and hours for them to buy yours)

If you want to buy a LaFerrari like Cristiano Ronaldo's, the average Brit would have to work for 31 years to stump up the £847k required. But he could afford a Ford Fiesta every three hours.

INVESTMENT EXTRA: Are metal and oil stocks still risky bets - or have they bottomed out making now the right time to buy?

12d-investment extra commodities 1.jpg

This week mining giant Anglo American announced it would be cutting its dividend along with 85,000 jobs. The firm's shares closed at their lowest level since 1999.

Slow start but now turkeys are flying: Family business Copas Turkeys sees strong Christmas ahead

Slow start but now turkeys are flying: Family business Copas Turkeys sees strong Christmas

It may have been a slow start, but Copas Turkeys - which numbers Harvey Nichols among its stockists - reckons sales will be strong this year. Sarah Copas, 37, who runs the family business, near Cookham, Berkshire, with her brother Tom, 30, said: 'We think because of the mild winter so far people have perhaps not thought about Christmas so much and not got quite so interested as usual. In some areas sales have been slow to pick up, but they're absolutely coming in and it's looking like it will be a strong Christmas.'

Less means more for skincare group ProSkin as it gets a boost from tattoo removals

Mandatory Credit: Photo by David Fisher/REX Shutterstock (940895a)..Megan Fox..'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen' film premiere, London, Britain - 15 Jun 2009..Transformers 2 - Revenge Of The Fallen is the sequel to the 2007 hit and brings director Michael Bay back together with stars Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox. The film continues the story of the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons, and the humans caught in the middle, and the scope has been expanded to numerous countries, the most important of which is Egypt and its Giza pyramid complex where the film reaches its climax...

Skincare clinic chain ProSkin, founded by serial investor Dominic Perks in 2012, has treated 6,000 customers for tattoo removal in the past 12 months.

Councils including Manchester and Tower Hamlets pay firm Sendible to keep tabs on social media

Logo: Facebook like.

Sendible has 100,000 users in organisations from the BBC to Amazon, and 80 per cent of its customers are in the US.

Thinking about selling your property in the New Year? Six ways to get a headstart, add value to your home and make it stand out to buyers

Are you thinking about selling your property next year? Then it's time to give your home a

One of the best Christmas presents you could possibly give is remarkably close to home. In fact, the recipient of this sought-after present should be your home itself. And the joy is that, long-term, you will be the one to reap the benefits, especially if you are planning to sell next year. So give your property the gift it deserves - and you'll be streets ahead once the market starts to pick up in 2016. Here's Santa's suggested list ...

Supermarket fuel price war is on: Tesco and Sainsbury's joins Asda and Morrisons by dropping petrol below £1 a litre

Tesco and Sainsbury's have waded into the the fuel price war by following in the footsteps of rivals ASDA and Morrisons by offering petrol at its forecourts for less than £1 a litre.

All new UK motors must be zero emissions by 2050: We compare the six best hybrid vehicles you can buy today

The UK has reaffirmed its commitment to an agreement that all new cars sold by 2050 will be zero emissions vehicles. In the meantime, here is a list of the best hybrid cars you can buy today.

Investors get 'Scrooged' as stock market suffers a December slump, so is it too late for a Santa Rally this Christmas?

Investors 'Scrooged' as stock market slumps, so is it too late for a Santa Rally?

Investors hoping for a Santa Rally in share prices fear getting Scrooged again this year, with the FTSE 100 tumbling 5.5 per cent since the start of December. This echoes last year's early falls, which were followed by a big bounce later in the month. But why do investors expect a good December in the first place?

Britain is the online shopping capital of Europe with four out of five British adults buying items from the internet, compared to just over half of adults across the EU 

More than four out of five British adults have bought items from the internet, with Britons most likely to buy household goods and toys. Shoppers in Denmark and Luxembourg were next on the list.

'For a Dragon, it's about the individual more than the business': Dragons' Den star Sarah Willingham reveals her start-up secrets

Dragons' Den star Sarah Willingham reveals her start-up secrets

BBC Dragon Sarah Willingham shares her advice for would-be entrepreneurs, including the traits she looks for in the Den, and who has been her biggest inspiration. Sarah was one of the youngest high-street entrepreneurs, turning Indian restaurant Bombay Bicycle Club into a profitable chain before reportedly selling her stake for millions.

British savers get no hint of improving returns as Bank of England holds interest rates at rock bottom for 81st month

A London evening newspaper board with the news of the Bank of England interest rate rise, which was announced today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday July 5, 2007. Homeowners faced another hike in mortgage costs today after the Bank of England raised interest rates by a further 0.25% to 5.75%. See PA story ECONOMY Rates. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire

The Bank has signalled in that an interest rate rise in the UK may still not come for another year, despite calls from many investors to start 'normalising' monetary policy.

Number of Britons expecting an interest rates rise in the next 12 months falls to lowest in two years

A6406X The Bank of England London, UK

Some 35 per cent of people now expect UK interest rates to rise in the coming year, down from 50 per cent in August, according to a survey of about 2,000 people by the central bank.

One in five Brits suffer financial abuse at the hands of a loved one - and almost half are men

One in five British adults have been a victim of financial abuse within an intimate relationship, according to research from the national domestic abuse charity Refuge and the Co-operative Bank.

'My name is SIMON LAMBERT and I've got a savings account that pays 0.05%': But it's the best one I could have! My trick to beat the low rate weasels...

The offset mortgage trick to beat the low rate savings weasels

In defence of my laughable rate, however, I should say that this First Direct savings account is the best one that I've got. In fact, I like this rubbish rate account so much I've got three of them. Why? Because First Direct lets me link them to my offset mortgage, here's how the trick works.

What would prompt you to write a will? Spotting a grey hair is the trigger for one in five under-40s

Has your hair started turning grey yet? If so, it's time to make a will - or at least that's the point at which a fifth of under-40s have been prompted to making one.

Top ten ski chalets for sale: From a £2m bolt hole with cinema to a £50k studio with mountain views we reveal some of the best on the market

The ski season is upon us and if you're looking to invest in a chalet, take a look at our top options for those looking to take to the slopes - whether you have a multi-million pound budget or £50,000.

Could an F1 legend's favourite car really be this tiny electric runabout? We meet SIR STIRLING MOSS to test the Renault Twizy

SIR STIRLING MOSS helps us test the electric Renault Twizy

Sir Stirling Moss won 16 Grand Prix at speeds exceeding 150mph - now he drives an electric car with a 50-mile range. He is one of the 557 UK drivers who currently own an offbeat two-seater runabout Renault Twizy. The racing legend joins us for a test drive to tell us why he loves them.

Volkswagen says UK owners of dieselgate cars will be 'attractively' compensated and recall will have 'negligible effect' on performance

Volkswagen has said UK owners of cars affected by the dieselgate scandal will be offered compensation for the reduction in residual value of their cars and the recall won't have an affect on performance.

Tell Chris Rea to change the lyrics: Two-thirds won't be driving home for Christmas to avoid dull conversation and traffic delays

Only a third of people will be driving home for Christmas, according to new research by breakdown provider Green Flag. Family chats, long journeys and bad traffic keep people off the road.

Top fund managers of 2015 revealed: Which investing gurus will be celebrating this Christmas, and which have had a year they would rather forget?

Who will be celebrating this Christmas? Top managers of 2015 revealed

Investing can be a fickle business, with markets and sectors falling in and out of vogue as sentiment fluctuates and wider economic events take their toll. A report highlights the 100 investment managers who boast the best five- year track record. However, there are some notable changes from last year as a tumultuous year in markets took its toll on some managers.

My interest-only tracker mortgage is 0.27% plus base rate: will Barclays have to pay me if the Bank of England's bank rate turns negative?

I have great mortgage I signed up to years ago - interest only at 0.27% above the bank rate. What if the bank rate goes to minus 0.5 per cent - will Barclays have to pay me every month?

Biggest shortage of homes for sale on record pushes prices higher despite government initiatives to boost housebuilding 

A woman walks past an estate agent's window display on Brompton Road in Knightsbridge in London, England.  
The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has given his strongest warning yet about the dangers to Britain's economy posed by the booming housing market saying that the market represented the biggest risk to financial stability and the long-term recovery.  

(Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

An average of 45 properties were for sale per branch in November in England and Wales, the lowest since records began in 1997, according to Rics.

MIDAS SHARE TIPS UPDATE: Buy-to-let tip Paragon rockets, but be prepared to move on

MIDAS SHARE TIPS UPDATE: Buy-to-let tip Paragon rockets, but be prepared to move on

Back in September 2012, Midas recommended shares in The Paragon Group of Companies, which specialises in providing mortgages for landlords. At the time the shares stood at 206½p. They have since soared and despite coming off their high they ended last week at 364p. That's a capital gain of 76 per cent, which knocks the performance of house prices into a cocked hat.

Biotech shake-up looms with takeover firm Levrett set to join the London stock market next week, raising £1million

ENBF6D Focused scientist adding liquid to test tube

Levrett is raising close to £1million from a private placing of shares. The group is particularly interested in firms with possible treatments for cancer, diabetes, heart and respiratory diseases.

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley takes a massive £224m hit following poor half-year figures and fears over business practices

Newcastle United's English owner Mike Ashley applauds as he waits for the kick off in the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and West Ham United at St James Park, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, north east England on May 24, 2015. 


Fears of a slowdown in sales growth at the UK arm saw shares in the FTSE 100 firm fall 73p to 592.50p, wiping £440m from the market value of the sports retailer.

Designer Paul Smith shakes up battered fashion empire, saying that firm 'needed a kick up the backside' as latest figures show pre-tax profits down by £20.7m

English fashion designer Sir Paul Smith attends the RHS Chelsea Flower show in London, England on 20 May 2013.   Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Jonathan Hordle (2358356dn)

Sales fell to £191m from £209m as it suffered fierce competition from rivals and it saw a slump in its wholesale operation, which is the biggest part of the business, with sales falling by 11.3%

Chemical giants DuPont and Dow Chemical agree £85bn merger but competition authorities are expected to monitor the deal

Edward D. Breen (L), chairman and chief executive officer of DuPont, is pictured shaking hands with Andrew N. Liveris, Dow?¢?Ǩ?Ñ¢s chairman and chief executive officer, in this undated handout photo provided by DuPont. Chemical giants DuPont and Dow Chemical Co agreed to merge in an all-stock deal valuing the combined company at $130 billion, with plans to eventually split into three. REUTERS/DuPont/Handout via Reuters      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY     ATTENTION EDITORS -  THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE.

Competition authorities are expected to pay close attention to the transaction due to the extensive overlaps between the pair's agricultural operations.

SMALL CAP MOVERS: Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One has 'a week of two halves', while AIM All-Share outperforms

SMALL CAP MOVERS: Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One has ‘a week of two halves', while AIM

Entertainment One was on the slide over Monday and Tuesday as its new refinancing package failed to bring home the bacon. But it rallied on Wednesday after it assured investors trading was in line with expectations. Shares remained around 16 per cent lower for the week, but had rallied from their 135p intra-day low to 170p by Friday. The best performer, however, was the AIM All-Share, which eased 1.2 per cent over the course of the week.

Britain's biggest buy-to-let tycoons Fergus and Judith Wilson strike £250m deal with Arab investors to sell 900-property Kent empire

Buy-to-let tycoons Fergus and Judith Wilson sell property empire in Kent to Arab investors

Britain's biggest - and most notorious - buy-to-let landlords have struck an agreement to sell their entire property empire for £250million to Arab investors. Fergus and Judith Wilson revealed more than a year ago their intentions to sell their 1,000-strong property portfolio - and were expecting around £100million.

Energy saving tips: Would stuffing my freezer with old newspapers cut my energy bills? 

Energy saving tips: Would stuffing my freezer with old newspapers cut my energy bills? 

I've heard that I could cut my energy bills by stuffing my freezer with newspaper. Is this an old wives' tale or is there some truth to it? If it is true, how much am I likely to save if I try it out?

Are gifts stashed in the boot covered? Drivers hide £1.5bn worth of Christmas presents in the car - but most don't check if they're insured to do so

In attempt to hide presents from prying eyes before Christmas, 8m drivers admit to storing gifts in their cars, But less than half check to see if they're covered by their insurance provider.

Investing Show: How to avoid problem shares... so you can pick the winners

Investing Show: Jeremy Lang on how to avoid problem shares and pick winners

Jeremy Lang, of Ardevora, reveals how he doesn't meet company bosses and plans for bad news to last longer than expected to avoid mistakes and deliver market-beating returns. Also, on this fortnight's show, Simon Lambert, of This is Money, Richard Hunter, of Hargreaves Lansdown and Nick Batsford, of TipTV, discuss the prospects for a Santa rally, how markets fared in 2015 and reveal the best-performing investment trusts of the year.

Which firm drove YOU bonkers in 2015? Beware bunglers, it's our Wooden Spoon Awards time again

Who drove you bonkers in 2015? Vote in the Wooden Spoon Awards

If you're brassed off with bungling banks, have been treated atrociously by telecoms giants or are fed up with being fobbed off by energy firms, now is your chance to get revenge. This is our eighth Wooden Spoon Awards and it's become the trophy big business fears the most - and that's because your opinion matters.

Why those low-cost car loans aren't as cheap as they seem: The hidden charges and penalty fees sales staff don't tell you about 

Why those low-cost car loans aren't as cheap as they seem

Nearly eight in ten of the 1.2 million new cars bought in the 12 months to the end of August were via dealer finance - an increase of 10 per cent compared to a year ago. But our investigation has uncovered concerns that showroom staff are masking the car's true cost, glossing over fees and charges.

The VW cars that need emissions checked revealed: Carmaker says only 36,000 vehicles have incorrect CO2 figures - not the 800,000 feared

Nine model variants are being retested, including a 1.0-litre Polo BlueMotion petrol and Scirocco, Jetta, Golf and Passat models with 2.0TDI engines. All reassessments will be completed by Christmas.

Quarter of UK workers suffer unexpected income droughts in last year thanks to rise of zero-hours contracts, charity warns

More than a quarter of UK adults faced a shock fall of income in the past year, and 6.5m of those used a credit card to cope with costs, despite a steady economic recovery.

ASK TONY: My mother died and I arranged to pay the bills - now npower is demanding £120 for a gas leak at her house

ASK TONY: My mother died and I arranged to pay the bills - now npower is demanding £120

My mother died in April this year.When I next visited her property, I checked the meter and smelled gas so called the emergency service to get it fixed. Since then, I have had three reminders from npower demanding payment for gas which could not possibly have been used within the property.

The ten day wait to tell Lloyds a loved one has died: High Street giant admits policy forcing staff to book appointments has backfired

People standing in curved line, elevated view

In an effort to cram in as many appointments as possible, those with more complex needs such as sorting out a deceased loved one's financial affairs, have been forced to the back of the queue.

INVESTMENT CLINIC: I have three buy-to-let mortgages and a £100k lump sum - should I pay down the highest interest rate or the biggest balance?

I invest in three buy-to-let mortgages and I have £100,000 to pay off a portion of one. Would I be better off paying down the mortgage with the highest interest rate or the biggest balance?

Are your dividends under threat? We reveal the shares at risk of a cut and those that look resilient

Are your dividends under threat? We reveal the shares at risk and those that look

Already this year grocer Sainsbury's has cut its dividend along with miner Antofagasta, insurance giant RSA, Vanish owner Reckitt Benckiser and Tullow Oil. Some of these firms were once seen as safe havens in terms of paying dividends and the cuts have triggered concerns that this might be part of something much bigger. Who is next?

Why the first 24 hours are critical to salvage your home: We spend a day with emergency teams getting flood victims back on their feet

Dated: 07/12/2015
Brian Coopland who lives on Eden Park Crescent in Carlisle with his daughter Toni pictured on their driveway amongst the stripped out contents of their home which was flooded on Sunday morning.
FAO Janet, Mail picture desk.

Brian Coupland, pictured here with daughter Toni, has lived in his four-bed semi in Carlisle for 15 years and this is their second flood. Last time they were out for six months.

Savers with more than £85k in a bank need to act now to keep cash protected before FSCS limit falls by £10k

Shadow of hand over a pile of GBP banknotes
for london and regional property page jan 2nd

From the end of this year, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme limit will be slashed from £85,000 to £75,000 - and £170,000 to £150,000 on joint accounts.

Avoid a New Year debt hangover: If you really need to borrow to finance Christmas watch out for these five most expensive forms of credit

Five most expensive forms of credit for borrowers to finance Christmas

The extra pressure on pay packets from festive spending means that just under a third of people will turn to borrowing. While there are certain advantages to paying by credit in some situations, a lot of the time it simply adds to your costs. If you are forced to borrow, here are the worst types of debt to avoid if you want to sidestep a New Year debt hangover.

Lloyds staff still feel pressurised to sell to clients despite ditching sales targets, says union 

Pedestrian walk past a branch of a Lloyds bank in central London, England. 
Britain's state-rescued Lloyds Banking Group said on July 31, 2015, that net profits rose by 31 percent in the first half, despite setting aside further funds to compensate customers who were mis-sold insurance. Horta-Osorio said the lender was focused on becoming "the best bank for customers and shareholders while at the same time supporting the UK economy".    AFP PHOTO/LEON NEAL        (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

A report by Lloyds Trade Union suggests that exactly 50 per cent of staff feel under pressure to sell products such as credit cards, loans and insurance policies.

Meet the champagne swigging professor on a mission to solve Britain's savings crisis by persuading us to put more into our pensions


Professor Shlomo Benartzi, from Santa Monica, has become a superstar in the pensions world for the ways he has found to persuade savers to put aside more for their retirement.


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50 ways to save money: Simple steps to cut what you spend that could clear your debts or seriously boost your savings

50 ways to save money....

To clear the average national household debt of ?13,000 at 6% interest with a monthly repayment of ?100 will take around 17 years. There are, however, plenty of simple ways to make significant savings on your regular spending that could clear your debt - or boost your savings - in less than a year. This is Money's top 50 - updated - money-saving tips may appear light-hearted but are deadly serious.

How to choose the best (and cheapest) DIY investing Isa - and our pick of the platforms

Pick the best (and cheapest) investment Isa platform

Choosing the right DIY platform is crucial but a wealth of choice and changes to charges have left many investors scratching their heads. We pick some of the best. We also highlight why investing in an Isa makes sense, as it should protect your hopefully growing investments from tax forever.

Revealed: The world's cheapest and most expensive stock markets - and where the UK stands

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We highlight the world's cheapest and most expensive stock markets, measured on three popular valuation tools and where the UK sits.

INVESTING TIPS: Fund and trust ideas for beginner and cautious investors

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If you are new to investing then the huge number of funds and investment trusts on offer can be confusing. Fortunately, This is Money's experts have some ideas to get you started.

INVESTING TIPS: Top fund and trust ideas for income investors

Income investing: Dividends can deliver both a healthy boost to long-term growth and a way to earn from your investments.

Income investing can let you draw on your portfolio or reinvest dividends to build solid growth over time. Our experts give their fund and investment trust recommendations.

INVESTING TIPS: Top fund and trust ideas for emerging markets

On the up: Emerging markets such as Brazil are where much of the world's growth is expected to be over future years.

If you're looking to add some flair to your investing Isa with emerging markets, This is Money's experts have some ideas to get you started

When will interest rates rise? Economists suggest no move until late 2016 as Bank puts caution centre stage

When will UK interest rates rise?

Interest rates will not move until mid-2016 and may not even rise for the whole of next year, economists have suggested following the latest Bank of England inflation report. A big shift back in the markets outlook for rates had preceded the second Super Thursday combination of an MPC verdict, minutes and Inflation Report.

Our savings picks: This is Money's five favourite best buy cash Isas for 2015

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We pick our five favourite cash Isas for savers. This is essential Isa reading and is kept up-to-date throughout the year

Looking for a better bank? This is Money's five of the best current accounts

Best five: which current accounts offer the best perks?

How hard does your bank account work for you? Here's our pick of the best accounts to make your money work harder, cut down on fees, or get free stuff.

Ten tips for buy-to-let: the essential advice for property investors

Ten tips for buy-to-let

For many buy-to-let looks an attractive income investment in a time of low rates and stock market volatility. Climbing house prices, rising rents and improving mortgage deals are tempting investors - although they will need a big deposit. Read This is Money's top ten buy-to-let tips

What next for house prices? House price rises ease but London market is picking up again


After a slowdown earlier this year, the London market appears to be continuing to push ahead of the rest of the UK. We look at the latest figures.

Best paid jobs 2015: Compare your salary to the national average in this league table of 350 professions - and see the year's winners and losers

Compare your pay to the UK average across 350 professions

Musicians have seen pay rises averaging nearly 20 per cent in 2015, while cleaners are getting 17.8 per cent more, and window cleaners 12.3 per cent. Artists in general are earning 14.6 per cent more in 2015 than 2014, according to the huge annual data dump of pay scales by the Office For National Statistics highlights.

Premium Bonds winners

December 2015
Prize value Winning bond No. Area
£1,000,000 225EP035620 Cumbria
£1,000,000 117TJ752915 Bedfordshire
£100,000 82NM750247 Overseas
£100,000 237VF815101 West Sussex
£100,000 235VA243441 Staffordshire
£100,000 210QR492410 Outer London
£100,000 181VR908480 Cheshire West and Chester
£50,000 95HD121785 West Yorkshire
£50,000 66AP304308 West Yorkshire
£50,000 239DM620920 Hereford and Worcester
£50,000 234GZ543912 Avon
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Britain's manufacturing sector facing bitter winter as output drops again in October

Total production output across the UK increased by 1.7 per in October compared with a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said.

Tourist rates

Currency Rate Buy now
Updated 13 Dec 2015.
Euro 1.3514 Buy Now
US Dollar 1.4867 Buy Now
Australian Dollar 2.03 Buy Now
Canadian Dollar 2.0178 Buy Now
Chinese Yuan 9.3826 Buy Now
Croatian Kuna 10.19 Buy Now
Czech Koruna 36.24 Buy Now
Danish Krone 10.0 Buy Now
Egyptian Pound 10.319 Buy Now
Hong Kong Dollar 11.412 Buy Now
Hungarian Forint 422.04 Buy Now
Israeli New Shekel 5.583 Buy Now
Japanese Yen 180.66 Buy Now
Malaysian Ringgit 6.2624 Buy Now
New Turkish Lire 4.24 Buy Now
New Zealand Dollar 2.1802 Buy Now
Norwegian Krone 12.691 Buy Now
Polish Zloty 5.7927 Buy Now
Singapore Dollar 2.0721 Buy Now
South African Rand 22.66 Buy Now
Sterling 1.0 Buy Now
Swedish Krona 12.466 Buy Now
Swiss Franc 1.4587 Buy Now
Thai Baht 52.577 Buy Now
UAE Dirham 5.4214 Buy Now

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