MoneyWeek has a hot tip today which looks a good bet. They are saying that the meeting of the US
Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is expected to announce the next wave of quantitative easing (QE).
The results of that? Money Week says that 'there will be volatility' but that their 'short-term speculative money
is betting on a rise in the dollar, if only in the short term, and a fall in everything else'.
If you fancy spread-betting the dollar, we have a useful how-to article from our friends at t1ps.com. And, as an
aside, more QE is likely to drive more investors into the relatively safe, by comparison, haven of gold. More to
come on that.
My daughter's currently on a gap year between A Levels and
university and I've put her to work finding bargains galore for Streetwise members. Today, she's come up with
on the go discount vouchers from http://www.vouchercloud.com/
If, like me, you're the other side of 40, your eyes may blur over at this next bit but bear with me. This is a free
app that's available on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, Windows Phone, Android, Blackberry from early next year and
all phones via SMS.
Basically, you go to the website and download a free application that allows you to source discounts and vouchers.
My daughter uses it and it saves her - and therefore me too - a fair amount of money. Check out
How's Your Pension?
Now I'm no pension specialist but, with a pension coming over the
horizon towards me, I know it's a good time to get some specialist advice. It's probably good advice for you
too, not least because annuity rates are falling and are expected to fall further, perhaps by as much as 10
per cent over the next five years, due to increasing life expectancy combined with worsening economic
IFA Mark Joannes also picks up on the forthcoming Solvency II rules which come into force for the annuities market
on 1 January 2013. We don't need to get too bogged down with the nitty-gritty of these rules but they basically
require providers to keep more money in the pot to ensure all providers can meet their financial obligations, thus
avoiding future crises such as the Equitable Life scandal.
Mark sets out a likely scenario for us. 'So, in effect, this causes
a fall in yield from 5.25 per cent to 4.55 per cent. Using a rule of thumb that a change in yield leads to
approximately 10 to 12 times the change in annuity rates, this would reduce annuity rates by approximately 7
per cent to 9 per cent.’ Add that to the expected 10 per cent fall anyway and you can see why now is a good
time to take specialist advice.
And Finally - Sick Leave...
I urgently needed a few days off work, But, I knew the Boss would not allow me
to take leave.
I thought that maybe if I acted "Crazy" Then he would tell me to take a few
So, I hung upside-down on the ceiling and made funny noises. My co-worker
(who's blonde) asked me what I was doing.
I told her that I was pretending to be a light bulb, So, that the Boss might
think I was "Crazy" and give me a few days off.
A few minutes later the Boss came into the office and asked, "What in the name
of good GOD are you doing? "
I told him I was a light bulb. He said, "You are clearly stressed out." Go home
and recuperate for a couple of days."
I jumped down and walked out of the office...
When my co-worker (the blonde) followed me, the Boss asked her, ". ..And where
do you think you're going? She said, "I'm going home too.
I can't work in