How the war on plastic could boost your Isa

Yesterday Iceland — one of Britain’s best-known supermarkets with more than 900 stores — pledged to remove all plastic packaging from its own-label products within five years. As firms are forced to stop using harmful plastics, new materials are being developed that decompose and are better for the environment. So can you tap into this new trend to give your Isa a boost?

Bitcoin and ethereum really took off last year, leaving many feeling that they've missed the bandwagon. So what are the other cryptocurrencies that could boom? Or are they more likely to bust?

The digital currency and others, including ethereum, ripple, bitcoin cash and cardano, tanked after officials in South Korea and China suggested they could try to block trading.

Investing app Moneybox is the latest provider to announce it will offer a Lifetime Isa with the app's founders aiming it at those saving a deposit for their first home.

The stock market has been gently rising since 2012 and not even tensions between North Korea and the US have stopped it. Could it keep going up or are we due a correction?

Bitcoin boom will end in tears, warns Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett has warned bitcoin backers face disaster – and suggested the online currency craze will fail. Bitcoin surged as much as 1,900 per cent last year before dipping. Buffett said: ‘In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say with almost certainty that they will come to a bad ending. When it happens or how... I don’t know.’

Record-low savings payouts are driving savers to become investors and take bigger risks to boost their incomes. But it is not the stock market that many are choosing.

In 2007 Warren Buffett bet investment firm Protégé Partners $1m that a fund designed to blindly follow the S&P 500 would beat a selection of funds managed by humans after a period of ten years.

We take a look at why these indicators - including transport, copper and volatility - are currently saying the future direction of markets is positive.

Fund manager Job Curtis has no intention of letting go of his position as the manager with the best record of delivering dividend growth for his investors.

Investors piled £15billion into companies that listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2017 in the hope of backing the Apple, Facebook, or Asos of the future.

This year has been stellar for stock market performance while bitcoin has dominated the headlines. But will the same companies and currencies perform well next year?

Ten tips to help if you've never invested before

Investing is one of those things that most people know they should do and far fewer actually get around to until much later in life. But saving small and often is without doubt the easiest and safest way to grow your money over your lifetime and, ideally, build a nest egg to fund your retirement in the future.

Three years ago some lucky savers got offered an astonishingly good deal on Pensioner Bonds – unfortunately they are now getting letters saying that their time is up.

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.

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Popular share buying is set for a comeback. But for newcomers, buying and selling may seem daunting. So here is our guide to getting started in the market

Tracking: Following an index is cheaper than an active fund and often more successful

Tracker funds are ideal for those who want to invest but don't want the hassle of picking shares or cost of a fund manager, who is unlikely to outperform the market.

The tortoise and the hare: Passive investors believe that slow and steady wins the race, while active investors chase market-beating returns.

Fund investing helps many small investors strike it rich. Find out what funds and investment trusts are, how to invest - and save money with a DIY investing platform.

We asked trusted experts to recommend the best funds that cover different investment sectors - and included This is Money's selection of active and passive options too.

How to invest in an Isa quickly and easily

'I want to invest in an Isa, can you give me any tips on getting started?' This is a question that regularly crops up and we usually refer people to This is Money's extensive guides, But sometimes people don't want to do all that research. Rightly or wrongly, they want a quick, straightforward route map to investing in an Isa. To that end, this is our distilled guide to getting started.

In How to be a successful investor we lay out the essential things you need to know about making your money work harder through investing. Read your free guide here.

These are ideas that I have gleaned magpie-fashion from investors whose wisdom seems to shine the brightest, says Simon Lambert.

What will 2018 bring for investors? Brexit and Trump again

Investing experts are cautious about 2018, as international players shun our domestic earners while we contend with Brexit. Could the UK pull off a surprise, and the FTSE 100 storm to 8,000? We round up expert views of the likely market drivers - and some of the opportunities they might throw up.

It has been a year since Hargreaves Lansdown dipped a toe into fund management with the launch of its maiden in-house fund investing in UK companies, but how has it fared?

Fund manager Alex Wright believes that there is still value to be found, particularly among UK-facing companies beaten up by the market over Brexit fears. He explains why.

Many income investors are guilty of relying too heavily on the so called dividend stalwarts in the FTSE 100, but there are plenty of opportunities away from the big guns.

The so-called Santa rally refers to the weeks before and immediately after Christmas during which shares have a tendency to collectively climb more than at other times of year.

The easy route to passive investing and some funds to pick

A lot has been written about passive investing, its simplicity and its merits but just how simple can you make it? The problem is that while it likes to promote its simplicity, passive investing can be confusing and acronym heavy. It’s no wonder people prefer active funds that describe better what they do.

Rather than waste money on the latest fad this year, why not buy your little ones a gift that teaches them about the value of money and instils some good financial habits?

There are no guarantees in the world of investment but experience can be drawn on to help shape decision making. Here a leading expert share his views on what's in store for 2018.

History teaches us that bull runs never last forever and eventually markets will plunge into a bear territory, or even worse face a full-on crash. Here's how to protect against that.

Figures from the IA revealed UK Equity Income as the worst selling sector, losing £272million, as private investors pulled out more cash than they put in.

Will the £8,000 Bitcoin be a Christmas cracker?

What about a gift of cryptocurrency this Christmas? It could be the perfect present for the tricky person who has everything. And if the meteoric rise of Bitcoin – the darling of digital currencies – continues, it could prove to be the gift that keeps on giving. But it could also end up worthless if the current boom turns to bust. Heather Baker (pictured) has recently joined in the cryptocurrency craze – not as a spender but as an investor.

Lars Kroijer has become a leading proponent of passive investing – and as a hedge fund manager is a man you might consider to know what he is talking about. Find out why he thinks passive is best.

Fidelity has now provided some of the headline figures involved, which offers some much needed insight into what it will really mean for your money if you invest with the firm.

Neil Woodford losing count of the ‘lights flashing red’

Britain's highest profile fund manager Neil Woodford has warned financial markets now have 'many flashing red lights' - with what he sees as a widespread bubble in place. With share prices fuelled by the unprecedented central bank action taken in the years since the 2008 financial crisis, Woodford drew parallels with the 'dot com bubble' of the late nineties.

How VCT and EIS investing can get you a tax-free bonus

Venture capital trusts and enterprise investment schemes were introduced by the Government as a way of encouraging investment in start-up businesses in the UK. But they also come with a major tax relief, making them an attractive option for serious and experienced investors. The biggest draw for putting money into VCTs and the EIS is the 30 per cent relief on investments of up to £200,000 per person, meaning a £10,000 investment would cost an individual just £7,000. Additional benefits include tax-free dividends and tax-free capital gains on VCTs, and inheritance tax relief on enterprise investment schemes.

Things are looking up in Europe, but many investors are still pricing in low inflation. However, better opportunities lie elsewhere believes Schroders' James Sym.

As the veterans of emerging market investing retire, who are the fund managers you can rely on? We look at the new rising stars.

What does a rate hike mean for investing in bonds?

Super-low interest rates and quantitative easing sent bond prices soaring after the financial crisis - and led to countless warnings that they are no longer such as safe investment.With interest rates heading up, the environment has got a whole lot tougher for both government and corporate bonds. We pick five of the best bond funds for rising rates.

Kevin, 36, wants to invest rental income and money from his business in a growth portfolio, with the goal of having enough money to retire when he is aged between 45 and 50.

I have taken early retirement and received a lump sum of £60,000, which I want to invest for an income to supplement my pension. I haven't invested before and I don't want to take much risk.

How should I invest my £50k inheritance?

I have inherited £50,000 and plan to spend a bit and then invest the rest, how do I do that? Ana Cuddeford, investment specialist covering M&G’s multi-asset fund range, outlines her recommendations for how to think about investing a big lump sum windfall.

Income-focused ETFs have become a popular choice, ticking off the 'low-cost', 'diversified' and 'easily bought and sold' boxes on an investor's wishlist. Here's what you need to know.

Could investing instead of drinking whisky pay dividends?

Despite potentially tasty returns, the whisky market is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and if you become a victim of a scam you cannot get help from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. So you need to tread carefully - scams are a regular feature of the whisky market.But you can develop your taste buds by trying out a few Scotch distilleries that are highly regarded by connoisseurs. Bottles that could prove shrewd investments can often be purchased from as little as £50.

At present, investors who lose cash when firms go bust receive protection of £50,000 if the provider is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

DIY investing platform Interactive Investor has lifted its account charge by £10 a year and will move customers of recently-acquired TD Direct Investing to the same flat-fee model.

What are the best investment funds for income?

Britain's small army of income investors are on track to receive a bumper payout this year after dividends reached a record £28.5billion over the summer. The dividend boost will help those invested in both individual shares and hugely popular UK income funds. We take a look at what's happening and get four top income fund picks to invest in Britain and overseas.

The growing trend towards e-commerce has created intense demand for huge warehouses from which retailers can ship their goods.

It might be about finding out-of-favour investments, but value investing itself is back in fashion. We take a look at what this means and where value investors see opportunities.

A huge disparity in the costs of buying and managing investment trusts across 26 different platforms has been revealed. So it most certainly pays to shop around.

Anyone investing in a new venture capital trust - or a new share issue by an existing trust - gets a big incentive of 30 per cent tax relief . But you should never invest for tax breaks alone.

Investing Show: Should you invest in a VCT? 

Alex Davies, chief executive and founder of Wealth Club, joins Simon Lambert to explain why investors have been snapping up VCTs, how they invest in early stage companies and why acting early if you want to invest is wise.

Moneyfarm has rehashed its admin fee structure - introducing a 0.7 per cent charge for modest investors with less than £10,000 and ramping up costs for those with larger sums.

A friend recently told me that I could still be paying money on my investments to a financial adviser I haven't seen in years. Is this true?

Rebecca O'Connor, the co-founder Of Good With Money, said the penny dropped when she saw her pension fund was invested in BP, Shell and British American Tobacco.

Nearly three-quarters of people surveyed by Triodos Bank believe businesses have the power to create positive social and environmental change.

A rise in inflation and poor interest have diminished saving rates yet parents still shun the potential of bumper returns through stocks and shares investment according to new research. 

As part of Good Money week, we take a look at the some of the 'ethical' financial products that promise to pay a decent return.

I have £130k to invest for income - where do I start?

I am a 72-year-old retired builder. I have just sold a property and will have approximately £130,000 to invest, preferably for income. I have a medium appetite for risk. Patrick Connolly, certified financial planner at Chase de Vere (pictured), replies.

Andrew, 45, is a web developer who has no investments outside of an endowment mortgage at present. He wants to start putting aside £5,000 a year out of his income into an ethical fund portfolio.

Vanguard is piling on the pressure to cut fund fees with the launch of its low-cost first actively managed bond fund for UK investors. But is the pricing just a gimmick?

Does Fidelity's move on fund fees make it a pioneer?

A typical active equities fund charges in the region of 0.7 per cent of the invested sum and often higher, while standard index trackers can charge as little as 0.07 per cent - a tenth of the cost. The fee difference is clear therefore active funds have to outperform the relevant index to even begin to justify their cost.

Taking a risk may be fine in your 20s, but not mid-life

There are many factors to consider when you start investing - such as what to invest in and how much it will cost. But what many people might not realise is that one of the most important considerations is your age. How old you are determines how long you have to invest, and that can help decide how much investment risk you should take. Ryan Hughes of pension provider AJ Bell says: 'The rule of thumb is that the longer timeframe you have, the more risk you can afford to take. But there is no point investing in a way that will give you sleepless nights.'

I'm 89, where should I invest £130k for my children?

In our Money Pit Stop series, we put your investment questions to an expert to give you a free portfolio makeover. Featured in this installment is John Miles, an 89-year-old retired driving instructor who wants to know how best to invest £130,000 at low risk to provide income for his children. He also asks whether it is best to invest the sum in stocks or investment funds.

Almost half of people with savings of at least £15,000 do not see the value in seeking investment advice from a professional for sums under £25,000, according to new research.

Jason Hollands, managing director of financial firm Tilney, wants funds to reveal more about the true economic exposure of their shareholdings.

Is it time to buy into unloved UK shares? Minor Investor

When investing it often pays to do the opposite of what others are doing. So what should we make of the seemingly contrarian investing opportunity staring us in the face - UK shares? Britain's investors have made it abundantly clear that their home market is not for them but that could mean that looking for unloved companies in our unloved country could pay off.

Do you prefer to put your trust in an investing 'star' to grow your savings, or think a team-based effort will bring better results? We take a look at the merits of both.

My son has just turned one and my husband and I would like to use his birthday money to open an investment account for him. So who should we invest with? And what should we invest in?

How much money do I need before I start investing?

Would you lose sleep over the amount you plan to invest if it got wiped out in a market crash? If your answer's 'yes, it would cripple me emotionally and financially', think again about whether you're ready to invest. So, what amount of seed money is ideal, how long should you be prepared to lock it away, and what should the general state of your finances be before you enter the world of investing.

I have an Isa in an online investment account with Interactive Investor. How safe are my investments? Though unlikely, could my money be used to pay off creditors if the company went out of business?

There have been 1,813 launches of funds available to UK investors over the past ten years to the end of 2016. That's an average of 3.5 every week, but should you get in at the ground floor?

How to create an investment plan

You might invest, but do you have a a clearly defined plan of what you are investing for and how you plan to do it. If you're anything like me the answer is 'no'. But without an investment plan you are much less likely to achieve your goals - one expert says it's like 'driving without knowing your destination' So here's how to get one quickly and easily.

The Foresight Group has launched a bond offering a trio of fixed-term deals paying up to 4.83 per cent interest to bankroll the so called 'smart meter revolution'.

Funds featured on popular 'best buy' lists of top investing platforms outperform and are cheaper than the rest of the pack, according to a report by City regulators.

Dale Nicholls on the revival of China Special Situations

The Fidelity China Special Situations Trust, has generated 123 per cent return since Dale Nicholls succeeded fund manager Anthony Bolton as fund manager. We speak to the manager of the trust for the past three-and-a-half years and ask him why its fortunes have revived and why he believes China is a good place to invest.

I often read that I should review my investments regularly. But exactly how often should I do this and what should I look out for?

While positive reviews have their place, when it comes when mulling over what investment platform to use, investors should take a closer look at what the platform offers and charges.

Should you invest in the 5.25% LendInvest bond?

Alternative property lender and investment platform LendInvest has launched a five-year retail bond paying 5.25 per cent twice a year for investors with a minimum of £2,000. In an era of one per cent savings rates and where yields spanning beyond 5 per cent are hard to come by in the equity markets, this deal is sure to whet the appetite of many investors.

Six of the best ETFs for investing in government bonds

The art of portfolio building involves mixing assets to deliver the right blend for your investment outlook - with the key ingredients being shares and bonds. Fortunately, for British investors, UK Government bonds - or gilts as they are known - are considered among the world's safest to invest in, but how do you invest in them or other highly-rated bonds around the world?

Are the UK's fund managers starting to beat the market?

There is a spot of good news for our embattled fund managers. A note landed in my inbox this week, highlighting that an increasing number of UK active funds are beating the market this year. That, of course, simply means fund managers are doing the job they are paid to do, but nonetheless for investors who haven't entirely bought into the passive investing-only dogma it's worth a look.

Investors across the UK will start to receive letters in the coming months. You'll need to confirm your nationality and ID with your provider by 3 January or you many find you can't trade your investments.

How to invest to beat inflation and low savings rates

If you have the short-term emergency savings that you need, funds held for the long-term can be put to more productive work and earn a higher return. The Investing Show looks at how people can do this, including how to think about what sums you may be able to invest and the easiest ways to do that.

Policeman asks where to invest £80k on reaching retirement

In our series Money Pit Stop, we ask an investing expert to give one of our readers a free portfolio makeover. Kevin, pictured, is aged 52 and wants to invest £80k, but is undecided over whether to pay off his mortgage now or invest that money too for seven years.

Gervais Williams' tips to invest in small company shares

Gervais Williams has carved out a reputation as one of the UK's best smaller company stock pickers. But despite his ability to meet with senior company directors and the research resources that he enjoys, Gervais says that he believes private investors, especially those outside London, can have an advantage when investing in smaller companies. He explains why and gives us his tips.

How to start investing to stop losing out to inflation

Britons are sitting on some £60billion in cash savings earmarked for the long-term but this is declining in real value by £1.5billion per year through not being invested, according to new research by BlackRock. We take a look at why and what you can do to invest easily if you have a chunk of money you've set aside for the long term and don't fancy watching it dwindle in real value

How to find the best robo-adviser to invest with

A whole host of online investment firms have cropped up in recent years, offering to help you pick and manage a portfolio, meet your financial goals and make money - all for a 'modest' fee. They are known as robo-advisers, but what do these services offer and how can they help you? We take a look.

For the everyday saver who is unwilling to rely on the Government or an employer to provide their retirement income, self-invested personal pensions (Sipps) offer a do-it-yourself option.

Alexa, Amazon's voice recognition personal assistant, can play your music, offer weather forecasts and now even update you on how the shares in your Isa are doing

How to invest with your child to build their wealth

James Carleton, 71, was a fund manager in the City in his working life and has been putting money aside for his daughter since she was young.He has created a portfolio of investments for Louise and she adds money to the various investment trusts when she wants to. He is just one of the parents investing with their kids.

New Lifetime Isas allow under-40s to save for a home and retirement at once, and the Government is offering free top-ups worth up to £32,000 if you max out your fund.

I've had a look and noticed a number of different ones available. Do they invest in the same things? What exactly is in a global equity ETF?

Stop raising Isa limits and make them work better instead

The Isa has been a marvellous invention. It has enabled savers and investors to build greater wealth and draw more from it, thanks to tax-free growth and withdrawals. I've cheered the Isa allowance's rise to £20,000, but the time has come to stop lifting it. Instead, we need to overhaul the Isa to make it work for the modern world.

Is investing like gambling? Could I lose everything?

What do you do if you are sick of pitiful interest rates on your savings, but are not sure about investing? How nervous should you be about making the switch and are there ways to invest confidently? Moola founder and chief executive Gemma Godfrey shares her top tips.

On March 5, 2009, the Bank of England cut interest rates from 5 per cent to 0.5 per cent - their lowest level since the central bank was founded in 1694.

Vanguard made quite a splash with its entrance into the direct-to-consumer investment platform marketplace - creating ripples that have buffeted some of the most established players.

How you can save thousands with Vanguard's investing site

With Vanguard you pay just 0.15 per cent a year to invest in a range of funds - a third of the 0.45 per cent pocketed by rivals such as Hargreaves Lansdown. Experts believe the move could spark a price war. So could you save a fortune by switching to Vanguard's new deal - even if it only offers its own funds?

Despite fears of waning investor sentiment since the EU referendum, the index has largely been pushed forward by a fall in the pound as many firms listed on it make their earnings overseas.

I've never invested before, but I want to transfer £20,000 from my cash Isa into a stocks and shares Isa. However, I don't want all my money in one fund.

How do your bank's investing and advice services stack up?

Britain's biggest banks axed or scaled back investment services following a clean-up of the financial industry that banned cosy backdoor commission deals four years ago. But now most banks are bringing back investment options for customers under the new regime. We round up what the top players are offering and what it costs.

US fund group Vanguard has thrown down the gauntlet to Britain's established DIY investing platforms, with the launch of one of the cheapest online investment services.

Splitting an ISA or SIPP up into a number of funds or stocks is something the vast majority of investors do, however not so many take an important additional step.

Fund managers reveal best buys and sells of the year

The Premier League season has drawn to a close - meaning that the opening of the summer transfer window is rapidly approaching. As football fans look back on whether their seasons were a success and eye new stars, we asked five top UK fund managers to rate their best buys and sells of the season.

Neil Woodford, one of Britain's most celebrated fund managers, has scoured the UK market for some Brexit bargains to add to his record-breaking flagship fund.

In an era of one per cent savings rates that is bound to turn heads - but it's an investment product that comes with various risks that ordinary savers must be aware of.

Six safe places to stash your money

With so much global uncertainty over politics, economics and international relations, many investors may be tempted to put their cash under the mattress rather than risk it on the stock market. But there are some investments available that can help protect your long-term wealth.

A rise in the number of tourists visiting the UK and families opting for a 'staycation' is boosting profits at shops, hotels and entertainment companies.

More than half of investors prefer buying shares in UK household names and nearly a third only ever put money in well-known companies, research reveals.

Time to invest in Europe? It's problems are not fixed yet

With the French election out of the way and the 'safe' choice of Emmanuel Macron elected, can investors now make some money from Europe? While short-term he believes there are profits to be had, European leaders are in danger of forgetting how grave Europe's problems still are, says Psigma's Tom Becket. He outlines why and where there are better opportunities.

It is a well-established fact that when it comes to investment management, the female fund manager is a rare breed. Maike Currie picks five of the best.

The dividend heroes investment trust list revealed

In 1967, France's President de Gaulle vetoed UK membership of the EEC, the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were busted for drugs and the Beatles released Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Since then, three dividend hero investment trusts, City of London, Bankers and Alliance Trust have paid investors more year-in, year-out for an astonishing 50 years.

Britain is leaving Europe but should investors dive in?

Are we underestimating the prospects for making money from European companies and where are the best places to invest to profit from the best it has to offer? Chris Hiorns, manager of the Amity European Fund, joins us on the latest Investing Show to discuss why France may be a better place to invest than you think, why Italy is improving but its banks are still trouble and why he thinks some of Europe's media companies could be about to rise again.

Gervais Williams has carved out a reputation as one of the UK's best smaller company stock pickers. He gives us his tips and explains why private investors can have an advantage.

Major stock markets - including the FTSE 100 and US indices - have hit a series of new highs in recent times, so do they now look too expensive?

India is an exciting investment opportunity in one of the emerging markets' strongest economies, so why do more UK investors not buy in?



Is it time to buy into unloved UK shares? Minor Investor

When investing it often pays to do the opposite of what others are doing. So what should we make of the seemingly contrarian investing opportunity staring us in the face - UK shares? Britain's investors have made it abundantly clear that their home market is not for them but that could mean that looking for unloved companies in our unloved country could pay off.


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The investment industry's world of abbreviations...
Acc: Accumulation - any income generated by the fund like dividends or interest is automatically reinvested.
Inc: Income - any income generated is distributed by the fund instead of being reinvested.
Dis: Distribution - any income generated is distributed by the fund instead of being reinvested.
R: Retail - the fund is aimed at ordinary investors.
I/Inst: Institutional - the fund is aimed at corporate investors like pension funds.
A, B, M, X etc: Different fund houses use letters for different things. Check with them what they stand for.
NT/No trail: Some fund houses use this name on clean funds which carry no commissions for financial advisers, supermarkets or brokers, just the fee levied by the fund manager. But other fund houses use different letters - I, D or Y, for example - so you need to find out for yourself which are clean funds.
Gr: Stands for gross.
GBP/£: Fund denominated in pounds.
EUR: Fund denominated in euros.
USD/$: Fund denominated in US dollars.
Compiled with online stockbroker The Share Centre

Nearly three-quarters of people surveyed by Triodos Bank believe businesses have the power to create positive social and environmental change.