Excelling? What does the future hold for everyone’s favourite spreadsheet?
Excel has had a rough time of it recently. In mid-April, two respected professors were forced to admit that a ‘coding error’ in an excel spreadsheet may have skewed their research. The problem? The two professors were Harvard-based Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff and their research was used by numerous world governments to justify austerity measures. Oops.
A Guide to the GDP
The GDP, ‘Gross Domestic Product’, is arguably the most important of all national economic statistics. The GDP seeks, every three months, to capture the state of the economy in one percentage number.
Innovate – or Go Out of Business?
Less than a month ago, the world’s first gun made with 3D printer technology was successfully fired in the USA. Whatever your feelings about America’s gun law, that’s a remarkable statement: 3D printing is being hailed as the future of manufacturing and it illustrates just how quickly the world of technology is changing.
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HMRC Income Tax and Liabilities - Statistics
Number crunching by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) provides overall figures for 2010/2011 key out-turns for taxpayers and income tax liabilities. In terms of an analysis of the body of taxpayers, we are told that...
Increasing Cyber-Crime Costs for SMEs
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) recent survey on global cyber-crime threats, reports that SMEs are being increasingly targeted by cyber criminals, particularly because of their generally inadequate security defences.
Tax on your savings in your bank or building society accounts
You pay tax on your savings interest in the tax year that the interest is paid to you, or credited to your account, even if you’ve earned part of it in previous tax years. Savings income normally has 20% tax taken off before you receive it.
Could you be losing a pension down a 'black hole’?
A shift in the UK working culture and confusion around retirement planning is creating a pension ‘black hole’, with almost a quarter (23%) of UK adults stating they have lost track of at least one of their own pension schemes, according to a new poll for Age UK.
Don’t Fall in Love – the Most Common Mistakes Investors Make
This is the first part of a two part article, where we’ve taken a look at some of the common mistakes investors make when they’re buying and selling stocks and shares and other investments. We’ve identified ten mistakes – and this month, we take a look at the first five.
Put Your Faith in Capitalism, not the Chancellor
Budget day remains one of the biggest dates in the political calendar, and aside from last year’s pasty tax, George Osborne will be remembered for stage management more than flamboyance. After this week, beer drinkers will be marginally richer, wine drinkers marginally poorer. Until the economy perks up, however, there is little room for Budget-day theatre.
May Market Commentary
“No news is good news” as the old saying goes. By that definition, April was a good month in that there were no disasters. Europe remained relatively stable, Cyprus didn’t implode, Barack Obama and Congress continued speaking to each other and Kim Jong-un kept his finger off the trigger.
5 of the Biggest Problems Facing Business Owners Today
It’s easy to get depressed if you read the latest headlines. ‘Business confidence hits a new low.’ ‘UK heads for triple-dip recession.’
When a customer isn’t right for you
Customer or client relations are an important part of your business, if one desired outcome from your effort is to grow your sales and turnover. You may feel the way to do this is both to increase the numbers and sustain the interest and buying activity of your customers.
Know Your Tax Position On PPI Repayments
With new figures revealing the number of compensation claims for mis-sold Payment Protection Insurance has almost doubled in the past year, it’s a timely reminder for residents affected by the scam of the tax implications of any repayment they might receive.
Company car or no company car that is the question?
Will company cars continue to be a popular employment-related benefit, despite further increases to the generally high income tax charges on them?
Don’t Fall into the Inflation Trap as you get Older
Earlier this month, the Office for National Statistics updated the ‘national shopping basket’ – the national basket of goods that the ONS uses to monitor rising prices. The big news for the headline writers was that ‘Champagne was out; e-books were in,’ as a nation struggling with the recession stopped celebrating and started reading books at 99p.
Financial Mis-Selling: Has Anything Really Changed?
In 1720 hundreds of people were ruined when the ‘South Sea Bubble’ collapsed. The share price of the South Sea Company had been inflated to ridiculous levels by insider trading: bribes were paid to politicians, some people got rich, far more were ruined and considerable damage was done to the national economy.
April Market Commentary
When I started making notes for this Bulletin at the beginning of March it was quite clear what the main ‘story’ was going to be.
To say that George Osborne faced a difficult task when he stood up to deliver his Budget speech on 20th March was one of the year’s major understatements. Both economically and politically, the backdrop to his Budget was bleak, particularly with an increase of 48,000 in youth unemployment announced barely three hours before he stood up to speak. Osborne appeared in a bullish mood though, taking to Twitter for the first time to state: Today I’ll present a Budget that tackles the economy’s problems head on helping those who want to work hard and get on.
How successful is the amateur investor?
A minority of off-course punters who regularly put bets on race-horses make a living doing this, and some are very good at it. A report from the United States suggests that similarly in the field of investing in stocks and shares, there is evidence that a few amateur investors make a profit regularly.