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Weekend round-up: Small investors can make a big difference

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app-based stockbrokers dabbl review the weekend press and provide their take on some of the biggest stories set to impact the self-directed investor. 

The Financial Times has a long read on how small investors are increasingly being given a voice when it comes to forcing behavioural change at the big companies they invest in. The article notes that in the UK, if 100 smaller shareholders band together, they can file a resolution with the company they invest in, yet such situations arise only rarely in the UK. However such coordinated activity can have an impact, not least as companies are so eager to manage their ESG credentials right now.

Bloggers in spotlight for untaxed earnings….

With the government set to lay out its budget on Wednesday there’s a fair smattering of tax talk in the weekend press. One article that catches attention ran in The Times on Saturday, highlighting how HMRC is now set to look at podcasters, bloggers and other influencers to check that they are declaring taxable income. As one commentator points out, the fact that intermediary sites refer to subscription fees as being “donations” may be leading some content creators to believe these don’t actually count as income. That’s not the case and as has been noted previously, HMRC has significant capabilities to be looking at content platforms and other financial aspects to check if taxes are being declared properly.

….and crypto traders, too

The Financial Times covers a similar angle, reporting that HMRC will be sending so-called ‘nudge’ letters to crypto investors to make sure they are reporting any profits correctly. The article stresses that receipt of a letter doesn’t mean you’ve underpaid tax, but it’s important to respond accurately – most underpayments will be a result of ignorance rather than blatant evasion.

Missing out on the American Pie

A salutary tale in The Sunday Telegraph which interviews country musician Don McLean on his experience of finance. Asked what his worst business decision was, he admitted that as COVID uncertainty gripped the world and markets tanked last year, he sold his portfolio of shares. The Dow Jones was at 23,000 and later ran up to 34,000. Don explained he was wary of a cataclysmic event and would rather be safe, but we see time and again tales of panic selling after a market slump. With equities, the recurring message is stay invested for the long term.

UK rate hikes – when, not if

The Financial Mail on Sunday looks at the state of inflation in the UK and why this will mean interest rates have to rise. It’s a good, concise article, although any such action has important ramifications for investors, too, as higher interest rates will tend to dampen the stock market’s performance. Investors may think they can get better returns in bonds or other investments, whilst a rate hike at the Bank of England also tends to push the value of the Pound higher, making it cheaper to import goods. Change seems inevitable here, but a jump in borrowing costs is only one of the consequences we’ll be facing.

This article has been published in conjunction with dabbl. dabbl is a simple, intuitive app, designed to make share ownership more accessible than ever before. Connecting consumers with the brands they love, know and trust, dabbl is embracing the growing demand from the next generation of investor to have more control over how their money works for them.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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