Matthew Vincent

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Full name: Matthew Vincent

Area of interest: Market econonomics - companies, finance, investment

Journals/Organisation: Financial Times


Personal website:






About: Matthew Vincent is the personal finance editor of the Financial Times. In this role, he edits the Weekend Money section and presents the FT Money Show podcast, as well as writing for the daily newspaper and FT Wealth magazine


Career: Began career with Moneywise (consumer finance magazine) becoming its editor and staying for five years; Investors Chronicle: editor - presented the award-winning online video The Market Programme; launched the BBC-FT standalone magazine ‘How to be Better Off’

Current position/role: Personal finance editor - edits the Weekend Money section, presents the FT Money Show podcast, writes for the daily newspaper and FT Wealth magazine

  • also writes/written for: columns for The Spectator

Other roles/Main role:

Other activities:



Broadcast media:

Video: presented BBC2’s ‘Pound for Pound’ personal finance programme; regular contributor to personal finance progammes on the BBC, ITN, Sky and CNBC





Books & Debate:

Latest work:



Financial Times:

Column name: Last column for Serious money, 13th July 2012

Remit/Info: Market ecoonomics - companies, finance, investment

Section: Money

Role: Personal finance editor



Website: / Serious Money

Commissioning editor:

Day published: Saturday (in print)

Regularity: Weekly

Column format:

Average length:

Articles: 2014

Articles: 2012

Articles: 2011

Articles: 2010

Articles: 2009

  • Resolve to repay - With £4bn of personal debt to clear, and £6bn of depleted savings to rebuild, investors making New Year resolutions could do with some support - 31st December
  • A nice way to repay the debt of the Noughties - This was the decade in which efforts to encourage investing, rather then borrowing, came to nought – but there is a solution - 19th December
  • Not quite fair enough - Let’s see which of the tax changes are set fair when measured on the FT Money barometer? - 12th December
  • On the trail of commission rebates - If you bought a new car, what would you think if the salesperson rang you up the next year – and the year after that – and asked you for more money just because they’d sold you the car that one time? - 5th December
  • Reason reigns over the feckless and reckless - The Supreme Court ruling on bank charges was a welcome moment of sanity in a dispute characterised by hypocrisy – and a vindication of financial responsibility - 28th November
  • Great expectations need a reality check - Investors still have great expectations of equities, and of UK fund managers – but they should be questioning the latest profit forecasts - 21st November
  • A manifesto for the reform of fund fees - For how long can you levy charges on individuals, without giving them a say in how it is done? I continue to ask this question of fund managers - 14th November
  • A burning issue for index trackers - Treason and plot were just a few of the accusations levelled against me, for the apparently incendiary suggestion that the hidden costs of investment funds were a menace - 7th November
  • Total Expenses Robbery - One former fund manager believes the industry is short changing customers to the tune of £5.8bn – by keeping charges hidden - 31st October
  • Operate a new system of income investing - As Apple and Microsoft continue to do battle, Far Eastern tech stocks are doing something revolutionary: paying dividends - 24th October
  • Sitting on the unpopular side of defence - For how long can you go on defending the indefensible? That rather depends on whether you’re an MP or a journalist writing about structured products - 17th October
  • Social mores for a less prosperous era - This week, lengthening recession and deepening government debt brought about a change in etiquette: brutal honesty is now the best policy - 10th October
  • Opposites attract, particularly now - It’s not easy being contrarian. It never has been - 3rd October
  • The rich raise the cry of ‘No surrender’ - This week’s “FutureWealth” research astonished me: spite of “financial Armageddon”, two out of three millionaires say they were no worse off -26th September
  • Serious Money - Readers of The Economist set great store by its “Big Mac Index”. But FT readers might gain more from an index of burger warehouse prices - 19th September
  • Sharlene Goff: Welcome to the less-brave new world - Former Lehman employees have spent the last year making drastic changes. But for investors, the rollercoaster ride seems almost to have come full circle - 12th September
  • Cut your coat according to your cloth - So it seems the credit crunch has claimed its latest victim: the pin-striped suit - 5th September
  • China’s GDP is investors’ MSG - The trouble with Chinese food – so the cliché goes – is that, half an hour later, you’re hungry again. Much the same can be said of Chinese economic data - 29th August
  • India should hit all the right notes - New traders pushed the daily value of transactions on Chinese stock exchanges up to $63bn – more than the $58bn dealt on the markets of New York, London and Tokyo put together. - 22nd August
  • Have a go at daylight robbery - Some investment trusts look like a steal – allowing investors to grab assets on the cheap, and get a lot more money for them later - 15th August
  • House prices pose sizeable question - Statistically, the FTSE has equalled its best ever run, and house prices have achieved their strongest rise in two years. But might these observations be wide of the mark? - 1st August
  • More bulls than Pamplona - One stockbroker claimed this week that “almost four out of five” UK investors “were bullish”. But too many of them don’t actually know what bullish behaviour looks like - 25th July
  • Older and wiser - Growing old is no longer something that you can afford to leave too late – not if the latest government policy reviews are any indicator - 17th July
  • White paper over the cracks - What is it about new regulatory frameworks to restore confidence in the UK banking system? You wait all year for one… then two come along at once - 11th July
  • Commission accomplished - How do you make a Maltese cross? The answer, as any schoolboy knows, is “poke him with a sharp stick” - 4th July
  • Not a mission impossible - Why is it still impossible for a fund manager to offer a low-cost fund that can beat the index? Is this another peculiarly British failing? - 27th June
  • Waiting for a confident recovery - Far be it from me to dent investors’ confidence, but there are two small problems with all the bullish sentiment indicators being published right now - 20th June
  • Keystone cops bring down Keydata - By lurching from good cop to bad cop, the FSA has destroyed confidence in a whole range of structured product providers, when none were at fault – or in default - 13th June
  • Is it a fair cop? - Independent financial advisers fear regulatory scrutiny of their asset allocation choices – and they have case to answer over costs and correlations - 6th June
  • Fund managers jump into the market - Fund managers have leapt into equity markets with the courage of their convictions – but with the investment equivalent of a parachute strapped to their portfolios - 30th May
  • Putting on a brave face - Fear and greed, as we all know, drive the market. What we’ve found out this week is how quickly investors can become emboldened – and voracious - 16th May
  • Tain’t no big thing, the toll of the bell - They rang the bell twice on one stockbrokers’ trading floor, to mark record-breaking trading volumes. But fund investors are less likely to follow these sharedealing bellwethers - 9th May
  • Triple injustice puts Sir Fred in front - Closer inspection of the proposed – and already imposed – changes to pension taxation reveal three injustices. All of them visit the sins of the RBS banker upon the pension saver - 2nd May
  • High earners pay the consequences - Last year, I suggested: “Chancellors should pay less lip service to golden rules, and more attention to the law of unintended consequences. Alistair Darling, it seeems, has grasped 50 per cent – in more ways than one - 25th April
  • Sofa, so good - They are called “kidults” or “the Boomerang generation”. Children who happily leave home, only to return a few years later as they realise they can’t afford to pay their rent - 18th April
  • Chirpy, but not cheap - Some equity investors seem remarkably chirpy at the moment. But there is now a new way to screen out their noise: the online FT Stock Screener tool - 11th April
  • Serious Money - Is April the month when the storms blow over and a sunnier outlook inspires the return of growth? And, if so, should it influence your choice of Isa investment? - 4th April
  • An inflationary lesson for young and old - In spite of this week’s 0 per cent RPI figure, inflation is very much a reality for anyone over 50, or not in the richest 3 deciles – reaching 6 per cent for older pensioners - 28th March
  • The Old Lady’s not for Turnering - It’s easy for a regulator to be wise after the event. What really matters is how the lessons of the Bank of England’s past are used to improve our financial future - 21st March
  • Raise a glass to some quick-fix tonics - As they stare into pension pots that are almost literally half empty, late 50-something investors must feel they’re drinking in the last chance saloon - 14th March
  • Easy come, easy go - You’ve run out of money. What do you do? Invent some out of thin air and try to spend it. Clever! - 7th March
  • A head start – and a shot in the arm - Sometimes, you just need a bit of head start. And there is one investment that can put you 60 metres down the track in a 100 metre race: an EIS - 21st February
  • Rules to live – and invest – by - Rule No. 1: If something is good for you, it’s probably not very appealing. Rule No. 2: If something looks too good to be true, it probably is - 14th February
  • Black swans come home to roost - Investors in so-called “value stocks” have had a lot to put up with in the past year. Company finance directors cutting – or suspending – their dividends. - 7th February
  • Gamble that leaves us without profits - Ask yourself this question: if a tossed coin landing on “heads” wins you £1, but the same coin landing on “tails” wins you nothing, how much would you be willing to pay to play the game? 25p? 50p? Or more? - 31st January
  • Unreasonable reasoning - Who is more in touch with the harsh realities faced by the nation’s investors? - 24th January
  • Chill winds - Given the chill winds blowing in from the high street to the City of London this week, I’m amazed that the stock exchange hasn’t ground to a halt - 9th January 2009
  • At least we have nothing left to lose - After saying goodbye to five years’ worth of pension contributions in 2008, what have you got to lose from investing in emerging markets in 2009? - 2nd January 2009

Articles: 2008

  • A yawning hole in all our pockets - For Rip Van Winkle, 20 years. For Woody Allen’s character in the 1973 film Sleeper, 200 years. For pizza delivery boy Philip Fry, from the animated TV show Futurama, 1,000 years. That’s how long each of them had to be asleep in order to wake up in a future that was – demonstrably or literally – alien. For private investors, though, it has taken a lot less time: just one year… and it has been more like a waking nightmare - 26th December 2008
  • Index trackers or Christmas crackers? - What would you rather find under your Christmas tree? A cracker/ pair of socks/large diamond/Nintendo Wii (delete as applicable), or a contract note stating that £100 has been invested for you in a FTSE 100 index tracker fund? - 19th December 2008
  • Bread bins, biscuit tins, storage jars - No, it’s not a list of what still left in Woolworths’ closing down sale. These household items are far more valuable – because they are now likely to be stuffed full of cash - 12th December 2008
  • Some people just don’t know when to quit - It’s a charge that can be levelled equally against politicians, company chief executives, fund managers, traders and private investors - 5th December 2008
  • Game of consequences - Chancellors should pay less lip service to golden rules, and more attention to the law of unintended consequences - 28th November 2008
  • Disenfranchised - If the dilution and disenfranchisement of small shareholders wasn’t bad enough, the terms of Barclays capital raising leave a lot to be desired - 21st November 2008
  • Corporate bonds and cars - Financing new bonds will be a problem. Standard & Poor’s calculates that $2,100bn-worth of European corporate debt will mature between now and the end of 2011 - 14th November 2008
  • Surprise from Bank cuts both ways - In spite of this week’s interest rate cut being the largest implemented by the Monetary Policy Committee, bringing the base rate to its lowest level since the 1950s, new mortgages are still not getting much cheaper - 7th November 2008
  • Absolute returns? Absolutely wrong - Last week – as equity markets hit 1997 levels – I suggested that almost all the “old certainties” of investing had been discredited, in almost every sense of the word - 31st October 2008
  • Shaken, not stirred - The miseries lingered until the 1950s. The old certainties were gone. The financial system had to be torn up and recreated and it took time. It was painful and disruptive.” - 24th October 2008
  • Another black hole is looming - With a £37bn government investment in Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB and HBOS, our money markets will be freed! But, before you buy into this prediction, there is just one small problem: another financial crisis is looming - 17th October 2008
  • The appealing sound of death knells - Is this the end of capitalism as we know it and should I pack tinned goods and head for the hills?” - 10th October 2008
  • Seek out safe harbours in a financial storm - If you’re a saver, a borrower or a private investor, it probably doesn’t feel as if the system, or the market mechanism, has been working at all - 4th October 2008
  • Paving the way with good intentions - If news reports in recent days weren’t enough to convince us that, in the oft-repeated words of investment newsletter The Daily Reckoning, “We’re all going to hell in handcart”, then at least we’ve now had confirmation from the Church of England - 26th September 2008
  • Sold short by our regulators - So it has come to pass that a small group of short-sellers and hedge fund managers have succeeded where legions of north-eastern pensioners failed last year: bringing about government intervention to wave through a bank takeover, and bringing in new trading regulations - 20th September 2008
  • Mind over matter - So, on Wednesday, when the Cern Large Hadron Collider was switched on, the world was not sucked into a man-made black hole on the Franco Swiss border. On the same day, though, many investors in Lehman Brothers’ complex debt instruments probably felt their money really had disappeared into a black hole - 12th September 2008
  • Many questions in half a glass - Am I the only person wondering how mortgage rates that are roughly the same as a year ago, a bank base rate that is lower, inflation that looks likely to have peaked, and unemployment that is expected to rise at worst by 1-1.5 percentage points in the coming year really can add up to economic conditions that “are arguably the worst they’ve been in 60 years”? - 5th September 2008
  • Change the view from your house - Castle, pension fund, depreciating illiquid asset... No, it’s not a post-modern version of the “paper, scissors, stone” game for City traders or the “To Do” list of Roman Abramovich, it’s actually my shorthand for the shift in our perceptions of residential property in recent times - 29th August 2008
  • Put portfolios on the podium - It’s not enough to be “fit in a world where conditions are normal”. It’s about being “fit for purpose”, to “get the job done”. It just shows what’s possible if you “do a better job of planning the journey” and “get people to fund it sensibly” - 22nd August 2008
  • Pension deficits – by any name - You know where you stand with a Norman, and a Norman knows where he stands in life. But neither can really be said of a Luna Coco or an Apple - 15th August 2008
  • Credit us with knowing better - Exactly a year on from the start of the credit crunch (or at least from when equity markets woke up to the sub-prime crisis and fell 6 per cent in two days), what do we know now that we didn’t know then? - 8th August 2008
  • Get a warm glow from playing it safe - In the past few years, wealthy investors have turned their portfolios into smorgasbords of esoteric assets. The doors have flung open to all kinds of areas. But there’s something to be said for playing it safe - written by, 1st August 2008
  • Green shoots of autumn - Are the clouds beginning to clear over the property market? From what estate agents and lenders are saying, the forecast for house prices still looks dreary. But a burst of private equity interest brought a ray of hope to the sector this week - written by, 25th July 2008
  • Prepare to have a nose for a bargain - Stocks should be bought like groceries and not like perfume. A few days ago, I was reminded of this advice from Ben Graham, the father of value investing. The equity market certainly seems more like Aldi or Lidl than an eau de toilette counter at Harrods - 18th July 2008
  • Stroll purposefully down memory lane - Here’s a question for you: do you remember what you were doing at 10.03pm on Wednesday July 9? No, neither do I. But judging by the some of the news coverage this week, it was a moment of such significance that it should be permanently etched on the collective memory - 11th July 2008
  • Vile and grim fairy stories abound - Goldilocks is dead! No, it’s not a severely abridged version of the popular fairy tale for time-poor parents wanting to give their children a more grittily realistic view of the chances of living ‘happily ever after’ after being caught breaking and entering. Nor is it a pithy if premature obituary for the Chicago economist Diane Swonk who – despite arguably providing ample material in her own surname – has been nicknamed after the fairy tale character by CNBC’s Larry Kudlow. It’s actually a riposte, published this week, from HSBC Private Bank’s head of global strategy, Fredrik Nerbrand, to Salomon Brothers’ economist David Shulman who first coined the phrase ‘the Goldilocks economy’ back in 1992 - 4th July 2008
  • Beguiled by better banking news? - Phew, what a relief! This week, Barclays almost effortlessly pulled off a £4.5bn share issue, with the support of quite a few Qataris and several sovereign wealth funds - 27th June 2008
  • Time to take up arms against kings - “Cash is King!” If had a pound for every time I’ve heard that in the past few weeks, I’d have… well, at least £2.75 - 20th June 2008
  • Taxman has canteen mush for brains - What goes through their heads at the Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)? - 13th June 2008
  • Location, stagnation, no elation - Rising markets make geniuses of us all. How else could the likes of Kirstie Allsopp, Phil Spencer and all those other self-styled TV property experts have been held in such esteem by viewers and homeowners (with the exception of me, as regular readers may recall) - 6th June 2008
  • Find your inner hedge fund manager - Ialmost feel sorry for hedge fund managers. Not only are they finding it hard to produce positive returns in today’s markets, some also seem to have fallen on hard times - 30th May 2008
  • A weekend for Making your Mind Up - I don’t give short-term trading tips. I prefer to leave that to our technical analyst, Dominic Picarda, or our trading diarist, David Schwartz (Page 12). But this week, there’s such an obvious profit-making opportunity that I’m going to break the habit of a lifetime - 23rd May 2008
  • Profit from a difference of opinion - Alistair Darling is hopeless at maths. Anthony Bolton is not good at shorting stocks. It’s hard to know which of this week’s revelations is the more surprising - 16th May 2008
  • We are all oil barons now - What do Tony Hayward, Jim Ratcliffe, Tony Woodley and investors in a FTSE 100 tracker fund have in common? In the case of the first three, the answer: not enough - 9th May 2008
  • Death of advisers is no tragedy - "The man who makes an appearance in the business world, the man who creates personal interest, is the man who gets ahead. Be liked and you will never want." - 2nd May 2008
  • Avoid the gridlock in a new convertible - Why are U-turns inevitably “humiliating”, “damaging” or “panic-induced” when performed by politicians and chief executives of FTSE 100 companies, but generally deemed prudent (if often illegal) manoeuvres when pulled off by cab drivers? - 25th April 2008
  • Time flies but houses sink - Which is the longer time period a week in politics, or a week on the markets? Until recently – for all but astrophysicists – the answer has been easy: a week on the markets - 18th April 2008
  • Bank fiddles as market burns - I’m not sure I need to bother writing this column this week. Instead, I’m thinking of asking a former journalist to lead a working group that will review conditions on page 4 of FT Money, and report back at the end of the year - 11th April 2008
  • How to play the waiting game - “Let’s wait and see what he says.” “Good idea.” “Let’s wait till we know exactly how we stand.” “... On the other hand, it might be better to strike the iron before it freezes ... ” “I’m curious to hear what he has to offer. Then we’ll take it or leave it.” As Vladimir and Estragon spend two acts proving in Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, it’s all too easy to wait for a better offer that never turns up. And, as a property owner or an equity investor, you may know this feeling of indecisive paralysis all too well - 4th April 2008
  • Pass Go, collect $35bn - Bright young things from the Harvard Business School often follow a career path that could have come from the 1995 New York edition of the board game Monopoly - 27th March 2008
  • Wild beasts stalk the markets - The stock market can be a brutal place. Your broker may have greeted you with a mildly ironic ‘good morning’ this week, but the language of the dealing desks is decidedly less genteel - 21st March 2008
  • Playing hell with taxation - Lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, anger, envy and pride. You may recognise these as the seven deadly sins, designated by Pope Gregory the Great in the 6th century... - 14th March 2008
  • Time to import a good idea - American problems quickly become British problems – as UK investors and homebuyers are all too aware - 7th March 2008
  • A few pointers on indices - What’s the biggest growth industry in financial services today? Hedge fund management? Collateralised debt obligation (CDO) valuation? Commercial property auctioning? No, I would argue that it’s indexation – of all of the aforementioned asset classes, and more - 29th February 2008
  • Take your foot off the throttle - Do you consider yourself an above-average driver? Do you feel more comfortable driving rather than flying? Do you judge your speed on the motorway by the other cars around you? - 22nd February 2008
  • When Alistair met Mavis - Alistair Darling must now surely join the ranks of Werner Karl Heisenberg, Hamlet and Mavis “I don’t really know” Riley from Coronation Street as one of the most uncertain individuals of all time - 15th February 2008
  • We all need to learn our lesson - Location, Location, Location, and other TV programmes of that ilk, have much to answer for. Not simply for the inane banalities of the presenters and their subjects – “if Toby and Jocasta don’t make an offer on the townhouse, there’s a chance they could lose it...” being a typically insightful example – but for what they teach the younger demographic that watches Channel 4, and the largely student demographic that regularly chooses Daytime BBC... - 8th February 2008
  • Don’t bank on knowing much - Ten facts private investors didn’t know about banks last week - 1st February 2008
  • It pays to avoid the tax issue - Confusion. Fear. Panic. Investors rushing to sell before it’s too late. We’ve seen it all this week. But I’m not referring to the market turmoil caused by worries about recession. I’m talking about the confusion and selling caused by tax procrastination - 25th January 2008
  • Values turned upside down - What’s the difference between a speculator and an investor? I don’t really have a punchline for this – and, after the losses suffered by many this week, it’s arguably no joke - 18th January 2008
  • To boldly go into prosperity - “Live long and prosper” will be a phrase familiar to both rabbis and Trekkies. It’s the abbreviated form of a traditional Jewish benediction which was appropriated by Torah-reading actor Leonard Nimoy, as the greeting used by Mr Spock, and his fellow Vulcans, in Star Trek - 11th January 2008
  • Why not back a racing cert? - What is the key factor that will inform investor behaviour in 2008? Oil prices? Personal debt? Recession? No, the finest minds in the investment industry have applied their analytical skills to the question and come up with the one variable that will determine investment returns in 2008: “uncertainty” - 4th January 2008

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