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The world is never short of catastrophe theories – the end of the world has been nigh for a very long time. This year, 2012, has attracted more harbingers of doom than usual, and not just because everyone is depressed by the economic situation.
Some believe the world will end on 21st December 2012, either quoting the Mayan calendar or because the sun, earth and the centre of the Milky Way will, they suggest, be in alignment, causing the world’s magnetic field to reverse. All nonsense, of course. I confidently predict that the January 2013 issue of TheOldiewill appear as expected.
Even so, it’s difficult to find anything to be cheerful about, financially, at the moment. The year of the dragon promises abundance and good fortune but perhaps that’s just for the Chinese. For the rest of us it’s a year to be careful with our money.
Margaret Dibben, Editor
Published by Oldie Publications Ltd, 65 Newman Street ondon W1T 3EG www.theoldie.co.uk ssistant editor: Sonali Chapman Design: Joe Buckley, Silvia Baz Advertising: Lisa Martin, Azmi Elkholy, Jack Watts To advertise call Lisa Martin on 020 7487 8405
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4 Small Change Independent financial advice from the Fat Cats at Oldie HQ
6 Successes in 2011 and
What’s new in 2012 Margaret Dibben sums up the year
8 Marge yesterday and jam tomorrow Roger Anderson examines the value of the state pension since 1909
19 Charity begins at home Margaret Dibben on Legacy 10
20 A borrower or a lender be Diana Wright explains the rise in peer-to-peer lending and micro-loans
22 Beware the City sharks Making some extra cash from an alternative investment may seem like a good idea, but be careful what you wish for, writes Tony Hetherington
10 Modern life What is mis-selling? by Paul Lewis
24 Look smart and carry on Margaret Dibben explains e-money
11 Olden life What was the Railway Passenger Assurance Company? by Alan Thomas
25 He who wills the end wills the means The five golden rules of will-making
12 Economic Armageddon? Some telling insights on the global economy by Alistair Darling and others
26 An arm and a leg Helen Pridham on private health insurance plus Stanley Price’s story
15 George Osborne’s diary, part 2 by William Keegan
16 Warning: Government policy is very bad for your wealth Paul Lewis looks at inflation and interest rates
28 Nice little earners A few ways to earn some extra cash, by Margaret Dibben
30 Cashing in! Margaret Dibben explains cashback websites
A MONG T H E C O N T R I B U T O R S
peter jay Peter has lived in Woodstock since 1994 and served as Mayor from 2008 to 2010. His earlier life included Winchester, the Navy,
Christ Church, Oxford, and the Treasury. Later he was economics editor of the Times, presenter of television news programmes, British ambassador to the USA, founder chairman and chief executive of TV-am, chairman of the NCVO, chief of staff to Robert Maxwell and, until he retired in 2002, the BC’s economics editor.
helen pridham After gaining a degree in economics, Helen became a financial journalist. She has written extensively on personal finance issues for more than 30 years. Among other publications, she has contributed to the Daily Telegraph, the Times and the Observer. She has also written four books on personal finance and has received several awards for her work.
adam fergusson Adam was born in Scotland in 1932. He read history at Trinity, Cambridge, and later became a journalist with the Glasgow Herald, the Statist, and the Times, before becoming MEP (C) for West Strathclyde in 1979. From 1985–89 he was Special Adviser at the Foreign Office. Has written five books, including three novels, has nine grandchildren, is a FRSL, and lives in London.
Cover Illustration by alan de la nougerede