Weekend reading: Buy gilts packet fresh on the primary market


What caught my eye this week.

Exciting news! Well, exciting as measured on our patented Government Bond Excitement Scale, anyway.


The Financial Times reports that retail investors can now buy brand new gilt issues on the primary market, thanks to an initiative between government-appointed dealer Winterflood Securities and two online retail platforms – Interactive Investor and Hargreaves Lansdown.

The FT says that:

The platforms have started accepting orders for a seven-year gilt that will be issued on Wednesday 28 February with a coupon of 4 per cent. Retail investors will be given the average price of the auction and will not have to pay any dealing fees, unlike for gilts bought through platforms in the secondary market.

Some sites are saying this is the first-time that ordinary oiks like us have been able to buy gilts direct, but I don’t think that’s correct.


You definitely used to be able to buy gilts from the Government’s Debt Management Office. And I’m sure I recall reading that you could also once get them from other places too, from NS&I to the Bank of England – and even the Post Office?

Could any readers even more ancient than me confirm (Increasingly hapless Google isn’t showing me anything about buying gilts from Ye Olden Times of more than a few years ago.)

Soft launch

I haven’t seen anything on the two platforms themselves about how direct gilt buying will work.


An article from FI Desk quotes Hargreaves Lansdown outlining a summary of the process. But I can’t find the same on the site itself.

I’m sure the FT isn’t hallucinating, Chatbot AI style, so again, if you did put an order in please tell us all how it went in the comments below.

Assuming everything works fine, then buying gilts direct will hopefully become just another standard bit of kit in our investing armoury.

There are circumstances where buying gilts new and holding them until they mature is just the ticket. Being able to do so without fees would be welcome.

Shouting “buy, buy, buy!” as you rub shoulders with the big, swinging bond dealers in the primary market will remain purely optional.

Membership update

The Monevator membership massive continues to swell. We’re now within a dozen sign-ups of our initial target!

Hopefully waverers will join us soon. I think we’ve proven we’re sticking around, nearly a year in…

On that note, a reminder members can read all of our previous Mavens and Moguls missives via the ‘tagged’ archives:

Having recurring membership revenue at our backs makes it so much easier to commit to Monevator for the long-term. That’s especially true as our churn rate (cancellations) is very low.

Thank you for that too! I know this is partly because you’re signing up to support all our work on Monevator, not just for the premium articles. It’s appreciated.

The other relief is the technology – Stripe payments, subscription handling, and premium site access – has gone extremely smoothly.

However I am still occasionally donning my customer support hat:

  • Cookie monsters: If you log-in as a member but still can’t access members articles, try deleting your cookies. Also turn off ad blockers for Monevator (the site is ad-free for members anyway). And maybe try clearing your cache.
  • Premium emails: The numbers tell me a very few members are not email subscribers. In most cases this happens because you previously cancelled a Monevator email subscription. If you would like to get member posts by email and you don’t, try resubscribing. Be sure to look out for the system’s opt-in confirmation email.
  • Bug busting: Finally, at least one member did that but a glitch meant they were only getting the free emails, not the members-only ones. If that’s happening to you, let me know by replying to this email or via the contact form. We can get it sorted.

Again, huge thanks to the several hundred of you supporting this site as members.

It’s the only long-term sustainable future for Monevator, and I believe for most other quality niche media. Every member counts.

Besides, we don’t want my FIRE-d co-blogger The Accumulator’s Werther’s Originals budget to be entirely at the mercy of sequence of returns risk, do we?

Have a great weekend!

From Monevator

Pension drawdown rules: what are they? – Monevator

Tax avoidance versus tax evasion versus tax mitigation – Monevator

From the archive-ator: Holiday strategies to refresh a frugal soul – Monevator


Note: Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view click through to read the article. Try privacy/incognito mode to avoid cookies. Consider subscribing to sites you visit a lot.

Notting Hill residents’ capital gains exceed population of ‘three cities combined’ – Guardian

Most UK firms that trialled a four-day week will make it permanent – Guardian

Hunt may offer a Budget bung, but Britain faces a ‘tax sandwich’ – Yahoo Finance

Middle class ‘struggling despite incomes of up to £60,000 a year’ – Guardian

The transition to cashless economies faces hurdles – Semafor

Tinder introduces passport scanning ID checks for UK users – BBC

Energy price cap to drop to £1,690 from April – BBC

Products and services

Sub-4% mortgage rates could disappear again as Santander hikes – This Is Money

Labour’s school fees VAT threat sends a chill through parents [Search result]FT

Sim-swap fraud: How your bank account can be emptied by phone – Guardian

Last chance! Get between £100 and £5,000 cashback when you open a SIPP with Interactive Investor before 29 Feb. New SIPP customers only. Minimum £10,000 account value. Terms apply. Capital at risk – Interactive Investor

Kroo Bank review – Be Clever With Your Cash

Best downsizing locations revealed – This Is Money

Open an account with low-cost platform InvestEngine via our link and get up to £50 when you invest at least £100 (T&Cs apply. Capital at risk) – InvestEngine

Five ways ISAs are changing from April 2024 – Which

The consumers scoring tiny wins, one company at a time – Guardian

Does bank switching affect your credit score? – Be Clever With Your Cash

Historic homes for sale, in pictures – Guardian

Comment and opinion

Millionaires don’t use astrology. Billionaires do – Of Dollars and Data

Four habits to manage impulsive spending – Darius Foroux

After 34 years, Japan just hit a new all-time high – FT via X

Tell Sid: Popular capitalism and the Thatcher revolution [Podcast]A.L.T.I.F.

Why the UK property market isn’t working for anyone – Which

If I were a rich man – Humble Dollar

The key to personal finance planning? Be lazy – Morningstar

How much will I need? – Quietly Saving

Update on the silent UK property crash [Podcast]Property Podcast

Faulty assumptions – Humble Dollar

Hinterland and FIRE – Simple Living in Somerset

The definitive history of private credit – Wall Street Fintech

Portfolio perspectives mini-special

You have millions of dollars. You still don’t need fancy investments – FlowFP

Herschel Walker syndrome – Mutiny Funds

Is your portfolio invested for you or for your advisor? – Forbes

How to use alternatives in your portfolio [US but relevant]Morningstar

Stock picking is not the same thing as portfolio management – A.W.O.C.S.

Naughty corner: Active antics

Activist Boaz Weinstein is betting big on UK investment trusts – Bloomberg via MSN

Step away from CNBC – Slate

US tech: the most crowded trade on earth – Josh Brown

Venture capital and free lunch – Not Boring

Hermès: the complete history and strategy [Podcast]Acquired

Want an S&P tracker except worse? Hedge funds have you covered [Search result]FT

Sad state of the UK capital markets [Graph, a few weeks old]Snippet

Kindle book bargains

How Not To Be An Antiques Dealer by Drew Pritchard – £0.99 on Kindle

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi – £0.99 on Kindle

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell – £0.99 on Kindle

Money Box by Paul Lewis – £1.99 on Kindle

Environmental factors

Why investors are betting big on geologic hydrogen – Semafor

Installing green tech could increase your home’s value by 15% – This Is Money

‘World’s largest’ renewable park powers up – Energy Live News

Global soils re running low on potassium, but there’s a fix – The Conversation

For sale: Shark jaw, tiger claw, fish maw – Hakai

Why African filmmakers aren’t making nature documentaries – Semafor

Robot overlord roundup

ChatGPT went temporarily ‘insane’ this week – Ars Technica

It’s only a matter of time before disinformation leads to calamity – Tim Harford

Off our beat

New five-day ‘fasting-like’ diet can reverse your biological age, study claims…  – BBC

…though other scientists have put a ceiling on life expectancy – Huffington Post

Post-Brexit ‘Global Britain’ has failed. What’s next? – London School of Economics

We’re close to eradicating polio – Our World in Data

Could Viagra really be a viable treatment for Alzheimer’s? – The Conversation

Indexing the information age [Nerdy]Aeons

Forget me not – Humble Dollar

The architects who built Palm Springs – Wallpaper

Solar storms, ice cores, and nuns teeth: the new science of history – Guardian

There is no future and that’s good – Raptitude

And finally…

“Do you need to be sitting in front of a screen all day? The answer is no.”
– Robbie Burns, The Naked Trader

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