Simon Read

Simon Read is Personal Finance Editor at The Independent. He edits the Saturday Your Money section as well as writing for the news and business pages of the Independent and i newspaper.

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Simon Read: Trust no one if asked to fill in an online questionnaire

Is it just me or have the online crooks been getting busier recently? I received a message this week that just said: "I decided to WILL the sum of $14,258,000.00 USD to you". Not all scams are so obvious.

Simon Read: Pensions should be equal wherever people live

Last week I reported that the basic state pension is set to climb by 2.5 per cent in April. But the article prompted a reader to take me to task, and rightly so. Clive Walford, who lives in Indonesia, wrote to point that not all pensioners will benefit from the increase.

Five questions on: Pensioner bonds

These are the new high-interest savings schemes, aren't they?

Citizens Advice criticises BT, Sky and Talk Talk for not making real costs of broadband clear

Charity said free or cut-price broadband deals for a set time are misleading

Pension mortgages: 'The advice I was given was wrong and now I face losing my home'

It's a tale of wrongdoing by financial professionals and buck-passing by the regulators. Simon Read talks to a man who took out a pension mortgage

Simon Read: The point of having protection insurance? The right cover can help reduce your financial concerns at a time of extreme worry

In May Nicola Groves got a massive shock. The 45-year-old mother of two was told, bluntly, that she had breast cancer. "When I heard the words, 'You do have breast cancer and you are going to lose your breast', I felt as if time stood still," she says.

Bargain Hunter: Your signpost to late discounts as panic grips Britain's high streets

Today has been dubbed Panic Saturday as 13 million people are expected to continue to search for bargains. A report from the Centre for Retail Research anticipates that in-store spending will hit £1.2bn – or £2.1m for every minute the shops are open – as crowds battle for last-minute gifts and groceries.

What's the biggest financial challenge people will face in 2015?

Pension freedoms could cause problems for many...

Weekly Money: round-up of the personal finance stories you may have missed 15-19 December

Misleading broadband ads; High-charging pension funds; Pensioner Bonds; Basic bank accounts; Energy suppliers still wasting our time; the stories we noticed this week.

Move fast to get a Pensioner Bond

Last week the Treasury announced the rates for the new pensioner bonds, announced in March’s Budget, which will be issued by the government-backed National Savings & Investments in January.

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Day In a Page

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Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
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Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'