The glass is looking half-empty at Stock Spirits

Derek Pain: It's farewell to Alkane, as Interserve takes its place

Should I dump Alkane Energy? Last month I promised that the No Pain, No Gain portfolio would abandon the shares if they fell below 20p.

Simon Read: 'Two elections for the price of one with the Tories' Help to Buy Isa'

The £15,000 figure reveals a possible political trick the Tories pulled on us all

Money alert: The battle continues against BT's unfair caller display charges

Reader Stuart Baker got his money back after a month of to-ing and fro-ing

Put your best foot forward by donating your old boots to charity

Bargain Hunter: Comparethemarket.com launches two-for-one cinema tickets offer

From Meerkat Movies to 20 per cent off the price of a new pair of boots, Simon Read rounds up this week's best deals

Mark Dampier: The unloved today could be market darlings tomorrow

After a stellar run in 2013, smaller businesses underperformed their larger counterparts last year, frustrating the hopes of funds with a bias towards smaller companies.

Investors have been burnt by an energy fund that promised money for solar panels

Simon Read: 'April D-day for investors in Secured Energy Bonds'

The 973 people who invested were promised 6.5 per cent annual returns that were claimed to be "protected, stable and socially responsible"

Questions of Cash: I ended the call but the line stayed open. BT charged me for six days

Q. I connected to a conference call through my home BT line. I hung up at the end of the call, but the line connection did not close. The next day I realised and informed BT – but it took five days to close the connection.

'It will be no wonder if people lack the enthusiasm to save taxfree,' says one expert. But there are ways to beat low rates on cash Isas

How to make the most of Isas: You can save more money now, the returns are tax-free and the rules are flexible

Rob Griffin sees how you can surmount the one big obstacle

Donald MacInnes: The MP, the wreath and the real cost of remembrance

If she keeps her promises, I'm assuming the Rotherham MP Sarah Champion will have paid back the £17 she claimed from the public purse to pay for a Remembrance Day poppy wreath.

Mark Dampier: It's easier to make up losses in a trust that cushions a fall

Investment trusts are not always suitable for the mass market, but I am a fan. I am a long-term investor in RIT Capital Partners, which seeks to deliver long-term capital growth while keeping an eye on capital preservation. It does so without the constraints of any formal benchmark, making it a truly active portfolio.

Five questions on: Switching current accounts

It's getting easier to do so, isn't it?

Growing number of women under the age of 35 are turning to online gambling

Online gaming is changing the profile of victims, who see it as an answer to difficult relationships but sink deeper into trouble

Questions of Cash: A pipe burst and we called a plumber. The charge for 70 minutes: £1,139

Q. We had a serious water leak at 3am, after a pipe burst in the bathroom. We called out London Emergency Plumbers, on 0333 259 6258, which is based in Bedford. The company required our credit card details upfront.

New cash Isa products: Best returns for savers

Andrew Hagger presents his round-up, from instant access to fixed-rate deals

Donald MacInnes: Going backwards is the way forward to making a fortune

My Apple iPhone cost me, as we say in Scotland, hee-haw. That is not to say that I got the phone in exchange for a mule, but rather that it cost me absolutely nothing. [Point of order: the origin of the phrase "hee-haw" is almost interesting. The story goes that in 14th century feudal Scotland, a farm labourer was determined to get a pay rise from the English landowner. He requested thruppence a month more from the local laird, Sir Henry Oveur-Privelége. The answer came next morning, in the form of a dead donkey dumped on the labourer's doorstep. On the puckered hind-quarters of the ex-beast was daubed that eternal message to the working classes: "No."]

Money
The number of people coming to Citizens Advice for help with debt created by overpaid tax credit has soared by 14 per cent in the last year
Round-up of the personal finance stories you may have missed 23 to 27 March
Money
The FCA has outlined plans to introduce additional protection for those accessing their defined contribution pension pot – a so-called second-line of defence for consumers (Getty)
Video: Simon Read talks to Alan Higham of Fidelity Worldwide Investment
Money
Sunset in Vancouver: pensioners who now live in Canada could get a higher state pension just by crossing the border
If we want to enjoy the golden years rather than spend them running for the shadows, then we’ll need plenty of cash, says Simon Read
Money
Inflation falls to 0%; Fresh pension text scammers warning; are Help to Buy Isas attractive?;  and the money-saving deals of the week
Money
Investors have been burnt by an energy fund that promised money for solar panels
comment
Money
Put your best foot forward by donating your old boots to charity
deals
New Articles
Round-up of the personal finance stories you may have missed 16 to 20 March
Money
Isas; energy-efficiency handout and minimum wage rise
Money
If you're a female between 55 and 64, you're like to have half the retirement savings that a man has, warns Maike Currie of Fidelity Personal Investing
Money
Video: The Independent’s personal finance editor finds out how savers and investors can make the most of the new rules affecting tax-free savings
Money
Paul Renshaw plans to put the £30,000 he has sitting in two pensions into improvements for his home and garden in Havant, Hampshire
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There is a big difference between the best and worst rates on offer and you may need to keep moving your cash around
You have an allowance right to stash up to £15,000 of your savings in a tax-free account, but you must use it by 5 April...
Money
15 per cent of all UK adults have the biggest debt burden by owing money to five or more organisations
Councils have to chase debts, but not so aggressively, says Simon Read
Money
The Financial Conduct Authority took the unprecedented step of making Wonga cancel the outstanding debt of 330,000 borrowers and scrap the fees and charges of 45,000 more
MPs warn on pension scams; councils get tough on council tax arrears; and watchdog slams payday lenders
Money
The FCA has outlined plans to introduce additional protection for those accessing their defined contribution pension pot – a so-called second-line of defence for consumers (Getty)
Video: Pension expert Jamie Jenkins tells Simon Read what to be wary of when the new pension freedoms come into force in April
Money
A replica of the Churchill dog could be yours for free
deals
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Eileen Clarke received a hugely-inflated bill from British Gas, which at least had the grace to rectify its mistake
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The force pays a maintenance firm £100 if a bulb
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