Derek Pain: It's time to ditch a doleful duo in favour of a caffeine hit

I intend to drop from the no pain, no gain portfolio two of my more disappointing investments – Alkane Energy and Stock Spirits – if their respective shares go much lower.

Simon Read: 'So the best things in life are free? That might not be the case with bank accounts'

If it really does cost the banks to provide the service, should they pass that cost on to all customers?

Simon Read: 'Why overpaying on a BT bill is very easily done'

An Independent reader was wrongly charged for caller display

See the big picture: the TV that looks cheap with rent-to-own may be anything but

Simon Read: 'Stop the great rent-to-own rip-off'

Some customers hand over £1,482 for a TV that would cost £249 in Argos

Simon Read: Vulnerable households given the cold shoulder on fuel bills

Anger is growing at fresh accusations of profiteering by the big energy companies as more vulnerable people than ever before face weeks of freezing temperatures in their houses as the weather bites.

Water bills set to fall by 5 per cent over five years

Ofwat has told water companies to cut bills while improving services

Bargain Hunter: Get a discount on romance and put Valentine's Day up in lights

It's Valentine's Day next Saturday and what better way to set the mood than some romantic lighting. To help, Bargain Hunter has arranged an exclusive 30 per cent discount on LED Hut's range of mood lighting.

How to complain: From retailers to energy suppliers, it's easier than you think

When companies let us down, millions of us just take it on the chin. Simon Read shows how to make your voice heard

Mark Dampier: Thrill-seeking it's not, but you won't get drenched in a storm

The Trojan Income Fund, managed by Francis Brooke, had a stellar 2014. It was beaten to second place in the IMA UK Equity Income sector performance table, underperforming the Majedie UK Income Fund by the thinnest of margins.

Five Questions On: Crowdfunding

This is the so-called democratisation of finance, isn't it?

Questions of Cash: BT's fine print can lead to some unpleasant surprises

Q. We recently moved to a property converted from a shop to residential dwelling. We needed a landline and BT agreed on 23 March 2014 to install one for us on the day we moved, 2 May. Our account was in the name of my wife, so the new line would be in her name.

Money Insider: Surely it would be better if we all paid a monthly fee for our current accounts?

A report this week from the accounting giant PwC, entitled "No such thing as a free lunch", reignited the debate regarding whether we should pay a monthly fee for our current accounts. It's a topic that always gets a reaction.

Donald MacInnes: It takes patience to make a living, and a high pain threshold

Earning money is not always the easiest thing to do. From the bottom to the top of society. It can't be easy standing behind a till in Greggs all day, lobbing sausage rolls at insolent 15-year-olds called Jayden. Of course, at the comfier end of the spectrum, movie stars have to put up with paps papping them every time they sneeze and must tolerate sniggering chat show gonks like Graham Norton in order to convince us to watch their new film. So it's swings and roundabouts.

Derek Pain: Abstaining from beer seems to be doing Whitbread no harm

A brewer and a company that gave up its ancient heritage to produce beer have provided varying degrees of excitement for the No Pain, No Gain portfolio.

Simon Read: The water firms believe a price cut has washed their images clean - but it will take a lot more than a spin cycle

Water bills are set to fall from April because the industry regulator forced the companies to cut prices by 5 per cent over the next five years

Money
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Red day: the singer Rita Ora at a Coca-Cola promotion
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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
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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
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Investors have been burnt by an energy fund that promised money for solar panels
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Money
Put your best foot forward by donating your old boots to charity
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Money
Isas; energy-efficiency handout and minimum wage rise
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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