Let me know what you think and I'll do my best to help
Personal Finance Editor
Friday 28 December 2012
Here's a plea to all of you – please keep your emails and letters coming this year. Finding out what you think of our features is crucial. Otherwise, how can we know which financial subjects are vexing or confusing you?
In fact I've been looking back over the responses you sent me last year. They range – as you'd expect – from the downright rude to the highly complimentary.
At one end of the spectrum the rudest messages have come from people working for payday lenders or claims-management companies who have made all sorts of ridiculous and unfounded accusations about me.
Rather than wasting time trying to scare me off, I wish they'd concentrate on improving their products, cleaning up their industries and stop ripping off vulnerable people.
At the other end of the spectrum have been the heartfelt messages of thanks from readers who we've been able to assist. We're not always successful, but we do try to give a helping hand to struggling readers where we can –and, of course, report on the issue if it may help other readers.
Now I don't want to be too self-regarding about this, but frankly, some of the dealings I have with readers are inspiring. In particular, I received a really charming, hand-written card from one reader this year.
I won't mention her name as I know she would prefer to remain anonymous, but I received her letter back in May and it has inspired me since then.
She wrote: "After experiencing a prolonged period of great financial difficulty following life-changing events that were completely beyond my control, it was advice and recommendations mentioned in your column on more than one occasion that heralded a financial turning point for me.
"A year on and having worked hard to change things there has been help (just as you recommended) on several fronts and my financial stresses have eased."
That was great news and receiving her note renewed my ambition to fight financial injustice and unfairness and help shed light on some of the darker practices in the financial services industry.
I would like to express in return my thanks to her and acknowledge her inspiration to me and, of course, hope that all continues in a positive vein in the future.
In 2012 I've written a lot about unfair energy prices and unscrupulous payday lenders and I plan to continue tackling these issues as we move into 2013.
I'll also be looking in greater depth in the coming months at unfair investment charges, especially in light of the changing financial regulations which come into force from 1 January and effectively outlaw commission in the selling of investment-related products.
Another issue I want to examine further is the link between borrowing and gambling. Borrowing cash to make a bet sounds like a sure road to financial ruin, but it's easy to do so, especially online where you can use a credit card to play online poker.
Do we need tighter restrictions on credit and gambling? That's one thing I want to research further and would be interested in your views.
Because our editorial campaigns are often driven by the messages and notes we get from readers, I would like to express my thanks to you all.
Even if you haven't been in touch with me this year I appreciate you taking the time to read this column. And I trust you will be in touch in future, if only to correct me!
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £24000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider of web based m...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Secretary (Sales Team Support) - Mat...
Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: We are looking for an Assistant Management Ac...
£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...
Day In a Page
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000