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>> No. 3840 Anonymous
19th September 2013
Thursday 10:03 pm
3840 Pensions
The OFT have come out and said that many old (i.e. set up before 2001) pension schemes have high charges and offer savers poor value for money. They've also suggested a cap for auto-enrolment schemes, but it's going to be an almost meaningless gesture as you'd be very hard pressed to find a provider offering auto-enrolment terms with annual management charges greater than 1% anyway.


The pension scheme I'm in at work (contribution: 5% employer, 5% employee gross) has management charges of 0.6%, which I'm alright with as it's less than I'd get if I was investing in collectives through an ISA.

However, I've put the charges and contribution details into Invidion's pension calculator for an idea of what I'd get when I'm 65, 40 years from now, and if my salary increases in line with National Average Earnings and I took the 25% tax-free lump sum I'd be looking at a pension in today's terms of 27.5% of my current salary. If I wanted a pension that would be about two-thirds of what I'm earning now then I'll need to contribute, assuming the employer contribution stays at 5%, 15% gross (12% net) of my salary every year for the next four decades. This does depend on what annuity rates will be like then and I'd also be getting the State Pension, as long as they haven't upped the age you receive it to 80 by then.

If it wasn't for the tax relief and my employer matching my contributions then I doubt I'd bother and I'd look into other ways to support myself while I'm in retirement. What about you lads? What are your thoughts on pensions? In my opinion to have any form of decent retirement income you're at the mercy of your employer offering a good pension scheme.
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>> No. 7260 Anonymous
28th February 2018
Wednesday 11:45 pm
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Took it's time coming.
>> No. 7261 Anonymous
1st March 2018
Thursday 1:23 am
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I've been predicting the death of Argos for almost a decade now, convinced that they'd be pushed out of the market by Amazon. Turns out that people who are stupid enough to buy things at the same price it was almost a year ago overlap heavily with the same people who don't do their shopping online.

Maybe Amazon should have had allowed people to do their purchases with cash or card in newsagents in the same way they buy their scratch cards.

In any case; UK highstreet deathwatch: Argos or WH Smith lads?
>> No. 7262 Anonymous
1st March 2018
Thursday 7:34 pm
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Smiths. Argos is at least making an effort to change whereas Smiths might as well have given up years ago when they closed the entertainment departments.
>> No. 7264 Anonymous
1st March 2018
Thursday 7:52 pm
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WHSmith is fine (pic related).

Overpaid professionals are always going to buy overpriced shite from train stations.

Argos is owned by Sainsbury's now and apparently the acquisition is going well. They're certainly closing some high street stores and moving them within supermarket. So in that sense, Argos?
>> No. 7265 Anonymous
1st March 2018
Thursday 7:55 pm
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We had a thread about Smiths shortly after Christmas. They're maintaining the same level of profit off declining sales, through ripping people off, particularly from their monopoly at places like train stations.
>> No. 7266 Anonymous
2nd March 2018
Friday 1:24 am
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It's working for now, but they're absolutely buggered if the major supermarkets or the symbol groups mount a serious attack on their travel stores. WH Smith's business is totally dependent on the fact that people in train stations and airports don't have any better options. If a Tesco Express opens at the other end of the concourse, then Smith's might as well roll down the shutters and call it a day.

>> No. 7267 Anonymous
2nd March 2018
Friday 3:05 am
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Timpsons will be fine by the end of summer.
>> No. 7268 Anonymous
2nd March 2018
Friday 1:21 pm
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I think Timpsons are a great business, don't see them under threat at all - they have a nice little niche, some good corporate social responsibility policies, their little shops are always busy and well located in places like Tesco/Sainsbury car parks and I can't see them being knocked out easily by Amazon (which is the main existential threat to the high street).

People need keys cut, shoes fixed and dry cleaning done. Be a while before things like that are disrupted.
>> No. 7269 Anonymous
2nd March 2018
Friday 1:48 pm
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Have Timpsons branched out into dry cleaning? Just Googled it and they took over Johnsons last year.

I don't know what's next in the chain. What's the logical progression from shoe repairs to key cutting to dry cleaning?
>> No. 7270 Anonymous
2nd March 2018
Friday 2:08 pm
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They also own Max Spielmann and Snappy Snaps. Those businesses have diversified into things like canvas prints, photo mugs and VHS-to-DVD transfers. They've started doing mobile phone repair in some Timpsons branches, which I think is a savvy move.
>> No. 7271 Anonymous
2nd March 2018
Friday 4:03 pm
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>mobile phone repair in some Timpsons branches, which I think is a savvy move

Noticed that too, its a very nice string to the bow - I'd rather give my phone to them than the usual dodgy little kiosks that do the job. (Personally I do the job myself now, they sell all the screen and battery kits on Amazon for about 20 quid).
>> No. 7272 Anonymous
2nd March 2018
Friday 6:04 pm
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Teaming up with Greggs?
>> No. 7273 Anonymous
2nd March 2018
Friday 6:09 pm
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If this is heading where I think this is heading then you are a very naughty boy.
>> No. 7274 Anonymous
2nd March 2018
Friday 6:16 pm
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Timpson Group have bought out Asdas photo section as well, I'm to be managing one in a couple months.
>> No. 7275 Anonymous
2nd March 2018
Friday 7:14 pm
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Isn't ASDA's photo section just a machine?
>> No. 7276 Anonymous
3rd March 2018
Saturday 2:24 am
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That man does not look Nepali. Nice pie through.
>> No. 7277 Anonymous
3rd March 2018
Saturday 2:27 am
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To be fair Asda needs to die.
>> No. 7278 Anonymous
3rd March 2018
Saturday 11:38 pm
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You can 3D print a key (or key pattern) from an image these days. There's probably money to be made in a service/app that you upload pictures of all your keys to, and can then order a replacement from your phone.

I can already see the headlines when the image repository is leaked, but I'll have sold the whole operation to someone for 50 million by then.
>> No. 7279 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 12:13 am
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> when the image repository is leaked

I envisage problems with your business model way, way before that. It's the digital age's equivalent of taking an impress of a key made into a bar of soap into a locksmith and asking for a copy.
>> No. 7280 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 12:38 am
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Don't worry. A flood of cheap Chinese locks will kill key-cutting before his business can take off.
>> No. 7281 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 12:58 am
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I visited a Halfords today and then searched on Amazon for the same things - almost half price and it is much easier to enter your reg number and see what fits. I think they're next.
>> No. 7282 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 1:16 am
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That just means more business.
>> No. 7283 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 1:33 am
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What, more business cutting keys for locks people don't own? I can't see how that could possibly go wrong.
>> No. 7284 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 2:02 am
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Well the Timpson's bloke isn't going to prison for cutting my works safe key, so I'm sure I'll be fine. There doesn't seem to be any law against cutting a key from a photograph, indeed the only proof Timpson's has that you have legal access to a lock is that you walk in holding a key, which isn't particularly solid evidence, really.

As long as you followed similar policies to locksmiths (i.e not copying security keys) then I honestly don't think it'd be a problem. It's probably a shitty business idea for many reasons, but I don't think it'd be operating against the law in any way.

Look for Keey in your app store soon.
>> No. 7285 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 2:06 am
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Thinking about it, the USP (and ultimate downfall once it's hacked) could be the database of keys registered to users. If someone else uploads your key, it could flag that up for you. Then the sensible thing to do for everyone who owns a key is to get my app and use it.

Again, it's a terrible idea but I bet someone would pay me for it.
>> No. 7286 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 2:29 am
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>which isn't particularly solid evidence, really
It's evidence of physical access. Your average person doesn't tend to have keys on their ring that they've never used. Gaining physical possession of a key takes effort. Just ask the guys that reversed the TSA keys without ever coming into possession of them.
>> No. 7287 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 2:48 am
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>It's evidence of physical access.

That's just saying we should reward the burglars that put the work in.

In this system you'd have to be delivered the copied key, so at least there'd be a paper trail to the bloke who cloned your key, or at least far more potential of one than going to a Timpsons.

I will take my seed capital now please.
>> No. 7288 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 2:51 am
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Fuck me, it already exists and there's infrastructure in place.

>> No. 7289 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 7:46 am
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Old fashioned key cutting is on the way out anyway (at least when it comes to your front door key.)

In recent years, burglars have twigged onto just how easy a traditional euro-cylinder lock is easy to break into. From methods such as simply snapping the front of the lock off with a pair of pliers, to using a bump key which will open perhaps 50% of the doors on any one street in seconds.

Locks made to new standards are much harder to cut, the proper way needs a CNC Machine and perhaps some special tooling, and the manufacturers will only be distributing blanks to certain locksmiths.
Some manufacturers are also setting up their own key registration schemes, so you can only get a new key cut if you can remember the answer to the security questions you set.

>> No. 7290 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 10:55 am
7290 spacer

>Some manufacturers are also setting up their own key registration schemes, so you can only get a new key cut if you can remember the answer to the security questions you set.

That feels like the equivalent of using your mother's maiden name to generate encryption keys.
>> No. 7291 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 12:34 pm
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>What was the name of the street you grew up on?
>> No. 7292 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 12:42 pm
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Pensions? You lads have got little interest in discussing them. Where Timpsons may branch out into next and what the future holds for the business of cutting keys? That's certainly got the juices flowing.

Never change, lads. Seriously.
>> No. 7293 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 12:42 pm
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Key control has been around since the beginning of locksmithing and has been the norm for decades in high-security locks. Most domestic users will probably stick with normal pin tumbler locks, since they were never much more than a deterrent even before bump keying and cylinder snapping.

Even if everyone abandons the conventional pin-tumbler lock in favour of high security locks, it won't be a major problem for a company like Timpsons. The little independent key cutters might be driven out of business, but Timpsons have the scale to do some amount of specialist key-cutting in store and the logistics to provide controlled keys from either the manufacturer or a central cutting facility.

Ultion's "encrypted security algorithm" is bollocks - you can duplicate their keys on a perfectly ordinary cutting machine with dimple capability. The cheap manual machines won't do it, but any machine capable of cutting car keys will also cut Ultion keys. Their website makes a lot of noise about using "genuine Ultion keys" because they know that third-party blanks are readily available from normal distributors.


With the possible exception of EVVA MCS keys, there isn't a key on the market that's genuinely difficult to duplicate. The real protection for keys comes from the legal system. If your key uses a patented technology, you can sue anyone who sells blanks or cut keys without your permission. That's no impediment to a black bag team or a serious criminal gang who have access to a bent locksmith, but it does stop casual abuse of key management such as an employee taking a bunch of shop keys down to Timpsons during their lunch break.

The industry really does respect key patents, because The problem is that a patent only lasts for 20 years, at which point you lose key control - either you replace all your locks, or you accept the risk of key duplication. Only a handful of manufacturers go to the effort of inventing new, patentable key technologies on a regular basis and only a small minority of customers care.

The really secure key control systems are hybrid electromechanical systems like Abloy CLIQ. These keys work like a car key, with both mechanical features and an embedded security chip. These keys can be remotely disabled - if you lose one of your keys, you can invalidate that particular key without having to re-key the tumblers and replace all the keys. You can program keys so that they only work at a particular time of day, or make a temporary key that disables itself automatically after a certain time period. Copying the mechanical aspect of the key is useless unless you can also break into the key management server and authorise the electronic part of the key into the system.

>> No. 7294 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 1:21 pm
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Yeah but its actually a discussion about which companies are doing well on the high street, who is next to be subsumed by Amazon, that is very relevant to our pension interests (particularly as some ladm8s will have worked in some of these places).
>> No. 7295 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 1:59 pm
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House of Fraser.

The clothes are overpriced unless there's a sale on. The range of what they offer is fairly poor. The stores are starting to look dated and the layout needs an overhaul; if I want a coat then I want to look in a specific place of the shop dedicated to coats, I don't want to have to go looking around the shop one brand at a time. The staff are very snooty and up themselves.

They've issued profit warnings and been trying to negotiate lower rents with their landlords; they used to own many of the buildings the stores were located in but sold them off for a quick profit that's biting them in the arse over the long-term. It's only a matter of time before they're gone.
>> No. 7296 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 2:21 pm
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Couldn't agree more - I last went into one about three years ago - in Slough - could not figure out for the life of me what the store was about or who its customers were. Shitty brands, badly organised as you say and a weird mix of products.
>> No. 7297 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 3:57 pm
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I think you all just need to invest in my brilliant ideas. One day I'll come up with one that isn't already an established business and we'll all be minted.
>> No. 7298 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 4:43 pm
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I've been working on this thing where you post pictures and all your friends can comment on them and say they like them. Get on board and there's tens, even hundreds of thousands to be made.
>> No. 7299 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 5:16 pm
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>They've issued profit warnings and been trying to negotiate lower rents with their landlords
1849-2018 RIP
>> No. 7300 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 7:52 pm
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I think we'd have more chance with a .gs lottery pool lad, sorry.
>> No. 7301 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 8:22 pm
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Forget him, I've got a better plan, but it needs numbers to take on the big guys. Refer two friends and I'll double your money.
>> No. 7302 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 8:44 pm
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That was one of my other ideas. I'm a bleeding edge thinker.

Next up, Avon and team Spot the Ball.
>> No. 7303 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 11:04 pm
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>Spot the Ball

I don't know why I think this, but thats the sort of thing you think we would be brilliant at.

Do people still do the football pools? As a kid I remember the man knocking the door every Friday evening. Years later my grandfather sold his house to a man who had "won the pools".
>> No. 7304 Anonymous
4th March 2018
Sunday 11:51 pm
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> Avon

For a brief millisecond, I once considered paying for the site through affiliate tags on links posted, which is much the same model as Avon, but thought it underhand.

This is why I will never, ever be a millionaire.
>> No. 7305 Anonymous
5th March 2018
Monday 5:02 am
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I remember my grandad used to do the pools, and the big, important one was Littlewoods Pools so god knows what happened to that.

I saw my dad had entered a spot the ball on twitter about a week ago, to win a new phone or something. Wasn't expecting that, he normally just tweets about the IRA.


I remember being very impressed back in the early days when you made it clear you never wanted to run ads here. It's probably the main reason I settled in here as I did.

Saying that I think that's the one way you could have done it without annoying anybody. It's essentially unintrusive, and only really underhand if you're not upfront about it.

I have a schoolfriend who made a fuck tonne on SEO and affiliate farming back in the mid 2000's when the algorithms were much easier to game. I never knew how much he truly made because he was also selling a PDF about how to make megabux fast, so I have to assume he was inflating his earnings a fair amount for that. Nonetheless he bought his own house at 20 so he didn't do terribly.

I was very jealous at the time but now I'm older and grumpier, I can't imagine a more soul sucking way to make a living, even if he was able to 'work from home or anywhere in the world!' as his blog would say.
>> No. 7337 Anonymous
28th May 2018
Monday 10:09 am
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>They're maintaining the same level of profit off declining sales, through ripping people off, particularly from their monopoly at places like train stations.

WH Smith has been voted the worst retailer on the UK High Street in a survey of more than 10,000 consumers.

Customers complained the shops were out-of-date, products were expensive and staff were rude in the survey by consumer group Which?

>> No. 7375 Anonymous
14th August 2018
Tuesday 7:09 am
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>A TV advertising campaign to warn the public about pension scams is being launched by UK regulators as new figures show that victims are losing an average of £91,000 each.

>The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Pensions Regulator have joined forces on the campaign to raise awareness of the most common tactics used by fraudsters. They said victims of such scams – which typically begin with an unsolicited phone call or email – can end up losing their life savings and people are being urged to be on their guard.

>Pension scams often involve people being persuaded to transfer or cash in their pension pots and put the money into often exotic-sounding investments. They have been around for many years but there has been a surge in activity since April 2015 when the government introduced reforms giving over-55s more freedom in terms of what they can do with their retirement cash.


I might be missing something here, but why doesn't the FCA simply ban you from being able to hold unregulated investments in a pension? If the majority of scams are people being convinced to invest in unregulated investments like storage units or car parking spaces then the blindly obvious answers seems to stop them from being permitted investments.
>> No. 7376 Anonymous
14th August 2018
Tuesday 6:34 pm
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It's almost as if the "pension freedom" was an obviously risky idea from the start.
>> No. 7377 Anonymous
14th August 2018
Tuesday 6:57 pm
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WH Smith's most profitable arm is the expensive one that fucks around in trains stations and airports. They'll leave the high street altogether soon enough.
>> No. 7378 Anonymous
14th August 2018
Tuesday 7:19 pm
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Pension scams were already an issue before the freedoms happened. The FCA's investigation into the freedoms has found that people are actually more likely to be overly cautious and do things such as taking their tax-free cash account for no real reason and stick it in their bank account because they feel compelled that they should be doing something.


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