Jennifer Hill

Commodities: boom or bust?

Gold, oil, diamonds, metals: commodities have been booming. But as prices hit record highs, is the bubble about to burst? Turmoil in financial markets has, some analysts say, pushed prices well above fair market value across energy, metals and agricultural goods as investors take flight to supposed ''safe plays''.

Price comparison sites — how good are they?

Almost two-thirds of consumers have used one of the growing band of financial price comparison websites, but what kind of service are they receiving? Around 64% of people have logged on to one of these internet supermarkets and a similar proportion are likely to do so in future, according to a survey.

UK: Broadband overtakes dial-up on price

Broadband internet access has become cheaper than dial-up for the first time, figures show. Consumers with a dial-up connection are now almost certain to make savings by switching to broadband, irrespective of whether they pay per minute or via a monthly fee for unlimited access, according to SimplySwitch.com, the price-comparison service.

New Year bargains sparked online auction career

Auction sites are increasingly being recognised as a breeding ground for serious business men and women, as the growing band of entrepreneurs making a healthy living out of selling their wares online can testify. Clare Price is one of them. The 32-year-old left the security of a high-flying job to set up in business on eBay.

Cost of children rising faster than house prices

The cost of bringing up children is rising even faster than house prices, with education going up over a quarter in the past year, according to a survey on Friday. The cost of kids has soared 28% in the past four years and 9% in the last year alone -- outstripping an 8% rise in United Kingdom property prices.

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