Ah, summer holidays, what memories. School’s out, Alice Cooper’s screaming, the sun is shining, we might be stretching the point here – and it’s time to race down to the newsagent for a bumper edition of your favourite comic. The big debate was generally whether Dennis the Menace could take Desperate Dan (the office remains divided on this point) and which of the Bash Street Kids you could identify among your classmates (we skipped this one as it was only ever going to end badly).

Now, some of us gave up comics because we outgrew them, some because we had to and some not even then. But we all retain a warm affection for summer specials (and when we see what some of them are changing hands for online, wish we’d held on to more of them). Anyway, when it came to this year’s Guide to Direct Investing we thought we’d treat our hardworking (and terrifying) Chairman to a trip to the seaside.

COME AND HAVE A GO: THE (LATE) SUMMER SPECIAL is not just a trip down memory lane, it’s a lang cat away day.

We had a lot of fun putting the Guide together but that didn’t distract us from the serious business of market updates and pricing analysis to help investors as they navigate direct platform investing.

The usual pricing updates are present and correct and we take you through who’s moving and shaking respectively. The direct market has seen a few changes in the last year and we have all the headlines. Regulation is as regulation does, rinse, repeat. But some of it is driving change for direct investors and we look at two topics in a little more depth.

First, there is greater transparency around the transaction costs that you have probably always paid but didn’t know about specifically. This is a good thing, but transparency does not equal clarity. Having all the pieces of a jigsaw is no use if you don’t have a picture of what the finished article should look like.

Our second topic is the rise in apps that let you see your whole financial picture (savings, loans, investments etc.) in the one place and manage them. It’s about visibility and control rather than somewhere to physically put your money. Again, this has potential but there are issues to resolve first.

We feel we should make holidaying investors aware that there is no free game, catapult or lollipop included with the Guide. It is, however, packed with heatmaps, vaguely disturbing cat pictures and a squirrel joke which explains why the Financial Services Compensation Scheme will no longer take our calls.

It’s all there for the downloading. Or, if we’re being strictly accurate, it’s all here. Go on, you deserve a bit of late summer sun and fun.