Service Update

A Platforms role

A platform is our outsourced administrative arm. It allows us to;

  • Send you income and withdrawals.
  • Allow you to invest into a tax wrapper (product) such as a pension or an ISA .
  • Allows you to get a valuation 24/7 and to monitor all transactions that take place.
  • Hold all your cash and other assets such as shares securely.
  • Make and settle any trades which we decide to make on your behalf.
  • Report to financial regulators and HMRC as necessary.

This is not an exhaustive list, but I’m sure you get the picture. Admin, admin and more admin. It leaves us free to do what we do best; offer regulated financial planning and advice and manage your life savings through both the good times and the bad.

Additional Platform Added

Since we commenced using platforms in 2003 we have used just 3.

  • SIPPcentre which became Investcentre.
  • Selestia which became Skandia which became Old Mutual.
  • Nucleus which in around 12 months time will probably become James Hay.

This week we added a fourth. Welcome to Transact. Here follows the blog I never thought I would write.

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January 2021 Investment Review

2020 ended up being the most difficult investment period I can remember in my 33 year career. I could be wrong, as you do tend to remember only the good times and conveniently forget the bad. Both 2011/12 and 2018/19 were years where we lost some of our profits, so the difficult conditions encountered last year were eased by the fact “this wasn’t our first rodeo”.

That said 3 of our portfolios actually ended the year in profit whilst the other two ended broadly level. It seemed like a huge amount of work for very little return.

The scores on the doors.

Portfolio1 Year %Max Drop in March %
Cautious-0.01%38.24%
Moderate3.81%28.45%
Adventurous-0.30%40.41%
AIM2.57%46.28%
Go For Growth20.86%55.31%
FTSE 100-14.34%*33.99%
FTSE 250-6.38%*41.37%
Interestingly trying to be safe by holding a much higher percentage of a portfolio in cash, still resulted in our Cautious Portfolio falling almost as far as our Aggressive Portfolio. This is due to the mandated higher percentage holding in “lower risk” property shares and the inability to hold smaller shares higher up the risk scale. We manage very little for Cautious clients and have not taken onboard any new clients we have classified as Cautious for 7 years now. * Some dividends were also still paid on top in 2020, but these were very limited.
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Jason and The Argonauts

Happy New Year!

I almost never watch the television, but on Christmas Eve I watched the original film of Jason and the Argonauts from 1963. As a child the special effects were convincing and frightening. It was certainly not a classic and the ending was a total letdown, but nevertheless I enjoyed it.

The film ended as Jason set off for home, complete with the Golden Fleece, with Zeus proclaiming he would let him live for now as he had more plans for Jason. Unfortunately for Jason, by the time the film was released the world had changed. There was never the sequel because Yuri Gagarin had been launched into space by the Russians and the US were in shock. America became focussed on the quest to reach the moon and so gladiator films and greek mythology was replaced with a robot called Robbie and Captain James T. Kirk.

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