You’ve Been Framed

It’s many years since I completed a jigsaw, but recently I came across a partly completed puzzle of a Spitfire flying into the sunset.  It struck me that we vary hugely as individuals and yet we approach many problems in exactly the same way. 

Most people, maybe all people, start with the corner pieces of a jigsaw. Then all the edges are completed to create the overall size of the puzzle. Then the detail and finally the undifferentiated areas like the sky. Pretty standard stuff. 

We don’t just approach jigsaws in this way, but pretty much any problems or questions we have generally. 

Continue reading “You’ve Been Framed”

May Bank Holiday

What are bank holiday’s for these days? Why do we get two of them in May but none in June or July? I’m certainly not complaining, especially as the weather is all set to be excellent again. But since most banking is done on-line these days via smartphones, our business with our banks will continue whether the bank is on holiday or not.

May has been a good month. Good weather, great investment markets (Our Moderate Portfolio shown above) Continue reading “May Bank Holiday”

Things you maybe didn’t know about UK Shares – Part Two

It was as long ago as November 11th that I published Things you maybe didn’t know about UK Shares – Part One. So it’s high time I published Part Two. I said I would move on from the FTSE 100 to the FTSE 250. However I will help you to understand the whole FTSE market framework.

The FTSE All Share Index

The FTSE 100 Index is the top of the tree. It comprises the top 100 largest UK listed companies. Below it sits the next 250 largest UK listed companies – The FTSE 250. Unsurprisingly together they form the FTSE 350 Index. Finally we add the FTSE Small Cap Index to make up the FTSE All Share Index in total.

FTSE Index Component Number of Shares
FTSE 100 Index 101
FTSE 250 Index 250
FTSE Small Cap Index 286
FTSE All Share Index 637

Continue reading “Things you maybe didn’t know about UK Shares – Part Two”


Bitcoin is the “Hoover” of Crypto-currencies. I remember being told to hoover up, even when we no longer owned a Hoover. “It’s a Moulinex Mum” was my standing reply. It made no difference. I doubt that those au-fait with Crypto-currencies would know what a Hoover is, they are too young. More likely their collective term for a vacuum cleaner is a Dyson. So let’s not beat ourselves up for referring to all crypto-currencies as Bitcoin. But they are not all the same. Bitcoin is just one of 1365 crypto-currencies. Continue reading “Bitcoin”

Things you maybe didn’t know about UK Shares – Part One

Investment knowledge is a journey not a destination. Nobody can ever say they have perfect knowledge. After 30 years I’m still learning everyday.

We all need to start our journey somewhere, so I would like to commence by explaining a little about UK Shares. Hopefully a few facts will make you a little smarter.

Let’s start off with a few of those investment facts.

  • All in all, we only have the opportunity to invest in a relatively small number of companies listed on The London Stock Exchange. Some star companies like Barbour, Boden & Independent Advice Ltd. are privately owned. You will not find them on any stock exchange.
  • Secondly the UK Stock Market holds some companies that neither live in the UK or trade in the UK. Many basic raw materials companies, miners like Glencore PLC., have an office in London but don’t dig up anything from beneath UK soil. I could be wrong, but I don’t think they sell anything to the UK either.
  • Thirdly the FTSE 100 index isn’t what many individuals expect. We are told it’s index level every workday in newspapers and on the TV and radio, but do we know what that number means? Let’s start with it.

Continue reading “Things you maybe didn’t know about UK Shares – Part One”