April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain
― T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
Unlike T.S. Eliot, I love April. Who can resist the charm of spring when everything becomes anew? When young green shoots and spring blossoms of all colours dotted the luscious pastures and birds sing happy tunes. Well, this was pretty much the image in front of my eyes when I visited the Loire Valley in France in mid April.
It may have been long overdue (like the pun there?), but the UK Prime Minister’s decision to call a general election this morning was a piece of political masterclass and a bold, calculated gamble.
By calling a general election Theresa May is attempting to resolve several major headaches at once, assuming that she is successful: Firstly, the move creates political certainty in the UK at a time where it is sorely needed. Secondly, the move will end questions around the Theresa May’s political support within the party itself and lastly it will strengthen the UK’s negotiating hand with the EU.
If the Conservatives win (especially by an increased margin), then Theresa May will have a clear mandate for her Brexit negotiation strategy. This will give investors, businesses and political leaders a greater sense of what the UK will choose to prioritise and a clearer idea of which figures will manage the UK’s transition from a full EU member state to an independent nation. Assuming that the PM will stay for a full five-year term, the Conservatives would govern until 2022, giving them the ability to handle the transition after Brexit as well and a chance to resolve any outstanding issues with EU members, the WTO and Scotland.
As you may have heard I was a guest on the Radio 4 Saturday Live show hosted by the Rev. Richard Coles. Frankly, as my first time live on national radio, I was fully expecting to be scared out of my wits but it is a huge tribute to the production team at Broadcasting House that I felt nothing of the sort.
Presenters: Laura & Richard. Guests: Lady Carnarvon, Daniel O’Donnell, me & Samantha Renke.
The Vintage Magazine is delighted to congratulate Devonshire Wealth Management and their CEO, Martin Cawley, for being placed in the top 13 IFAs in Uk – this is a well deserved recognition of their professional and personal attention to their clients. Here is the press release by AdvisoryHQ :-
Top 13 Best Financial Advisers in the UK
Top UK IFAs & Independent Investment Firms
2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING UK WEALTH ADVISORS
Finding the Top Independent Financial Adviser (IFAs) in London and Select UK Cities
Identifying an independent financial adviser in the UK, someone who will work with you to determine your financial planning and wealth management needs, is the first step to achieving financial peace of mind.
Be that as it may, many Brits are unaware of the difference a UK independent financial adviser (IFA) can have on their financial lives.
Just as a family physician plays a key role in your physical wellbeing, UK IFAs can help Britons maintain their financial health. Since one would take the time and effort to search for a physician of their choice, you should also conduct appropriate diligence when identifying independent financial advisers in London or elsewhere in the UK.
There are few cars which surprise and delight in equal measure, or set the pulse racing, but the AUDI S8 Sport is one of them.
The Audi S8 is the zenith of the Audi range, and has the acceleration of a Ferrari, and the comfort of a Rolls-Royce, making for an impressive combination. That such power is disguised by Audi’s restrained styling makes it even more unexpected, and therefore impressive, and this performance is matched by a luxurious interior in keeping with the top-end of the Audi range.
We actually drove the S8 ‘Sport,’ but since then, Audi have introduced the S8 Plus, which compared to the Audi R8 V10 sports car’s capabilities is just four-tenths of a second slower to 62mph and only 8.5mph off its top speed! But that delight is for another day.
On my various perambulations in the writing The Otters’ Tale I came across some unexpected reactions. For the most part people were incredibly supportive, helpful and encouraging. After all the otter is regularly polled as one of Britain’s favourite animals. It even has a world-encompassing cheerleader in J K Rowling. She featured our native otter in the Harry Potter series, plus I think I read somewhere that she said that if she has to come back in another life it would be as an otter. But not everyone is quite as enthusiastic about these lithe and secretive creatures.
Simon Cooper with Topaz
Mountstone Partners create and manage bespoke investment portfolios for wealthy families, charities and trusts. CEO James Keen publishes a monthly investment update for their clients. Here is James Keen’s March Newsletter – please contact him if you have any queries about the markets or indeed your portfolio.
The market thinks there is a 90% chance that the Federal reserve will increase interest rates after they conclude today’s meeting (14th March) and if they pull the trigger this will be the third rise since US rates bottomed on December 16th 2008. With the economy in rude health, we believe that this could finally herald the turning of the interest rate cycle in the US.
Whilst we won’t be back at the giddy heights of 6% bank rates in the US any time soon, a shift up to 2-3% represents a major risk to investors in ‘low risk’ government/corporate bonds. We believe that investors should be fearful of such a move and that acting now to reduce exposure to interest-rate sensitive bonds is sensible.
We’ve summarised our thoughts in this short piece and as always do let me know if you have any comments or questions.
Mountstone Partners create and manage bespoke investment portfolios for wealthy families, charities and trusts. CEO James Keen publishes a monthly investment update for their clients.
Here is James Keen’s summary of Philip Hammond’s spring budget, highlighting those parts that are most likely to be relevant to the over 50s – please contact him if you have any queries about the markets or indeed your portfolio.
Since I have been able to talk and read I have always had opinions, but I have always been inspired by listening to others and learning anything and everything I can get my hands on. I don’t know why I felt that writings these opinions, often tempered with good arguments and advice from friends, was something I should do, but we all have our thoughts and ideas so here are a few of mine.
I hope you enjoy……….
For about twenty years it seemed as though life was simpler. The European continent largely avoided any major wars, prosperity recovered after a series of economic challenges, the world become more multicultural, and technological innovations flourished. However, even then the signs of future challenges were clear. New ideas about how society should function were gaining popularity and nation states worried that their culture and identity were under threat by malign foreign influences.
If any of this sounds familiar, it shouldn’t. This was 1820-1840.
In December, Aston Martin Works announced the DB4 GT Continuation Project, which will make use of the remaining chassis numbers from the original production to create 25 incredible track-only cars. Designed in 1959, only eight DB4 GTs were built to a lightweight specification. This project will combine traditional techniques with modern technology to create an exceptionally capable car, while remaining faithful to the original.