Business & Finance

London Skyline for Christopher Jackson's Blog, The View From Lawrence Street

Despite 7 years of stagnant economic growth in Europe, austerity in Britain and growing inequality in the US, the political left has never looked weaker. That is a problem. All good political systems require competition of ideas to help both sides refine and improve the policies which they offer their electorates. In the founding of any democracy it is widely acknowledged that a failure to create two equal political parties, who can act as counterweights to one another, is essential. Some even believe that if the Russian Communist party had split into two parties in 1990, one moderate and the other traditionalist, it would have fundamentally changed the trajectory of Russian democracy.

But why are the political left so weak? The answer is that they are focusing on all the wrong issues. LGTBQQ rights, climate change, religious tolerance and gender equality are important issues in making our world a better place. But they are not the reason why people decide to vote for one party or another at the ballot box. Hillary Clinton did not lose because every Trump voter is a climate-denier, racist, misogynistic homophobe who wishes to punishes poor people. Though there were likely many of those too. But the reality is that people vote for bread and butter issues and as Bill Clinton once famously quipped, it’s often about “the economy stupid”.

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London Skyline for Christopher Jackson's Blog, The View From Lawrence Street

The Conservative party today lies in tatters. A leader that has lost the support of the public and her party. A party that is seen as out of touch, ruthless and clueless by the British public and nations afar. A government that has no vision and an opponent that offers hope, change and momentum. A momentum towards a past that the Conservative party and its leaders have spent nearly 40 years fighting. Perhaps the only saving grace is that the Conservative party is not alone in its struggles.

Today we see in America, in France, in Italy and across the Western World, that the old political systems and their parties are collapsing. Some are being replaced by new liberal structures. Many are not. During the Cold War the terms of debate were clear and the enemy was clearer. With the end of the Cold War, liberal parties rejoiced in their hard one victory. But they got complacent. They ignored the people and they forgot that Liberalism is not a finite end in and of itself. Rather, it is a mechanism for helping those who govern to make choices for the future. But there was no plan for the future. No dream end game or envisaged utopia. In short, they forgot the most human of all things. They forgot that people need hope of a brighter and better tomorrow.

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London Skyline for Christopher Jackson's Blog, The View From Lawrence StreetThe election today represents a reversion to the mean for British politics. For the first time since 1992, the voters of the UK face a clear choice between Labour and Conservatives. For many this is unsettling. My generation grew up with the Centre Ground. A place where limited ideologies existed and variations between the parties were driven more by local issues and individual biases than existential differences in party governing ideologies. This is how the awfully phrased “millennials” think of politics. A choice between technocratic governments with different faces. Until today.

Today ideology is back, and as I have written before, this has been a shot in the arm for the health of UK democracy. The Brexit referendum marked the first nationwide turnout above 70% in 30 years and repeated polling suggests that the 18-24yr old turnout will be a record 60% or better. But with ideology and passion comes clear winners and clear losers. In part that is why this election is so much harder than those before. There is a trade-off and whoever wins the election will change the face of Britain.

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London Skyline for Christopher Jackson's Blog, The View From Lawrence Street

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.
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Martin Cawley CEO of Devonshire Wealth Management

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 

2017 Ranking 

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.

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Mountstone Partners Ltd

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.

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Mountstone Partners Ltd

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.

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London Skyline for Christopher Jackson's Blog, The View From Lawrence Street

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.

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London Skyline for Christopher Jackson's Blog, The View From Lawrence Street

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……….

Given the timing of Prime Minister May’s speech on BREXIT and general anxiousness about what may happen next, I have attempted to summarise and analyse the insights I have gleamed on the process over the last year below.

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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.

London Skyline for Christopher Jackson's Blog, The View From Lawrence Street

It is easy as a commentator on events to assume that we have a unique perspective or insight that people will benefit from reading. After all, if we didn’t believe our opinions were of interest we would hardly be sharing them. But what is often forgotten when we write pieces is the reader themselves. It is easy to fixate on the issues which we are passionate about, to analyse every scrap of detail under the most forensic microscopes we are able to acquire and to wax lyrical on the importance of the issue we are discussing. What it is harder to do is to create something that is relevant, that is interesting, that is inspiring and that is thought provoking. It is for this reason that the default subject of articles often becomes current events and specifically critiques of current politics, people and passions. But while this may be easy and often immensely enjoyable for the writer, it often leaves the readers despondent, overwhelmed and occasionally depressed.

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