ITS IN YOUR INTEREST

TODAY’S BLOG

IT IS IN YOUR INTEREST

You may have noticed a press release by National Savings or more accurately, NS&I – of for most of us “the post office”. Sadly, we all know that cash savings rates have been in the doldrums since the financial crash and took yet another nosedive (who would have thought it possible?) in March once Covid became something that the Government actively noticed.

Over the last few months, I have been suggesting various cash deposit solutions and NS&I has been one of them. Now that rates are at rock bottom (hopefully they cannot get worse) it is a good time to review where your cash is and what rate you are receiving.

SOLOMONS IFA AUTUMN 2020 ARRIVING

MORE HIGHLY RATED

As you may have gathered from previous posts, we can provide access to online cash management solutions, these are designed to achieve two things. Firstly, to get a better rate, secondly to keep funds within the £85,000 FSCS protection limit. An additional benefit is that you only need to apply once, as rates come to an end you simply reselect the best from those available via the service. There is no additional paperwork or hassle trawling to find the new “best buy” only to discover it has ended or is about to.

Get in touch if you wish to know more about this, it is a service relevant to individuals, business owners, Trusts and Charities (so pretty much everyone).

Anyway, here are the changes announced by NS&I this week.

PRODUCT RATE NOW RATE FROM 24/11/2020
Direct Saver 1.00% 0.15%
Investment Account 0.80% 0.01%
Income Bonds 1.15% 0.01%
Direct Cash ISA 0.90% 0.10%
Junior ISA 3.25% 1.50%

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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ITS IN YOUR INTEREST2020-09-23T15:12:57+01:00

PATIENCE OF VALUE

TODAY’S BLOG

VALUE INVESTING

David Booth, the Executive Chairman and Founder of Dimensional wrote a piece that I would like to share with you. As you may know here at Solomons we believe in taking a long-term view of investments because they are designed to provide long-term sustainable wealth. Chasing returns appears easy as markets rise and fall, yet this as we have demonstrated time and time again is a fools errand and is not a robust, repeatable investment strategy, save a continual erosion of your wealth. Investing in equities (shares/stocks) provides the best chance of long-term inflation beating returns. A globally diversified portfolio with a bias towards smaller companies and undervalued ones (value) has plenty of evidence of outperformance over the long-term. However patience is required during periods where this does not appear to work (which if you think about it is part of the reason why it does). Anyway, here is David.

DAVID BOOTH

If studying financial markets for 50 years teaches you anything, it’s to keep things in perspective. During times of great uncertainty, like we’re experiencing now, investors may feel tempted to project today’s headlines forward or forget the useful lessons we’ve learned from the past.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately in the context of the growth vs. value stock debate.

Too often, news headlines distract us from taking the long view. They create a sense of urgency around what’s happening in the market right now. But we have nearly a century’s worth of data, and decades of financial science, to look to for guidance. That evidence reveals many investment lessons. For example, over long periods of time, stocks have generally outperformed bonds. This makes sense when you think about it. Stocks are riskier than bonds, so you expect to earn a premium return.

Most investors are probably familiar with this so-called equity premium, but they may be less familiar with the market’s size and value premiums. The same basic logic applies, and the same record backs them up. Historically, the stocks of smaller companies have outperformed those of larger companies. And relatively inexpensive stocks have outperformed more expensive stocks.

There’s solid theory behind thinking about investments in this way, but the premiums don’t necessarily show up every day. In fact, there can be long stretches when they don’t—stretches that can test the faith of investors.

I haven’t met many people who expect stocks to return less than US Treasury bills. And yet back when we started Dimensional Fund Advisors in the early 1980s, we found ourselves at the end of a 14-year period where T-bills actually outperformed the stock market. I remember a cover of Businessweek magazine proclaiming “The Death of Equities.” People then were saying the stock market would never be positive again. Of course, investors have since experienced one of the longest bull market runs in history.

We’re experiencing a similar historical variance right now with value stocks. Over the past decade, growth stocks have largely outperformed value stocks. But it’s important to keep things in perspective. According to Dimensional’s research, while value’s performance in the US from 2009–2019 was in line with its historical average (12.9% vs. 12.7%), growth significantly exceeded its historical average (16.3% vs. 9.7%). In other words, value has performed similarly to how it has behaved historically—it’s growth that’s been the outlier, performing better than expected. Financial science suggests you should enjoy these unexpectedly good returns, but don’t count on them repeating.

In my view, the rationale for investing in value stocks is as strong as ever: The less you pay for a stock, the higher your expected return. This is simple algebra. Still, some people are questioning whether the value premium has somehow disappeared. If value investing no longer worked, we’d have to throw out our economic textbooks and develop a new algebra.

I’m often asked what investors can do during times like these. The key to capturing any premium is to maintain consistent exposure to it. While we understand that the value premium may not show up every day, every year, or even every decade, sticking with value stocks can help you capture that premium over time.

No one can predict when premiums will show up, but we know they can show up quickly. In fact, some of the weakest periods for value stocks compared with growth stocks have been followed by some of the strongest. On March 31, 2000, growth stocks had outperformed value stocks in the US over the prior year, prior five years, prior 10 years, and prior 15 years, according to research conducted by our firm. As of March 31, 2001—one year and one market swing later—value stocks had regained the advantage in each of those time periods.

Why such a dramatic swing? It’s human behavior to stick with what’s working, and during periods when growth stocks are outperforming, many investors keep piling into those stocks. But many long-term investors think of it another way: The expected return on relatively cheap stocks is getting higher, which means more opportunity. As I like to say, value stocks are crouching lower now so they can spring up higher later.

Over half a century of observing markets, time and again I’ve seen that returns come in spurts. That’s why getting into and out of the market repeatedly is such a bad idea—you’re too likely to get caught on the wrong side of your decision. You can’t time returns. And you can’t predict them. To capture the historical premiums, you have to stay disciplined.

My long career in finance has taught me that there’s great value in keeping perspective, which includes keeping perspective on value. As my friend Robert Novy-Marx says, “I wake up every day expecting to see the value premium.” I, too, wake up every day expecting value stocks to deliver higher returns for investors. Time has only strengthened that conviction.

David Booth
Dimensional Fund Advisors

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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PATIENCE OF VALUE2020-09-09T11:18:50+01:00

WHAT SHALL I DO ABOUT MY SHARES?

TODAY’S BLOG

WHAT SHALL I DO WITH MY SHARES?

First, let me be clear – I am not a stockbroker, I am not licensed to provide advice on specific shares. So, I cannot and will not advise the purchase of one share over another. What I can do is provide you with some generic information.

All proper investing will invest in shares. Today I am simply discussing investing directly into shares (i.e. you hold a piece of paper – that shows you have shares in XYZ company). The other way to invest in shares is via an investment fund.

ADVANTAGES OF SHARES

You can be specific about what you invest in. There are no ongoing charges for your shares if you hold them unless you do so via a trading platform which typically has monthly fees and specific minimums. You do your research, buy the shares, sell them when you want. Some provide a dividend (which is a taxable income and out of profits), some do not.

Diversification

DISADVANTAGES OF SHARES

Your money does not go very far. Today at the end of June 2020. The share price of Morrisons is £1.90, Sainsbury’s £2.09 and Tesco £2.29 to name three well known companies in the supermarket world. So you have £10,000 to invest, excluding any stockbroker charges (which there will be – for each trade (a purchase or sale of a particular share) you want to create your portfolio which you call Supermarket Sweepstake. I will not go into how or why you select shares, there are many people offering “tips” for free or at a price for rationale and research, but let me say that after 3 decades I can assure you that over the remainder of your life neither I nor anyone else will be able to successfully predict the who and what, but will also fail to consistently, repeatedly outperform the market through their research, genius and luck. Not a soul.

Anyway, back to my daft Supermarket Sweepstake, you think Sainsbury’s will outperform (over what period and why??) the other two but are not so convinced that you put all your £10,000 in just Sainsbury’s so you buy £4,000 worth of shares in Sainsbury’s and £3,000 in each of the others. This results in the following portfolio (roughly).

  • 1913 shares in Sainsbury’s
  • 1310 shares in Tesco
  • 1578 shares in Morrison’s

The above could be achieved with three trades or could be more than that if shares were bought gradually across a day or any other period. Every trade has a cost (and a tax).

I HOLD LOTS OF SHARES, SO I MUST BE RICH…

You hold “a lot” of shares, but you only hold them in three companies and in my rather daft example you hold them all in the food retail sector. This is an example of extreme concentration risk – just 3 actual companies, all doing the same thing,  in the same sector, in the same country. If for any reason supermarkets cannot operate as normal, you will likely see a reduction in their value – or of course other competitors make their trading life rather harder.

Income from the dividends is taxed. If you sell the shares the gains are taxed (though the gain may be within your capital gains tax allowance).

WHY A FUND?

A fund, particularly a fund made up of the entire index, will hold all the shares in the index. If that is regional or specific (i.e. FTSE 100) then it will hold some of all those companies. A global index will hold the lot (pretty much). In the case of the FTSE 100, that is 100 companies, as for a global index – well thousands of companies.

The downside of a fund is that someone is managing it, ensuring that it sticks to its mandate. The cost of management can vary enormously, part of an adviser’s job is to select funds that are suitable for you and cost is an element of the criteria used. For example a good fund we use costs about 0.22% of £10,000 that’s £22 for the year most funds however charge much more and some charge a bit less. As the size of the fund grows the investment costs are more – because they are a percentage.

That said, a comparable stockbroker service is also managing the portfolio, they many be remunerated on trades (an incentive to  constantly change stuff) or performance [or both!] – in which case they may be rewarded for high returns from highly concentrated holdings, but not penalised for low or negative ones… which leads to the inevitable conclusion by the nice gent in the suit to take quite a punt with your hard earned loot, no reason not to is there old chap?

DIVERSIFICATION

The main purpose of the fund is that is provides diversification – holding hundreds or thousands of companies as shares. Some will also hold other types of assets too, depending on what the fund is attempting to achieve.

Both the funds or directly held shares are subject to taxes – on gains and on income. A sensible thing to do would be to put these into an ISA – which is really nothing more than a wrapper that makes the contents tax free.

These days most stockbrokers will need a minimum of £250,000 to build a diversified portfolio of shares, but even then, it is likely that they will use funds. That is because it is hard to get the benefits of diversification without a reasonably large amount of money.

Diversification is really shorthand for “spreading risk” – adhering to the adage – “don’t keep all your eggs in one basket”. This helps dramatically reduce the likelihood of total loss. Holding shares in just three companies that all went out of business would be a total loss, the chance of every company going out of business across global stock markets – well that’s the apocalypse and you will not be worrying about your portfolio.

FINAL NOTE

I am not against you having a small amount of money to play with, an amount that you can afford to see disappear. You can sign up for any trading platform you like, do your research. My only tip is to stick to the industry or sector you know about (your own). Muck around to your hearts content, but do not show me your numbers or genius, it will fade. Everything reverts to mean (average).

I have never watched Supermarket Sweep but I did find this rather old clip from the US show. To my strange mind it is full of metaphors about investing and the mania some display about markets. At the end of this, you need to satisfy your own goals, not those of your peers, friends, markets, media or anyone else, its your life, it needs to be your plan.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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WHAT SHALL I DO ABOUT MY SHARES?2020-06-30T18:20:18+01:00

THE TROUBLE WITH CASH ISAs

TODAY’S BLOG

THE TROUBLE WITH ISAS

HMRC have published their data about ISAs to the end of the 2018/19 tax year. Their data is reliable or should be because you will recall that each ISA requires your unique National Insurance number. As a result, it is possible to provide accurate data about income, age, gender, and employment.

The deeply disturbing news is that the vast bulk of ISAs are cash ISAs. Cash ISAs are glorified deposit accounts, cash is not a sensible long-term investment strategy, it is a perfect short-term spending strategy. As cash rates have declined from not very much to virtually nothing over the last 20 years, Cash ISAs have basically failed to keep pace with inflation.

“BUT CASH ISAs ARE LOW RISK”

“But Cash ISAs are low risk” you cry, well… what you really mean is that the value doesn’t go up and down (volatility) your assertion would be right, but when you factor inflation into the actual real world, then Cash ISAs are pretty much basically always guaranteed to go down. The risk you run is one of running out of money and the power of your pound shrinks.

There may of course be good reasons for holding Cash ISAs, but based on income range, people over £30,000 generally have more stocks and shares ISAs than Cash ISAs – though its still a fairly close-run thing.

HMRC ISA SUBSCRIPTIONS

“BUT AT LEAST CASH ISAs ARE TAX FREE”

Cash ISAs are tax free, that is certainly true. What that means is that the interest paid to you on your deposit is tax free. All good… well, it was. Since 6 April 2016 there has been a personal savings allowance. Basic Rate (20%) taxpayers are able to earn interest of £1,000 without it being taxed. Higher Rate taxpayers have a £500 allowance and Additional Rate – well, of course we know that it is politically expedient to be seen to punish anyone earning £150,000 or more, so no tax-free savings for you!

WHY LOCK INTO A DEPRECIATING ASSET?

Taking a basic rate taxpayer with interest rates at something like 1.5% at best, then you would need more than £66,000 in your cash ISA before any tax would be applied to the interest. At 1% it would require £100,000. Higher rate taxpayers simply halve the numbers. As for the tax that would be applied on interest above that – well no more than a round of drinks for most people.

A quick trawl of Cash ISA rates today (30/06/2020) and the very best rate I can find is 1.25% if you want to lock your cash up for 7 years… why anyone would do this is beyond me. Then there is the aggravation of regularly looking for a better rate and the hassle of moving your really rather duff Cash ISA into a different one. Life is too short for this nonsense isn’t it?

Similarly, junior ISAs – why bother holding cash for a child for 18 years and missing out on investment growth over nearly 2 decades. It is madness. Investors and savers really must understand what risk really means.

The value of ISAs to the end of the data was £584billion, of which cash ISAs account for 46% yet make up 76% of all ISAs. The chart below (from the HMRC bulletin – so labelled Chart 4) shows the fluctuating but growing value of shares in ISAs. Remember all are being added to each tax year, but the vast majority of the money each year goes into Cash ISAs.

CONFESSIONS OF A CASH ADDICT

OK – so you have some cash ISAs. I am not saying you shouldn’t have them, but only do so if you intend to spend the money fairly soon (within 3-5 years tops). Otherwise you are missing out on a lot of growth and the ability to keep the power of your £ working for you. If you would like a review, do some of the legwork, compile a list of your Cash ISAs, the balances, the Banks or Building Societies that they are with and the current rate of interest you earn. If there is a fixed rate, confirm when that ends. Then send me the information.

RISING VALUE OF ISAS

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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THE TROUBLE WITH CASH ISAs2020-06-30T11:50:15+01:00

AVOID MINI BOND SCAMS

TODAY’S BLOG

AVOID MINI BOND SCAMS

Following on from my piece about cash management services I mentioned the problem of a growing number of scams. Cash savers looking for better rates of interest are regularly duped into believing that rates of 4% or more are currently achieved for cash. THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE for deposit accounts UK Banks or Building Societies when the Bank of England rate is 0.1%. Of course a few years ago such rates were common, but not since the credit crunch. So be warned that something that says it is the equivalent of cash when it is nothing of the sort. Genuine interest rates will not be much better than the Bank of England rate – perhaps 2% more, but very little else.

Accounts offering “interest” of more than this are not genuine cash. They could be legitimate, but not cash. The rise of peer-to-peer lending is often a touted as an alternative to a regular bank. There might be some good ones (they may be) but on the whole this is a new business taking your deposit and lending it out to other businesses or individuals at a higher rate than they pay back to you. No different from a traditional Bank, except that a traditional Bank has been doing this for years and has learned the hard way that lending needs to be done carefully… and whilst I am no fan of Banks, just think about who might borrow from such a lender… someone that cannot, for whatever reason borrow from a high street bank. Hey presto, higher risk of default.

MINI BOND SCAM

Mini Bonds are yet another layer of this, except they dont have to relend the money to legitimate borrowers (people trying to fund their business or enterprise where a mainstream bank won’t play ball). They can lend the money to anyone, sadly often to the Directors of the company running the mini-Bond. Thousands of savers have got into problems with these mini-bonds. Tempted by higher rates of “interest” which was then passed on to some pretty despicable humans. These were banned in January, but this month made permanent after mini-bond firm London Capital & Finance collapsed with £237m of savers’ money.

WHITE CAT

WHAT IS A MINI BOND?

There is no legal definition of what a mini-bond is in the UK. Most companies that have offered them, including London Capital & Finance, borrow money from ordinary savers, promising them a fixed return well above the rate available on most standard saving products. The mini-bond firm is then largely free to do what it wants with the money. Many have lent investors’ cash to third party companies (which sometimes has the same directors), bought other risky investments such as race horses or wine, or funded property construction. A number of companies that raised money in this way have collapsed with millions of pounds of savers’ money unaccounted for. The FCA claims that mini-bonds are not within its remit, while criminal investigations for fraud are rare and prosecutions even rarer. As a result, investors generally have no protection if things go wrong, and fraudsters can operate with little fear that they will be punished.

ONLINE ACCOUNTABILITY

One of the many problems with google and facebook is that they carry advertising and seem unwilling or unable to vet adverts for authenticity, though I find this very hard to believe as whenever I have attempted to run even the tiniest marketing initiative on Facebook, my “advert” has to get “approved” before it can run. So… no I don’t believe that more cannot be done. Anyway, savers who are not as sophisticated as the scammers invariably google interest rates and are faced with adverts offering higher rates… what’s not to like? Well just the fact that risk isn’t really explained and its all framed to look, smell, sound and taste like any other Bank. You need to know the real risks that you are taking. A mini-bond is a great way to part with your cash on a permanent basis, something that the stock market does not do until Armageddon (as you will not get to a £zero value if you have invested in an index unless everything is worth nothing – and I can only imagine one scenario where that could occur… the sort of scenario where a Blofeld Bond-like villain (hence the cat picture…) is holding the world to ransom, or the actual obliteration of everything we know. If this ever happens, you won’t be worried about your ISA or pension.

In the meantime, please beware of scams, watch out for the villains, they are rarely as easy to spot as Mr Blofeld. This reminds me of an element of my work which is to act as a type of bouncer to your finances. Some have asked me about my photo, suggesting I look a little “mean” (perhaps they meant grumpy). It is deliberate – anyone that has engaged with me knows that I am having a little joke. As a bouncer, or gate-keeper part of my role is to ward off those trying to part you from your money. Its meant to be a little amusing, (ok not hilarious) whilst holding a very valid truth – that I am on your team as a defence against the rubbish that inevitably comes in your direction, its not if, but when…

As for the calibre of the villains, well the fictional ones are best left to the likes of 007, those that are actual criminals, well… I have to leave them to the authorities whilst doing what I can to prevent them coming anywhere near you.

As for Mr Bond, from the perspective of 2020 there are many aspects of 007 that hang heavily today. A friend of mine recently mentioned that he had rewatched the entire Bond collection with his children, he reappraised his favourite Bond and saw the films in a different light. When it comes to cash accounts, please appraise with care – make sure you know your Bonds from your Mini-Bonds. Here’s a trailer for 007 in “You Only Live Twice” (1967) who, let’s face it, has probably lived more than twice already.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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AVOID MINI BOND SCAMS2020-06-30T09:11:48+01:00

PROPERTY FUNDS

TODAY’S BLOG

PROPERTY FUNDS

We all know the saying “as safe as houses” but I wonder how many consider how sensible this phrase is. Anyway, you may have read in the press that property funds, I think pretty much all of them are currently closed or suspended.

You do not need to panic. We do not invest our clients into property funds. One of the many lessons that I have learned over the years is not to hold anything that is not liquid. Whilst a property fund does not hold houses, it holds large scale commercial property. This is anything from a shopping centre to office blocks or even industrial sites. The main advantage is the rent that tenants pay to the owners, which is often rather predictable and long-lasting.

NOT EASY TO SELL A SHOPPING CENTRE

I’ve never been keen on property funds for the reason that there are other alternatives and frankly, history, literature and even religious texts are full of examples of tenancy gone wrong. When people want their money out, it isn’t easy to simply sell a shopping centre, so its paid from cash reserves until deals can come through, which often means that funds hold a fair bit of cash to cover normal exits. I have now experienced multiple occasions when property funds were suspended and never want to put clients at risk in this way.

Admittedly there are REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) which is really an investment into a single company which then invests in property. The main advantage being that you own shares in the company, which can be much more easily traded (in theory). However, as a company and “Investment Trust” it can borrow money to invest in more property – known as gearing. This can be great when things are going well, but disastrous when they are not, magnifying the returns of each.

As there are plenty of ways to skin a cat, I just don’t see why you need to take this additional risk, which is dressed up as diversification. So we don’t… and that’s another thing you don’t have to worry about.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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PROPERTY FUNDS2020-03-27T10:15:32+00:00

THE GLOBAL MARKETS

TODAY’S BLOG

THE GLOBAL MARKETS

There is little chance that you have escaped the news or the reality that the global stock markets have been very turbulent. The charts are either setting new records or getting pretty close to them. So, by way of an update I thought that I should remind you of some of the basic investment principles that we believe and are applied to your portfolio.

Firstly, we cannot control the markets. Let us simply acknowledge the reality that the prices of assets around the world are not things that any of us control. Neither can we control Government policy. In truth there is very little that we can control, but when it comes to investing, it may as well be a secret, or so it seems.

YOUR BEHAVIOUR

I am not going to suggest that your feelings are things you can control, they are real and need to be acknowledged. However, they are not the basis for a good investment experience. When it comes to your portfolio, none of us are naturally programmed for optimal performance. So, whilst we note our feelings, we do not base our plans around them. We base our plans on the goals you have set and the basic, easy to say, hard to do, investment principles.

ASSUMPTIONS

As every “crash” happens, investors invariably tell themselves the same thing… “this time its different”. The truth is that unless you genuinely believe that capitalism, globally is dead, then nothing is different. Yes, there are things wrong with capitalism, but if its basic premise is to raise money so that companies and organisations can create and meet the needs of real people in different markets, that creates jobs, wealth and share profits and therefore prosperity. If you don’t believe that, then you really should not be investing in anything at all.

I am not pretending that there is not, or will not be some significant difficulties and hardship around the world as a result of the pandemic and crisis of confidence in markets, but it will return, it is a question of when, not if.

BULL and BEAR

This in mind, Vanguard produced a rather helpful chart this morning which I wanted to share with you. This shows the Bull and Bear runs of the FTSE AllShare Index. Note the falls and the durations of the respective “runs”. I have put the pdf of this below. This shows total returns, so includes the income (dividends) from shares. This takes a long-term view, since 1900. So before all of us were alive, through two world wars and unspeakable things that man does to man. Will we ever learn? Here is another opportunity for you as an investor to do so. Do not panic, this will pass.

In the office we have a sculpture by Linda Hoyle of a bull and bear that I commissioned (sounds fancy, but it wasn’t). This is in our reception and is a reminder that both are ever present, battling for the upper hand. There is opportunity in both. You can find Linda’s work here.

Download the pdf: Solomon’s Bull and Bear Markets

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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THE GLOBAL MARKETS2020-03-26T15:47:34+00:00

SHOULD I INVEST NOW?

TODAY’S BLOG

SHOULD I INVEST NOW?

The global stock markets have fallen further and look likely to remain volatile for some time. Whilst there are lots of good reasons to be concerned, we also believe that markets will recover. Every time there is a “crash” we hear people say that this time it is different… but it never is different, it’s the same problems reframed in a different way, for a new crisis. The problem is essentially the same. Fear.

If you believe that over the long-term businesses listed on stock markets deliver jobs, security and wealth then there is no reason to believe anything will change when you have a long-term mindset. Remember that commercial innovation always happens, some companies go bust as they are unable to adapt, new ones step in, technology evolves, everyone moves forwards. If you are investing for days or weeks, then frankly that isn’t investing its speculation and I wouldn’t advise anyone to do that. Investing is designed for long term wealth creation.

TIMING THE BOUNCE BACK

Trying to time an investment for the exact bottom of the market is impossible (well it would be luck). The truth is that the markets may fall further, we don’t know. However, we expect them to recover – much like the overwhelming vast majority of people will recover from coronavirus. It may take weeks, months or even years, but it will recover. That it not to say that life may be more difficult in the short term and require patience and assistance.

So to my mind, this is a good time to invest due to low market valuations. However, as always I would remind you that I advise everyone (including businesses) to hold somewhere between 3-12 months of typical spending in reserve for an emergency. This is that time. If you have this and have reviewed your numbers, including perhaps making some minor reductions to spending, then if this still fits your plan for your life, then there are good reasons to invest.

The one concern I have is the practicalities of getting investments done in time for the tax year end, primarily due to a reduced workforce and lots of demand. So I would encourage anyone wanting to make tax year specific investments to do so as quickly as possible.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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SHOULD I INVEST NOW?2020-03-16T10:49:17+00:00

A TRANSFORMED INVESTOR

TODAY’S BLOG

A TRANSFORMED INVESTOR

I came across this article which may be of some help to you. Dave Goetsch one of the executive producers of the hugely successful “Big Bang Theory”, who wrote a piece for Dimensional, one of our investment partners. This is his experience…

Seeing all the recent headlines about the sudden downturn in the stock market has transported me back to February of 2009, when I was close to despair. It’s striking how different I feel now.

In February 2009, the stock market was down around 50% from its high, and everyone seemed to feel like the sky was falling. I was familiar with this state of panic because my relationship to the financial markets was that I didn’t trust them.

They were always going up and down in ways no one could predict, and I couldn’t trust those folks who said that they could anticipate what was going to happen. So when the market went down, I went down with it—sinking into a depression, knowing there was nothing I could do. What a difference nine years make. I haven’t changed because the stock market rebounded. I changed because I learned that there was a different way to think about investing. I was right not to trust those people who thought they could predict what was going to happen in the markets, but I was wrong in thinking that there was nothing to do. I’ve learned that I can have a great investment experience if I just accept a few simple truths.

DAVE GOETSCH

I have to understand the uncertainty of the market. The stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, has returned about 10% per year over the last 90 years, but there are very few individual years in which it has ever actually returned that amount. In fact, how many of those 90 years do you think the S&P 500 was up more than 20% or down more than 20% for that year? The answer is 40. Astounding, right? I wish somebody had explained that to me decades ago. Then I would have known to look at stock market returns in terms of decades—not years, months, days, or hours. I would understand that so many of those articles and cable news pieces are just noise, designed to keep an audience obsessed and unsettled.

I haven’t changed because the stock market rebounded. I changed because I learned that there was a different way to think about investing.

In order to be a long-term investor, you have to have a long time horizon. This can be hard to remember when you’re being assaulted by noise, but if you can stay strong, the results are stunning. By results, I don’t mean the investment returns, which hopefully are good. The return I’m talking about is how I feel every day. I worry less—not just about the future, but also about the present. Of course, I know that there are no guarantees when it comes to investing, but I feel like I’m going to be okay. I have a plan.

There’s no way I could’ve done this without a financial advisor. I needed someone who could not just talk me through what my asset allocation should be, but also help me work through how I felt about investing and what exactly I could do to change my perspective.

I was a mess nine years ago. Now, my outlook is totally different. The markets haven’t changed; they still go up and down. The difference is, I don’t anymore.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk 
Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

Email – info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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A TRANSFORMED INVESTOR2020-03-13T12:58:58+00:00