David Cowell: An Invitation to the Prime Minister!

by | Apr 29, 2016

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David Cameron has pledged the Government will be working with the FCA to tackle fee transparency during this parliament. Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions he said lack of clarity over pension and investment costs was holding back saving. When you know nothing about the subject it is always better not to prove it by opening your mouth. If he doesn’t have anything better to do he can come here and stuff envelopes.


A chap walks into a Glasgow library and says to the prim librarian shuffling membership cards, ‘Excuse me Miss, dey ye hae ony books on suicide?’


At which point she stops, pauses, looks at him over the top of her glasses and says, ‘Ach away with ye, ye’ll no bring it back!’


“We will deliver the best advice that’s ever been seen and we will do it proactively”. “Nutmeg’s advice service will seek to pre-empt the financial implications of clients’ life events”, he said. Isn’t too much nutmeg poisonous?


Crispin Odey’s European fund has lost 30% in the year so far, bringing the fund’s value down to levels last seen in January 2012. Crispin takes some very large positions and still reckons that he’s right.

In the past, however, a high valuation spread between value and growth stocks contributed to a higher subsequent relative return for the value style. The last time the spread was this high at a global level was around the end of 2000, after which value outperformed growth by 3.2% per annum for ten years. There has been quite a lot of talk about a rotation to value but little evidence as yet. We were convinced that this would happen and moved early; after all, the money is made in anticipating markets, not following them. This is a principle of our investment management; if you don’t like it, we have others.



It’s about time that someone stood up for active managers:














The UK tax office plans to overhaul rules governing the part surrender and part assignment of life insurance policies to ameliorate the tax bills which some individuals face if they withdraw money from an investment bond in the wrong way. The most likely change is that a policyholder will be able to withdraw up to 100% then be taxed on anything withdrawn thereafter. Makes sense and simplifies matters greatly. This must be the first time HMRC has actually tried to simplify a tax.


Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Riyadh would raise the capital of its public investment fund to 7 trillion riyals ($2 trillion) from 600 billion riyals ($160 billion) and would sell up to five percent of shares in state oil giant Aramco. The plans announced also included changes that would alter the social structure of the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom by pushing for women to have a bigger economic role and by offering an improved status to resident expatriates. This doesn’t apply to women being allowed to drive though.

It will be interesting to see who wins the current power struggle in Saudi Arabia and what difference it makes to trade.

There won’t be a Rant next Friday as I shall be at the Citywire Retreat in Hampshire.

Paddy phones an ambulance because his mate’s been hit by a car. Paddy: ‘Get an ambulance here quick, he’s bleedin’ from his nose and ears and I tink both his legs is broken.’ Operator: ‘What is your location sir?’ Paddy: ‘Outside number 28 Eucalyptus Street .’ Operator: ‘How do you spell that sir?’ Silence…. (heavy breathing) and after a minute.

Operator: ‘Are you there sir?’ More heavy breathing and another minute later. Operator: ‘Sir, can you hear me?’ This goes on for another few minutes until….Operator: ‘Sir, please answer me. Can you still hear me?’

Paddy: ‘Yes, sorry ‘bout dat… I couldn’t spell eucalyptus, so I just dragged him round to number 3 Oak Street .’


Have a good long weekend and please don’t try to vote leave on Thursday.

David Cowell, Director, Myddleton Croft Investment Managers, Leeds


0113 274 7700, www.myddletoncroft.co.uk 

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