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The Sunday Money Pages, British bargains for the Brexit pessimist

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In spite of Brexit looming many investors are taking a keen interest in British stocks. Elsewhere the Sunday Money Pages, this week, cover national insurance credits, pension populism, and Boris Johnson’s ‘green industrial strategy.’ 

The Sunday Times suggests there are some great British bargains to invest in right now. Ian Cowie quotes Alan Steel, saying ‘[Artemis UK’s] manager recently told me he had never seen so many quality British shares so cheap.’ Cowie highlights contrarian investors with eyes on NatWest, Lloyds Bank and Royal Dutch Shell.

Cowie also argues that European Smaller companies funds are ‘very much unloved,’ despite their being one of the best performing sectors in the world, returning more than 8% and reliable performance over the last 5-10 years.

Both The Sunday Times and The Telegraph run stories detailing up to £5bn could be sitting in the Treasury coffers, unpaid to pensioners. This is the result of unclaimed national insurance credits. Everyone is entitled to the maximum state pension provided they have paid 35 years of national insurance at the full rate. The most affected groups are Parents and Grandparents, Carers, Military and those on sick leave. 

The Telegraph reports of retirement plans destroyed by cladding dangers. Following Grenfell disaster, faulty cladding has come into sharp focus, with many retirees falling through the cracks. The cost of re-cladding has led to retirees, who downsized to a flat, facing servicing charges double. 

The Financial Times reports ‘pension populism threatens Andean economies’ today, suggesting quick fixes amid the pandemic will have costly long term effects. The impeached Peruvian president Manuel Merino legislated that pensioners may withdraw savings early. It has lead to $4bn being pulled out of the system, and echoes actions taken in Chile. 

Brazil and Argentina have both suffered repeated fiscal crises partly caused by unaffordable pension promises. The FT’s editorial board concludes by saying, ‘Bribing citizens with their own money is not the answer.’

This is Money leads with Boris Johnson’s lobbying offensive for a 10 year £42bn investment from 20 powerful corporations. The PM and Business Secretary Alok Sharma had a meeting last Wednesday with powerful British and Multinational corporations to drum billions of pounds from the private sector for green industrial investment. 

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