The Cowell Rhetoric: No Need To Panic

by | Oct 17, 2014

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With the Footsie trying determinedly for a bounce, David Cowell of Myddleton Croft Investment Managers  sniffs the dontpanic2wind for supporting evidence.


A backpacker from Edinburgh found a 3 inch leech that had been living up her nose for a month after a trip to South East Asia. Just as well she wasn’t a coke addict. It could have got the habit a bad name.



So, Quilter Cheviot didn’t survive very long. Old Mutual Wealth has agreed to buy it for up to £585m. QC had recently rejected a £600m bid and rumour was that OM had raised it to £650m, so it was a bit of a surprise when the figure was announced. One more nail in the coffin of bespoke portfolio management by the big boys.

Hopefully we will soon be one of the few still providing it. Don’t worry, it will be a long time before we succumb. At Myddleton Croft  we are well capitalised and don’t need cash from private equity. The balance sheet is growing and we are attracting interest from like-minded individuals who are fed up with the restrictions placed on them by the big boys and want to both continue to provide a good service to their clients and have a stake in a rapidly growing firm.


myddleton croft

On Tuesday the VIX index, which measures volatility in markets, rose to 24.6%, the highest level since June 2012 when the world’s financial markets were rattled by the European sovereign debt crisis. At the end of June the figure was under 9! 9 is certainly too low and 30 is too high.



Richard Pease is to leave Henderson to join Crux Asset Management (Crux), a new fund management company. Yet another…. All this extra work for little or no reward if you operate on an advisory basis. Better leave it to us.


On Tuesday, the European Court of Justice held a hearing into the legality of the European Central Bank’s Outright Monetary Transaction (OMT) bond-buying plan after the case was referred to it by the German Constitutional Court. The ECJ is not expected to give a final ruling on the OMT until summer next year. By which time the euro will have gone down the hole in the middle or it won’t matter a jot because the ECB will have gone for QE. Rapid movers, these courts.



On  October 26, the results of the ECB’s ‘Comprehensive Assessment’ of banks is due to be published. Despite current sentiment, should enough banks pass the Bisto test, it should free up more capital in Europe and allow increased flows of capital to business thus allowing some growth. Anyone fancy a punt on Spanish banks? Watch  this space.

According to Reuters, Saudi Arabia is quietly telling oil market participants that Riyadh is comfortable with markedly lower oil prices for an extended period, a sharp shift in policy that appears to be aimed at slowing the expansion of rival producers such as the US, Russia, Iran and, not least, ISIS. OPEC’s largest producer is ready to accept oil prices down to $80 for as long as a year or more, as it is thought that the marginal cost of production is about $80 for US shale and between $100 and $136 for the others.


Again, we thank Reuters for the following data:

oil costs



Students in an advanced Biology class were taking their mid-term exam. The last question was: ‘Name seven advantages of Mother’s Milk.” The question was worth 70 points or none at all. One student, in particular, was hard put to think of seven advantages. However, he wrote:

1) It is perfect formula for the child;
2) It provides immunity against several diseases;
3) It is always the right temperature;
4) It is inexpensive;
5) It bonds the child to mother, and vice versa;
6) It is always available as needed.

And then the student was stuck. Finally, in desperation, just before the bell rang indicating the end of the test, he wrote:

7) It comes in two attractive containers and it’s high enough off the ground where the cat can’t get it.

He got an A.



Have a good weekend.


David Cowell


For and on behalf of Myddleton Croft Investment Managers

1 Woodside Mews

Clayton Wood Close


LS16 6QE

Tel:        0113 274 7700

Fax:       0113 274 7711

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