David Cowell from Myddleton Croft Investment Managers is taking his research responsibilities particularly seriously this month. Have a good one, David.

Headline on BBC website on Tuesday: ‘Chinese armpit hair competition triggers online debate’. In order to contemplate this I have decided to go to Portugal for a week, so there won’t be a Rant next Friday.

The US added a higher than expected 280,000 jobs last month – the biggest gain since December. The unemployment rate rose to 5.5% from 5.4% in April as more people, particularly university graduates, entered the workforce. Just shows how stats can be made to show anything.


House prices in the smartest parts of London have fallen by up to 22% since last Autumn according to the property services group LSL. The company said that Kensington and Chelsea had seen prices fall by 16% since a peak in September 2014. In Westminster there had been a fall of 22% between a peak in November and the end of May. It blamed the fall on the new stamp duty regime, introduced in December, which penalises expensive properties. Since when did anyone think that residential property was a short term investment?

Lot of noise currently about multi-asset investment. We have been doing it for years which is why this portfolio drew down half as much as the All Share in 2008/9 and why it has done pretty well year to date:

mc chart 12th June


News from 24 Asset Management:

“I woke this morning (5/6) to some very good news out of Greece that most of the press does not seem to have picked up on. Greece is £90 better off! They are bundling their 4th June payments to the IMF into one larger payment. The question is why are they doing this? Well, as we all know in the modern world, it is not very difficult to make bank payments, but it can be costly. By rolling all four payments into one, Greece is actually saving a huge administrative burden and simultaneously saving three additional CHAPS payment charges at £30 a pop.

The real story is that they don’t have the money, and in reality this should be construed as a default, but it is not a technical default yet, because that happens 30 days after the non-payment when Christine Lagarde has to report the late payment to the IMF board. Interestingly, I wonder if whether by bundling all payments into one at the end of the month that the 30 day clock only starts ticking at the end of the month? Essentially buying the sovereign another vital few weeks?”


Since then, the IMF has walked out of the talks.

From LSR: “On EURUSD (and the dollar in general), the more important dynamic is that of a re-acceleration of the US recovery. What I am taking heart from is the fact that the more cyclical ISM Manufacturing (both headline and the New Orders sub-component) has begun to bounce back, auto sales (based on Ward’s data) are very strong and even though the ISM non-manufacturing survey was softer yesterday, ISM’s Anthony Nieves was quoted on Wednesday as saying that the economy is struggling to find skilled labour, which would mean upward pressure on wages. Unless the payrolls on Friday are disastrous [which they weren’t], that will help focus minds on a first hike way earlier than the market’s pricing in right now, pushing short-end US rates and the dollar higher. So EUR/USD doesn’t appear to have huge potential upside from current levels.” We thought that a couple of weeks ago and sold our position.

There still appears to be nowhere to go in ‘govvies’ without increasing risk dramatically:


mc govt bond chart

A man returns home a day early from a business trip. It’s after midnight. While en route home, he asks the taxi driver if he would be a witness, as he suspects his wife is having an affair and he wants to catch her in the act. For £20, the driver agrees. Quietly arriving home and getting his gun, the husband and driver tip toe into the bedroom; the husband switches on the lights; yanks the blanket back, and there is his wife in bed with another man!

The husband puts a gun to the naked man’s head. The wife shouts, “Don’t do it! I lied when I told you I inherited money. HE paid for the Porsche I gave you. HE paid for our new cabin cruiser. HE paid for your African safari and 4 x 4. HE paid for our golf club membership, and HE even pays the monthly dues!”


Shaking his head from side-to-side, the husband lowers the gun. He looks over at the driver and says, “What would you do?”

The taxi driver replies, “I’d cover him with that blanket before he catches a cold.”




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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