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Surprise, Surprise

“Well, well, who’d have thought it,” asks David Cowell from Myddleton Croft Investment Managers? “The boy Dave with a majority.

Whilst it is satisfying from an investment standpoint that we will hopefully have stable government, it is infinitely more satisfying that Ed Balls lost his seat. Can we look forward to a £1m IHT nil rate band and a reduction in general taxes? Is the next step for London to become a city state with Duke Boris in charge?


Opinions are always stated honestly and with careful consideration but they can change at any time and should not be relied upon.” Quote from the website of one of the firms purporting to provide fund research and recommendations to IFAs. It is interesting how many people rely on these as a believable base upon which to build client portfolios. Most of the firms I have seen aren’t even authorised by the FCA. Essentially they are saying that they know best but that they are unwilling to accept responsibility for their views. Freedom without responsibility is normally confined to children or anarchists. I suppose that Russell Brand will be starting one next.


An error by the Bank of England overstated the amount of government bonds it sold by £13.4bn. A notice of error was posted on the bank’s website explaining that a clerical error led to it stating that £28.2bn of British government bonds had been bought by foreign buyers in February when the actual figure was £14.8bn. The mishap means that rather than February seeing net purchases of £5.8bn the month actually saw net sales of £7.6bn. Doubtless this will now be reversed.


Since the end of QE3 (and the end of the government’s fiscal year), US macroeconomic data has disappointed and weakened on an unprecedented scale. Job vacancies have risen, especially in the energy sector, with fracking companies laying people off in droves. It doesn’t bode well for the near future but if the market takes it to heart, it could represent a buying opportunity as the medium term doesn’t look bad.


According to Bill Gross, 10 year Bunds are the “short of a lifetime”. Yields have since backed up sharply moving from lows of just 0.07% to today’s level of 0.36%  –  that’s not many basis points, but when yields are so low, each basis point has a higher cash value, so this equates to nearly 3% in price terms, which is an awful lot when you are playing for just 7bps of yield!


Paddy was working at the fish plant in Cork when he acbankingcidentally cut off all ten of his fingers. He went to the emergency room in Cork’s hospital. The doctor looked at Paddy and asked him for the fingers. Paddy said, ‘Oi haven’t got da fingers’. The doctor looked at the ceiling then told him that with micro-surgery they could have re-fixed his fingers as good as new. Paddy was amazed but then thought for a second and said, “And how was I after pickin’ dem up?”


Mainland China’s main equity index closed more than 4 per cent lower on Tuesday, amid reports that domestic stockbrokers are pulling back from lending clients money to buy shares, as regulators become increasingly concerned about the fierce nature of a recent stock-market rally. The Shanghai Composite, which has increased in value by almost 120 per cent over the past year, fell 4.1 per cent to 4,308 points. That is the index’s biggest drop since January and the seventh biggest fall over five years. The dramatic rise in equity valuations has unsettled China’s securities regulators and even some companies raising funds via IPOs. The rally on the S C is worrying domestic regulators, in part because many investors’ gains have been achieved with gearing or, as the colonials say, leverage.


Margin financing is a relatively new phenomenon in China. Analysts have also long been predicting a correction in the Shanghai market based on ever-rising valuations and increasing participation in the rally by taxi drivers and market traders. As RBS strategist Alberto Gallo wrote in a late-April note: “Housewives, taxi drivers and street vendors busy trading stocks are common sight in China these days. It appears the banana guy has a few friends, around 12 million who opened A-Share trading accounts since March 20, and after the government allowed investors to hold multiple accounts with different brokers in early April.”


Network Rail – Taxpayers’ Alliance found out last week that the top brass used our taxes to treat themselves to £1.3 million worth of domestic flights. And they are trying to foist HS2 onto us?


Yorkshire Style: Four old retired guys are walking down a street in London . They turn a corner and see a sign that says, Old Timers Bar – ALL DRINKS 10p. They look at each other and then go in, thinking, this is too good to be true. In no time the bartender serves up four frothing pints of bitter, and asks for 40p. They pay the 40p, finish their pints, and order another round. “I’m a retired tailor,” the bartender says, “and I always wanted to own a bar. Last year I hit the Lottery Jackpot for £25 million and decided to open this place. Every drink costs 10p. Wine, liquor, beer. It’s all the same.”

Noticing some other people at the end of the bar who haven’t any drinks in front of them and haven’t ordered anything the whole time they’ve been there. Nodding at the others at the end of the bar, one of the men asks the bartender, “What’s with them?” The bartender says, “They’re retired people from Yorkshire . They’re waiting for Happy Hour when drinks are half-price.”


Have a good weekend.

 

David Cowell

Director

 

For and on behalf of Myddleton Croft Investment Managers

1 Woodside Mews

Clayton Wood Close

Leeds

LS16 6QE

Tel:        0113 274 7700

Fax:       0113 274 7711

www.myddletoncroft.co.uk

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