Job Opportunities

Dear Friend

I am pleased to bring the ex-Organic clients some
good news, amongst other information!  Please read below.  I
apologise for sending another missive so quickly after the last but I am away
watching the world badminton championships in Birmingham with a group from the
Office and wanted to ensure the good news was shared quickly.


Is there new news?  We are now playing a
waiting game.  Ostensibly we could still leave on 29 March.  Let
us hope, not vainly, whatever your beliefs and hopes for the arrangements, that
an acceptable conclusion to the uncertainty of some form is created and the
sooner the better.  Meantime, the markets and the currency markets are
eerily stable compared to where they have been.  Indeed, despite the
statistics showing how much money investors of all ilks have removed from the
table in the latter half of last year particularly, there has been a good rally
since December and the losers have, as usual, been those who have not been in
it.  The time to be pessimistic is when everyone is exuberant and the time
to be optimistic is when everything sounds and appears awful – it’s easily said
but really difficult in practice as it goes against basic human emotion! 
We base ourselves on ‘value’ however so if buying something when it is ‘cheap’
at least the deck of fundamentals is more likely to be stacked in your favour
than when you are buying hope and hype alone.  Of course, nothing
guarantees that tomorrow cannot be cheaper again – or something you have just
sold as ‘dear’ becoming dearer yet again.  Balance, risk-spreading (and
opportunity diversification at the same time) are the crucial factors for all
investors.  It’s what we try to do in spades.  Our twenty-six biggest
holdings presently are collective funds as we spread the risks even more again
but none is purchased ‘passively’ – one of the best value holdings is our
biggest Trust in fact.


Following the absorption of the clients and funds
from Organic Investment Management Plc, it is opportune to note that we are
looking to take on new staff to assist our endeavours!  We may well select
new staff to fulfil roles such as:- administration assistant, paraplanners/trainee
advisers and senior secretarial staff.  In some regards, it depends what
the characteristics and experience are of the applicants and as long as good IT
skills and communicative and mathematical abilities are demonstrated, then the
openings could be created to suit.

Visit our Career Opportunities page to find out more.


For all the Organic clients, as promised I am
continuing to work hard for you to ensure that appropriate compensation is
recovered in due course.  I have had numerous communications with various
bodies from the Dublin-based UCITs’ administrators (the chief executive came
from Milan to see me in Trimstone last week and we had a fruitful meeting), to
the Regulator, the administrators and the Financial Services Compensation
Scheme.  The FSCS acknowledges for the first time that Organic Investment
Management Plc has ‘gone’ so there is no point making complaints there. 
This suggests that ‘shortly’ it will be considered as being in ‘default’ which
is the first criterion for claims to be accepted.  They have also said
that they cannot confirm at present that there is a blanket claim against
Organic as advisers or others may have some culpability too and either in part
or fully and it would have to look at the Dublin-based funds too as of course
they are aside from the UK but clearly still chosen as appropriate assets by
the discredited OIM Plc which was regulated within the UK.  Please do NOT
appoint a Claims chasing firm to help you (and indeed try to cancel any
arrangements you may have made already) – at this point you don’t need one at
all anyway as everything could and should be dealt-with in blanket form so why
pay up to 40% of compensation rightly due to you to one of these
entities?  And no, we are not charging anything for this work – simply
endeavouring to do our very best for all the afflicted clients.  Yes, if
they then choose to stay with us, that is reward enough – and proof that not
everyone in the financial services world is so untrustworthy as it seems has
been the experience many of these poor clients have suffered so far.  The
FSCS has opened its online portal now for claims but as I say, clients don’t
need to do anything yet.  The link for this is:- 
The FSCS has reiterated to us in a letter on 7 March the following too:- “We
would be grateful if you could stress to customers that claims can be made to
FSCS free of charge and that we try to make our service as customer friendly
and as easy to understand as possible. Customers should find it easy enough to
make a claim without engaging the services of a Claims Management Company”. We
endorse this position.

In the meantime, it is hoped that the suspended
Dublin UCITs (which most Organic clients had) will see some progress soon. The liquid
assets in each fund will become accessible and only the suspended parts will
remain.  I continue to repeat that the majority of the assets in these two
funds remains absolutely safe regardless.  Of the suspended parts (which
could be as much as 55% of the Bond Fund and slightly less on the smaller fund
which fewer clients owned).  Some of those assets will still have value of
course – it is just a case of how and when to be able to extract that and I am
working with the administrator on ideas to that end.  Cleary if
compensation is awarded, all of that is ‘academic’ as clients should be put in
the position from which they should never have been moved in the first place.


It is not a pleasant subject to tackle but sadly it
is happening more and more.  Family members and friends are taking
advantage of relatives like they never have before in the past – partly because
more of us have more money but also because somehow the temptation has become
greater for some people but that doesn’t make it right.  We have even come
across stories where other financial advisers, accountants and solicitors, etc,
help to perpetrate the mischief, whether in league with the miscreant (on the
premise that they would earn some juicy fees from the case and acting for the
miscreant thereafter) but in naivety at what they are ‘told’ and they go along
with it.  And don’t think this only goes on elsewhere too – we know too
many cases locally.

What can you do about it?  This is the latest
story – a relative who took £100,000 for himself and he almost made away with
his spoils too till another family member pushed the enquiry (and so often that
is hard to do as the Police or Social Services say the issues are a ‘civil
matter’) and well done the Police for pursing this one.  Rest assured too,
the thief was NOT a financial adviser despite what the headings says!

Nothing you can do will be totally fool-proof but
who have you appointed as your Power of Attorney or your Will Executor? 
Have you entrusted a reputable financial advisory firm which goes beyond the
simple transactional basis of relationship with an ‘investor’ so that if
someone is trying to wheedle themselves around your money there are some
probing questions made from this independent source to protect your best
interests?  We have found we have saved many clients from such fate – let
alone other fraud schemes for which none of us would ever imagine we’d fall but
you’d be amazed…  It is crucial too to realise that whilst today you may
be in total charge and know exactly what you are doing, tomorrow may be
different and you could become vulnerable through frailty or old age and not
have noticed the differences which make you vulnerable to these greedy and
fraudulent vultures who do not care one iota about you – they just want your

Because we manage our clients’ funds
discretionarily and we have that control over it, we can ask those questions
when we have suspicions.  If you simply have all your money at the bank or
building society, then it is easy for an instruction to be processed and
indeed, the same if you hold investments directly through other advisers where
they do not ‘hold’ them either.  A simple ‘encashment form’ would yield
the results and they’d execute your ‘instructions’ on the day of receipt. 
How much is that peace of mind worth to you, if you think that engaging a
professional and caring independent financial adviser like ourselves is
‘expensive’ or if investing in ‘other things’ than the bank account is high
risk (which it is not) and one who can act as your Will executor (in liaison
with family members perhaps to protect the connectivity)?  It cost the
above poor lady £100,000 to have not done that and a massive risk to her


Just as ever to say ‘thank you’ to the many
individuals who write in from time to time to say how they appreciate the
e-shots.  On the impending retirement of a local chartered accountant, he
has diverted his email to his home address and wishes to continue receiving
them and finds them interesting – which is good!  Thank you!


Here’s an
interesting one: 1 in 10 adults has never done a day’s paid work in their life.
More remarkably, 2million students have never done a day’s work either. The
opportunities are there so excluding the long-term sick and disabled (though
finding appropriate opportunities for those who want to work is not ignored)
why is this? Is it actually because people have more money so they choose not
to work? Does the benefit system discourage work
and independence? As an employer, I have to say that if I see a CV where the
applicant has demonstrated good hospitality or service experience, even as a
youngster, I look more favourably upon that application than a comparable one
with ‘just qualifications’ as I know they have experience of dealing with real
situations which could arise in work. All of our children have worked in
hospitality at one time or another, with us or more likely elsewhere.


Stock market investments can
offer income through the payment of dividends and interest and good
opportunities for capital appreciation over the longer term. By this, generally
we mean periods in excess of five years, preferably much longer. However, we
can never promise you particular returns, especially in the short-term. At any
point in time but especially in the short term, your capital could be worth
less than the original amount invested as some of the selected holdings may
fall in value, regardless of expectations at the time of acquisition. We may
also invest in funds that hold overseas securities. The value of these
investments may increase or decrease as a result of changes in currency
exchange rates. Returns achieved in the past cannot be relied upon to be

To remind you, why do I send
out occasional emails? Because everyone can save money. We have no connection
with any companies mentioned and you have to make your own contacts and satisfy
your own enquiries. What is in it for us? If we can prove that we are
knowledgeable and that our service and advice have good value, then you might
contact us for professional financial planning and investment help. You don’t
have to do that though and there’s no charge for emails. If simply they save
you money, then accept them with our compliments! However, you’ll know where we

If you have any queries of any
form or indeed any subjects you think I could include, please contact me. I
also refer you to our website
We celebrated our thirtieth anniversary in 2015 and have been publishing a
well-respected independent column in the local Paper for most of that time and
free client newsletters as well.

Do not forget however the
usual caveats – this is not ‘advice’ and you are encouraged to seek that before
embarking upon any financial route involving investments, etc.

My best wishes

Philip J Milton DipFS CFPCM

Chartered Wealth Manager

Fellow Of The Personal
Finance Society, Fellow Of The Chartered Institute Of Bankers