Here is a great example of an opportunity for the likes of ‘us’. So Black Rock, the world’s biggest fund manager with gazillions under management, responds to the latest minutiae regarding its own internal policy changes on environmental investments and decides to offload a stake in a quoted energy fund. Yes, the energy company satisfies all necessary regulatory requirements for ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) at this time but in a way, that’s a red herring. What counts is how such a manager manages the disposal of an investment – and the ludicrousness with the way that is handled. The manager decides that it has to go and regardless of the price, which becomes secondary, so it sells shares to cut its stake. On 3 March 2021, the shares were £1.31 but after swamping the market with a big chunk (anything it has is ‘big’ after all) it pushed the price down to under 98p. We increased our prioritisation for the stock, the cheaper it became. On the latest announcement that Black Rock is now below 5%, the shares rallied some more to £1.13. Oh, and did I say – the dividend income we receive is over 10%pa at these levels. Thank you very much Black Rock!

Pensions and Higher Rate Tax

Apparently, through an aversion to file Tax Returns, almost £1billion of tax relief for those paying higher tax rates goes begging – unclaimed. This is because tax relief at the lower end may be achieved automatically but the extra tax relief on the top-up between 20% and say 40% can be over-looked. The self-employed don’t do so badly as they have to do Returns anyway and in theory those on PAYE should find the Codings work but… It is often worth paying a switched-on firm like us to do those Tax Returns so we can cast a wary eye over your overall affairs to make sure you are receiving what you should – including transferrable Married Allowances to a non-working spouse for example (which can be worth a further £250 annually).