Happy Easter, good news and why you should avoid crypto

Happy Easter! A little recent good news to share...

I wasn’t going to write so soon but the weather is changing, the spring sun is shining and well, after a rather grim few months I wanted to wish everyone a very Happy Easter! The word originated from the pagan goddess for spring, Ēostre but it reflects new life springing forth and the symbolism of Jesus’ death on the cross on Good Friday and His resurrection Sunday. Have a lovely break.    

More good news at Easter  

I am pleased to report that another of our holdings (as profiled previously) has received a formal proposal to change management and with a cash option for those wishing to exit. So, shares in ‘The Investment Company Plc’ were changing hands at £2.86 the day before the announcement but the net asset value was £3.62 on 31/3/23. This suggests, all else remaining the same, that investors could receive an uplift of 27% but of course values will fluctuate. We own just over 9% of the shares in this Trust so are very happy with that.

One of our closing-down secure loan funds (we own 7% of it!) has also cleared its two larger positions now and a further 3.5p per share is being distributed. The share price, after having had considerable repayments of capital already, was 6p last December… and there should still be a further 8-12p in due time. We’ll wait happily!

We don’t have it (sadly) but Industrial REIT Plc shot-up 38% on 3 April as Blackstone bid to buy the whole ‘Fund’. Cleary Blackstone thinks that the REIT’s own asset value is too low – let alone the silly discount at which it and so many Real Estate Investment Trusts are trading generally. We don’t disagree. I think too that whilst yes, more ‘working from home’ is likely in the new dynamic, most places will still need somewhere for their employees to function, even if that is fewer days in the week. Hot-desking without dependable and familiar structure isn’t the epitome for good personnel relations either. There remain plenty to buy and with great incomes from the rents they receive too.

You may not have seen it either but the Dollar has been weakening a little. Sterling has also been a tad stronger – back to levels against the Dollar last seen in June. This is good for inflation as we import so much and commodity prices are typically in Dollars. There is still a long way to go though and many false starts but maybe, just maybe, this is the beginning for real now.      

Daily Telegraph  

We seem to be regular contributors to the Daily Telegraph Money Makeover now… Felix was the latest, appearing 27 March:- ‘I’m 46 and don’t have long to live – can I access my pension early?’ Well done Felix – not an easy topic! He’s published more than me now!    
Corporate Chartered Status  

Philip J Milton & Company Plc has retained its Corporate Chartered status

It is a delight to be able to confirm that our Corporate Chartered Status with the Chartered Insurance Institute has again been renewed. Thank you to all the Team in upholding our position in that regard. I am unaware of any other firms locally which have achieved this status. The acknowledgement from this professional body notes:-

Congratulations on your firm’s renewal of corporate Chartered Financial Planners status.
We are sure Chartered status has and will continue to raise the profile of your organisation and help enhance the professionalism of our whole sector in the eyes of consumers, commentators and the regulator.
Chartered titles are jealously guarded by professional bodies and are not awarded lightly. Chartered status therefore brings with it a number of serious obligations.
The title Chartered Financial Planners is a public declaration that the advice given by your firm:
• is of the highest quality;
• is based solely on the researched needs of the customer; and
• is provided by someone not exceeding their level of competency.

It also signifies that your firm’s staff, where members of the CII, are governed by a Code of Ethics, where CII qualified undertake annual CPD, and that disciplinary sanctions are applied to those who transgress.
As the Responsible Member for your firm, we are writing to outline the importance of your role in ensuring the above commitments are met and to reinforce the significance of belonging to a genuine, acknowledged profession.

A warning  

Cryptocurrency is a scam, in our opinion – don’t get burned. Picture for illustration purposes only.

I was reminded the other day that you can be very clever, involved in the relevant industry and thus have special insight and information but can be just as susceptible to what is effectively fraud, as someone is who is unsophisticated and clearly vulnerable. A new client shared how he had been duped to become involved in ‘crypto currency’ and contrary to the many adverts noting what wonderful gains everyone was making, his forays cost him £220,000 – a sum he could certainly ill afford and funded ultimately by maxing-out credit cards and that all aiming to retrieve what he had lost before as of course ‘that was the best thing to do’.

Sadly he had been sucked-in and was unable to realise that had been happening and without having someone unrelated to talk about things, the outcome became inevitable. I was very sorry to hear about this and have started to work with them to repair the holes in their finances and to put things back on the straight and narrow. This is not the first case we have encountered and with a significant sum – the other was a man who gambled all of the value of his Mother’s house which he had just inherited as he didn’t know what to do with the money. He did not have much wherewithal behind him at all and it has all gone.

If you are not sure about something, please do seek an independent view and do not become swept-up in something like this which, at the end of the day, is simply a scam and not an opportunity. It is not regulated either. It is the same with gambling which can become an addiction. Please be wary. If you want really speculative investments there are plenty on the Stock market too.      

8% commission  

True Potential Wealth Management advertises that it will pay its ‘wealth management partners’ 8% to buy for all their assets under advice. So if one of their restricted advisers decides to sell-up and he has say £50million of clients’ monies accumulated upon platforms etc, then TPWM will pay him £4million to buy it and the clients. They do this, of course, because they expect to make more money out of those clients ongoing.
So, who is funding this payment… it may be the investors backing TPWM but at the end of the day customers have to cough-up the money to make the project financially viable I suppose. And gosh, that must make ‘us’ worth nearly £20million… but we’re not planning on becoming restricted and treasure our staunch independence, so you have no worries there!    

My best wishes

Philip J Milton DipFS CFPCM Chartered MCSI FPFS FCIB
Chartered Wealth Manager
Fellow Of The Personal Finance Society, Fellow Of The Chartered Institute Of Bankers