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Everything posted by BenFairfax

  1. Thanks for the offer, if you have the files in electronic version please send them through. At present, I am now talking to two IFAs about this and I am happy to send you through the market materials I have. I first got a power-point presentation which was clearly designed to push me towards buying unit trusts (which generally offer the IFA 3% sales commission and 0.5% trailing). When I explained I would be going the fee (rather than commission) and self-investing (via brokerage account) route I got another PDF through. On the fee side one sent me some rates (basically mark-up the Xerrit rates by 100%) and charge 250-150 GBP/hour for advice and 75 GBP/hour for admin.
  2. In English that means? Clearly you prefer to use bollocks terms to convey the fact that you understand the principles rather than to be arsed explaining things in a way somebody might actually understand them. I can't wait for your column. I think there will be a few "bullshit bingo" bets on it. Just trying to be helpful. The text apart from [...] sentence I thought was understandable by just about everyone. The [...] sentence I included just for those who want precision, and are familiar with these ideas. If there is anything not clear then I am happy to clarify terms and/or provide references. With my column out today, any useful feedback would be appreciated. By training, I am a mathematician and by profession, I am an investor, and journalism is quite new to me. Saying this, I will take my column seriously and endeavor to produce carefully researched material that I hope is understandable and useful to the reader.
  3. I know a couple of people who have been approached by companies offering exactly this service. The only thing that worries me, if if the housing market drops and leaves the reversion company with a depreciating asset, what happens if they go bust? Are you out on the street or are there safeguards put in place? Though the provider of such products does take on certain risks associated primarily with the life expectancy and the housing market. These risks will generally not be held solely by the provider (as in the case with insurance products). Now, these risks encapsulated within the 'No Negative Equity Guarantee’ which specifies the mortgage will be capped at the lesser of the mortgages face amount and the sales proceeds of the home. The provider can hold these risk (if its balance sheet is strong enough and the auditor/regulators agree), hedge it via property derivatives, insurance markets or resell the risks on (typically to parties who know how to hedge the risks). [Technically speaking the nature of the risk is a ‘set of put options’ on the house with maturities corresponding to the distribution of the life expectancy of the people who take out the product.] Hence, some one carries these risks but the sellers of the products are generally taking the spread and selling on the risk. If these products are miss-priced then as in the US-sub prime market it will be the investors who take a hit.
  4. Looks like feeble attempt at viral marketing to me. I have no connection with these people and SIPP structures are just standardized off-the-shelf structures. Paying 250 GBP setup + IFA sales commission is just a cheaper way to establish this structure than via other routes I have found. If you know a better route please let me (and other readers of this forum) know for the sake of the common benefit.
  5. I am looking for a cost effective Manx SIPP provider and after searching the best provider I have found so far is: Xerrit Pension Trustees Limited http://www.xerrit.com/ unfortunately you cannot buy direct and hence need to go via an IFA. Has anyone else had experience with this provider? And/or IFAs who resell this product? Thanks in Advance, Ben
  6. Thanks, it seems pension structures are a popular topic. An article researching Manx SIPP providers and publish the details seem as if it would be useful to a number of people. In due course I will contact these people and see what I can put together. On another note, I am told that SASS are useful since they can be used to pass assets on, where the assets are zero taxed on the way in and zero taxed on the way out. In short, I do not know but since I never buy the index or invest in accordance with any index I do not focus on this issue. My approach first focuses on identifying themes, after which research in undertaken in the listed securities which offer the most efficient means to represent these themes. Though the media does tend to focus on short term events in my view focusing on short term (index or stock) price moves does not help ones investment performance. The reason being that over the long term your returns will be determined more by ones skills as an investor than the market environment in which you operate. Just look at Warren Buffets performance in the 1970's.
  7. Thanks, I know two UK guys who used Nigel Collin for Pension planning (a SASS and a SIPP), and these two only had good things to say about him. So far I have not come across Chris Shimmin but I will add him to my list of Pension contacts.
  8. Thanks, I've already passed this info onto one person.
  9. Thank you for your detailed reply. The points you raised as detailed in the Economist report are not widely debated and as you said are highly relevant to the Manx economy and society. However, I really feel that I am not qualified to properly treat these topics. Firstly I have not been in the IOM for that long and secondly I do not profess any particular expertise in the structure, affairs or societies of OFCs. Saying this, on the IOM there are individuals who could provide expert opinion on these matters. If you want and have ideas on possible individuals (maybe even yourself) who could provide quotes for such an article then maybe we could continue this debate via PM, and I can see what I can work out. With regard to the Economist style I actually quite like it. In fact, I am using the Economist Style Guide to provide me with a set of guidelines.
  10. Thanks, maybe I should stick to my area of expertise. The confusion came about because I was thinking about the qualifying rules for the supplement for UK nationals who move to the Island. Do you know what these rules are?
  11. Last week I asked the FSC their view on my column and (in my view) they went a bit over-board in terms of the disclaimer requirements and suggestions on the type of content. In terms of the Investment Business Order 2004, Statutory Document No. 673/04, specifies the nature of newspaper editorial with regard to “the giving of advice” in paragraph 19, as follows: see: http://www.fsc.gov.im/lib/docs/fsc/Publications/ibo2004.pdf Hence my column would appear to fall out-side the remit of a licensable activity.
  12. I am posting in good faith. Also, since I started the thread asked for feedback I think it is polite to at least reply to all replies which is exactly what I am do now.
  13. The editorial process seems fairly robust hence I hope none of my typos get through.
  14. Is that a statement of definite fact or an opinion; that the UK housing market will turn and that this will result in structural problems for sterling? What does turn exactly mean in this context and how can I measure it? Ditto structural problems. It is an opinion (or an application of applied probability if you prefer) since I am talking about the future. In this context I am referring to the ability of the UK housing market to generate excess money growth, leading to inflationary pressures, leading to higher interest rates, leading to strengthen of the pound. When the UK housing market stops having this effect (i.e. it turns in this regard), then this process will work in reverse. I know I am being a little vague but the exact details are rather long winded. Maybe I could write a column on this topic called "How I am playing the UK housing bubble", or something similar. In addition, to this (in my view) the UK consumer and government, has just about as much debt as their balance sheets can cope with. But that is another story....
  15. Sorry you did say it was isle of man newspapers your column is appearing in? That will be interesting. Hope you get past week one. Yes, it will appear in the pink pages of "The Examiner". I am commited to doing this and accept that some weeks it will be easier going than others.
  16. It is market research since my column will not appear until next Monday. Anyway, it is good to see plenty of interest which means my efforts will be use to the community.
  17. I can sympathise with your situation but without knowing your exact situation I really cannot know. If there is a citizen’s advice biro her on the Island then I would ask there. Unfortunately it seems that no government office would provide you with such advice since it is deemed 'financial advice' and as such requires the person providing such advice to hold an FSC license.
  18. My intension is the make the column as practical as possible, and at the end of the day the point of investing is to increase your purchasing power. I.e. to make good returns and consistenly. My returns seem to have generated particularly interested in my activities at the FSC and as such my column will have a fairly onomous disclaimer. For this reason the explicit recommendations will be rather low key for at least the first few weeks when the FSC have relaxed a bit.
  19. The column is only weekly and I am constantly looking at different ideas, and hence I will always have idea’s fresh on my mind for the weekly column. For example, this evening a fellow investor came around my place and we where talking about stocks and the macro outlook for the past 5 hours.
  20. The original plan was to write up ideas and observations which I have been researching within my private investment activities. However, I am more than happy, and in fact I think I should, orient the content towards the interests of the reader. I am not a career journalist, employed by Johnston Press or have any formal contract with the publisher. The plan is just to submit a weekly article between 450-500 words to the Editor which then goes through the editorial process, before appearing in my weekly column in the pink pages of the Examiner. Next week, the column will be entitled “Oil Supply and Free Market Dynamics".
  21. Here all depends on how you are doing the FX deal. If you hold dollars then use any US broker, or someone in the UK like TDWaterhouse which allows you to hold USD and trade directly on USD exchanges (or their side kick Internaxx.com which routes all trades through TD Waterhouse but the assets are held off-shore in Luxembourg). If you wish to buy Global Repository Receipts listed on the LSE in dollars, from a UK brokerage account with sterling it is much better to have direct market access (DMA) because then the FX deal will be done at the market rate (i.e. you only lose a few pips). Whether as if you go via a market maker then you will end up having to do the FX deal at whatever rate the market maker gives you (this may cost you as much as 1% of the deal value). The only cash equity DMA brokerage provider I know of in the UK (for retail customers) is iDealing.com (if you contact them give my regards to Gary Duckworth, who runs this shop and interviews all people who want to be classified as an intermediate customer which is required for DMA). On the dollar/GBP level I agree, the dollar though has structural problems but then again once the UK housing market turns so will the pound. The trade I prefer with currencies is GBP/Asian currencies, that is, Asian stocks pay for with sterling; but there again I have looking at stocks like ConocoPhillips in the US (which is really a play on hard assets vs sterling, principally oil reserves, refinaries and rigs).
  22. To be honest I never found any sources of independent investment information for business and individuals from a Manx perspective which I guess was one of the reasons for wanting to write a column on the subject. With the UK institutions I think they just cannot be bother to go through the regulatory loopholes and incurred costs in order to be able to market products in the IOM. I am sure the FSC has the best intentions with its regulatory environment but the end result can often be to just limit the choices available to the consumer. Saying this, the Manx resident's situation differs sharply from the UK resident's, due to the fact that in the IOM there are no capital taxes. Hence, from a tax point of view at least the IOM investor should orientate themselves towards obtaining capital gains rather than income (i.e. buy stocks). After trying to recode the resent report by the IOM DTI available at: http://www.gov.im/dti/Energy/, and according to my back of an envelope figures I found the Wind Power was the only viable source of alternative energy for the island where an Off-Shore wind farm would provide an internal rate of return of 5.1756% over 13.73 years, where an inshore wind farm would provide an internal rate of return of 6.26%-7.30% over 13.73 years. However, the report by the DTI just discounts onshore wind-farms from the start without reason. The full details are at Renewable Energy Resources on the Isle of Man In the US, there are some investment banks who are involved within this sector, including Goldman Sachs, and I have heard that wind farms over there life can general a return of around 10%. Anyway, whatever the exact situation firms like Goldman Sachs just do not invest their own monies in the figures do not add up.
  23. It would be if the dollar was not the reserve currency of the world and the FED did not have a monopoly of creating dollars. The number of dollars in existence is not constant, just as the number of GBP etc is not constant (just look at the money supply figures on the inside back page of The Economist journal). However, the US can buy key commodities in a currency that it has a monopoly on creating and it can in reality create dollars out of thin air, where as the Bank of England can create GBP but in order to buy oil on international markets it must first buy dollars, by selling pounds. The issue of devaluing currencies in the article is another issue. Just about all currencies are being de-valued by creating debt instruments (i.e. GBP/USD etc) which funds trade/budget deficits, this is after all the ultimate source of inflation. But this is another story....
  24. The IOM finance sector is predominantly deposit taking, fund services (administration, legal advice), and tax planning (pensions, trusts, multi-national corporates etc.). In terms of future growth one could justifiably extrapolate from the FSC statistics at: http://www.gov.im/fsc/stats.xml However, please note that the $41.9B, in funds Under Management & Administration, where as far as I can tell the majority of these monies are Administered here rather than Managed. Please also note that here as in many Offshore centrers much of the monies managed will have a London/NY based "Investment Advisor" who email/phone's in many of the investment decisions. The trades are input in to the trade blotter here but the analysis is done somewhere else. I will try to cover these topics at some point, and as best as I can factor out the various parties trying to push their industry and/or gain political capital. Saying this, the column will most likely over time focus on investments rather than legal, industry and tax issues since this is the topic I know best.
  25. Thanks for the suggestion I will add it to my list. On public pensions I understand legislation on a "Manx supplement" (i.e. Manx state pension would be higher than the mainland) may be put forward. With private pensions I would like to say someone on Manx SIPP and Manx SASS, if I can find providers/structures where the kick-backs, set-up fees and running costs do not make the tax savings redundant.
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