Published on: August 10, 2018

As our regular readers will already be aware, Three Counties’ full-time Head of Investments and part-time blogger, Andrew Alexander, is currently enjoying the second week of his holidays.  This, in some way goes to explain two things:  firstly, the holiday season traditionally means a quiet week for equity markets and, secondly, the bitter undertone running through this week’s blog.

This week I have the honour of being passed the baton by Jonathan (last week’s replacement blogger of choice) – I’m Martin – you can learn more about me if you haven’t already come across me in your Three Counties’ experience by checking out my profile link here.

So, let’s kick off with some perceptive market insight:  the FTSE 100 began the week at 7,659 and, as I type, sits at 7,691.  Those, like me, with a head for figures will instinctively know that this is a gain of 0.4%.

Of interest to holidaymakers perhaps is that, as anticipated following last week’s rise in the Bank of England base rate, Sterling has improved against the Euro and is presently worth a very convenient (when you are in the airport buying last minute, no-thought-whatsoever, gifts) 90p to 1 Euro.  This is of relevance to investors (travellers or not), as whilst a stronger pound has a negative impact on UK exporters, it benefits overseas holdings when values are converted back to Sterling and has a corresponding benefit too geographically diversified portfolios, such as those recommended by myself and my fellow Three Counties’ advisers.

Now that that’s out of the way, if I may, I’d like to indulge in a spot of barely concealed jealousy…

News this week is that Britain’s richest man has emigrated to Monaco.  You do know who Britain’s richest man is don’t you?  It’s Jim.  Jim Ratcliffe.  Yes, you know of him? No?  Me neither!  If Britain’s richest man was Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, round glasses…) I wouldn’t be upset at all, I’d say it was thoroughly well deserved (and I only ever saw one Harry Potter film)!  As it is, it turns out that Jim (Sir Jim actually), is a billionaire engineer!  I’ll be vexed if it turns out he is the same engineer that needed two goes to fix my washing machine last month, but I’ll look into that later.

I chuckled at the quote in The Independent that the ‘motivations for the relocation have not been made clear’!  I strongly suspect that paying no tax, a warm climate and convenient parking for the yacht were probably factors in what must have been a heart-wrenching decision for him to make!

Finally my borderline topical playlist.

Normal service will be resumed next week.  In the meantime, have a great weekend!  Relax and enjoy!

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