June 2020: Disadvantage month

Well, it’s nice having some new news. I would struggle to mention any big stories over the last six months except Brexit and Covid-19. But June has been ‘disadvantaged minorities’ month.

The month began with the awful George Floyd story ricocheting around the world.

Thousands around the world protest against George Floyd's death in ...
Protests over George Floyd’s death spread to Europe (Source: CNN)

My first reaction was to think of this as a very American thing; my conclusion from reading Robert Caro’s masterful biography of LBJ was that America not having apartheid to the present day was a close run thing. And the American policing system is in a western world of its own, helped by those archaic constitutional clauses about the rights to form militia / bear arms / etc. Closer to home, I didn’t approve of the ‘anti statue’ brigade, siding with those who see it as rewriting history.

Edward Colston statue pulled down in Bristol, England during ...

A month later, and my thinking has changed significantly. I’ve woken up to some of the ongoing issues that are easy to ignore in the daily grind. I’m slightly more aware of the UK’s own role in the shameful American legacy (whose colonies were they, after all, when slavery was legalised in 1640?). I now concede that statues are as much style/decoration as they are historical record, and that a town square’s/Oxford college quad’s choice of statue can be seen as a contemporary aethestic choice. I don’t want to see statues destroyed, but I do accept that some might be better moved to a museum rather than left in pride of place.

Is Oriel College, Oxford, right to remove the statue of Cecil ...
Oriel College, Oxford
Continue reading “June 2020: Disadvantage month”

Master portfolios to beat Hargreaves Lansdown’s

For anybody starting investing today, for the long term, here are some master portfolios that I suggest will set somebody up very effectively and should beat the equivalent model portfolios from e.g. Hargreaves Lansdown.

These ready-made master portfolios are all:

  • Based on low price index trackers from market leading Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) providers. Each portfolio costs, on average, less than 0.20% a year – plus your platform charges. In contrast, the master portfolios at HL will cost you over 1% a year, and expose you to ‘Woodford risk’. Higher fees will, in the long run, result in worse performance.
  • Very simple to set up, with no more than holdings. This means they can be run efficiently with as little as £5k initial investment. Each portfolio’s funds contains many hundreds of individual company’s shares/bonds – giving excellent diversification.
  • Work anywhere‘ – you can buy these ETFs on all leading platforms and stockbroking sites.

Moreover, with just 3 clicks or less you can choose a master portfolio that suits your style, is tailored to your geographic preference, and is sustainable/ESG if you prefer.

Start by choosing your portfolio style: