Category Archives: Articles 2009

The 22% decade

If you had fallen asleep this day 10 years ago after investing in the FTSE 100 composite index and woken up today, you would be surprised to learn that you are 22% worse off and that is to ignore the … Continue reading

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The four safe high-yielders

Exactly one year ago (8th December 08) I wrote an article called “Going back into equities”. It pointed out that with interest rates on bank deposits as low as 2% – they subsequently went and stayed lower – it made … Continue reading

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Money magic

The illusion starts with my daughter-in-law explaining how she got £300 worth of wine for “free”. Julia and I do not normally shop at Tesco, primarily since if time is worth spent physically shopping as distinct from on-line, then one … Continue reading

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Gearing

Gearing or leverage is the extent to which a business is funded by debt. Gearing is usually expressed as a %. A gearing % in excess of 100 is usually considered to be high since profit left for the shareholders … Continue reading

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The great pensions divide

Over the past few years no subject has carried more column inches in the financial/social commentaries than the great and increasing pension divide. Leading actuarial firms such as Hewitts, Watsons and Mercers have stressed the degree of the UK pensions … Continue reading

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The demise of the final salary pension scheme

The number of pension schemes based upon the level of final salary, that is, salary at retirement age or averaged over the last few years of earning life, continues to decline or be devalued. Such “defined benefit” schemes, using the … Continue reading

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Mortgage fraud

According to accountants BDO Stoy Hayward, mortgage fraud will cost the UK a minimum of £1bn. Buy-to-let has been the most fertile ground. Bradford and Bingley, the now nationalised lender, has written off £271m and the bulk of Chelsea Building … Continue reading

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Mergers & Acquisitions – Profit or Loss

Common sense dictates that one is in the M&A business to generate synergies, cut costs, increase efficiency, benefit from economy of scale. There used to be two independent UK companies that were leading brands and profitable. Very profitable. The AA … Continue reading

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Alleged Chinese corruption

One of the UK’s largest engineering companies has the innocuous name of Smiths Group. It is not an under-the-arches set-up. It has a market capitalisation of £2.8bn and sales of £2.3bn. One of its largest divisions makes x-ray scanners used … Continue reading

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A link between recession and fraud

The big accountancy firm KPMG counts cases of serious fraud that come to court. In the first half of 2009 there were 160 such cases, the highest number for 21 years. The volume is attributed to people increasingly desperate due … Continue reading

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