Your Wealth Spring 2024

A while ago a journalist asked me, “Neil, with the increasing trend towards robo-advice and the growing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), do you think there’ll still be a place for small firms like yours that provide one-to-one face-to-face personal service?Hold that thought!

Our quarterly newsletter is below, and I’d like to draw your particular attention, please, to the piece on AI – enabled scams on page 3. I know I’ve banged on about this before, but online fraud is an ever-growing risk. Recently we heard from some clients whose laptop had been hacked. The scammers had tried to empty their account. The attempt failed owing to the platform’s high level of security, but it’s a worry all the same. In another case, a few years ago, a gentleman came to us to see if we could help him recover compensation from Santander. He’d been conned out of £80,000 he’d transferred from his bank to some fraudsters who’d set up a ‘clone’ website using Schroders’ corporate logo and colours. It all looked genuine to him, and the apparently high deposit rates on offer were tempting, so he made the transfer. When we dug into it though, he hadn’t a leg to stand on. Santander had run him through all the security checks, and he’d still insisted on transferring the money, suckered by what appeared to be market-beating interest rates. AI will only make such scams all the more do-able.

Now let’s return to the journo’s question as to whether firms like ours will have a place in the future. I am sure we will. In fact, in many ways I think we shall be in more demand than ever, because with AI able to digitally fake pretty much anything online, future clients will insist on personal meetings with real identifiable real human beings. This is a people business at the end of the day, where every client matters, is unique to us, and is treated accordingly. One of the many benefits of our personal and bespoke approach is that it keeps our clients safer.

ISAs and S P E C T R U M Portfolio Reviews
We are arranging ‘Bed and ISA’ transfers as early as possible this tax year, to minimise the Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax consequences of the cuts in the dividend allowance and CGT exemption. If, therefore, you have a non-ISA General Investment Account (GIA) with us, please respond promptly to any ‘Bed and ISA’ recommendations we send you. Our ongoing portfolio review program is also throwing up some switch recommendations, so again, if you receive a letter from us recommending any moves, please do reply promptly. With the recent increases in interest rates, we now have bonds available as a usable asset class for the first time since 2008, and where appropriate we are reshaping portfolios to take advantage of that fact.

Why Being Patient and Holding Your Nerve Pays – Literally

It’s been a rough time since the end of 2019 with the COVID-19 crash followed by the market disruption caused by the Russian war against Ukraine. In many ways it’s been the most difficult period during the entire 44 years I’ve been in financial services. The big story, however, is not how far and how fast markets fell during the recent crises, but how resilient global capitalism has proven itself to be in the face of the events we’ve all been through, and how they’ve bounced back. The graph above looks at global equity markets all the way back to 1980. With this perspective, you can see how all so-called ‘crashes’ are really just temporary blips.

Would you like a personal face-to-face review? We shall contact our clients as per our review schedule, but if you need a review sooner, or you are a new client wanting to request a meeting, please call and book in. We provide personal meetings as and when needed on an all-inclusive basis for all of our Clear and FAIR full-service private clients.

With kind regards,

Yours sincerely

Neil F Liversidge, CPFA