As time ticks down towards next month’s Brexit vote the debate is getting loud enough to drown out almost everything else. Yet developments on the Continent are just as important for our future if Britons decide to remain in the EU.
Last week, to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, we republished an article explaining the regulations and practices that govern how we deal with clients affected by dementia and other forms of mental incapacity.
With just over a month to go before we take to the polls, the Brexit debate continues with more attack ads and vagaries. This week, the unlikely trio of Lib Dem’s Vince Cable, Labour’s Ed Balls and chancellor George Osborne used a specially branded Ryanair plane as a bandstand for the ‘remain’ campaign.
It’s been just over a fortnight since Rathbones and The Spectator hosted a frenetic Brexit debate at the London Palladium. Yet in that short space of time the decision around ‘should we stay or should we go’ has continued to gather pace. And, just when you thought the debate couldn’t get any more farcical, the prime minister has issued a warning that Brexit could lead to World War III and Boris Johnson has been spotted waving a pasty from a bus in Cornwall.
Last night, I had a second row seat at the London Palladium. Fortunately, it wasn’t to see Bradley Walsh introduce a line up of Britain’s Got Talent rejects. Instead, the performance involved six politicians debating on whether the UK should remain in the EU. The ‘Old Lady of Argyll Street’ has probably never seen a show like it.
I recently decided to take a trip up to the Lake District thinking that some down-time by the Lakes would be a good idea. The only problem was, everyone had the same thought as me, so the M6 on the way up resembled a car park - it took over seven hours to get there!
As I whiled away the hours, staring at the back of a white van, I realised that my unique idea to get away for the weekend wasn’t such an exclusive decision after all. As the traffic continued to back up, it dawned on me that the markets are also displaying a similar herd like mentality.
Global monetary policy loosened noticeably last month. Further stimulus from the European Central Bank, rumours of even heavier bond buying from the Bank of Japan, and a dovish US Federal Reserve have been a boon for asset prices.
My current box set addiction is Deadwood – a TV series about a gold rush in the American mid-West, with desperate men panning the streams for gold and trying to stay alive as rivals move in. They spend hours sieving stones from the river bed looking to find glints of the shiny stuff. As a fund manager in these volatile times, I can feel more than a little empathy as I try to generate positive returns in what are likely to be flat or falling markets.
It seems my pet dog has recently developed sensitivity to the markets because throughout January, he was a particularly poorly boy. While at the vet, the Australian nurse examining Monty found out I was a fund manager, so started quizzing me on the state of the share market. Trying to explain a preference for Wells Fargo over Bank of America Merrill Lynch to the tune of a whimpering animal is quite a surreal experience...
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