My broker periodically sends me a glossy magazine, Private Insight. Hitherto it has been reliably dull, dwelling on the need to contribute to a pension scheme, plan for Inheritance Tax and so on.
The Managing Director’s editorial follows a formula. He informs his clients about how markets have performed and then opines that looking forward there is uncertainty; they might go up, or they might not. This is pure comfort-reading for me. The latest edition dramatically strays from this well-trodden path. The firm that he runs has fifteen branches from Bath to Sheffield. I mention this because of his audacity stepping confidently onto the international stage. He recognises that there is a possibility of a war involving North Korea but reassures his clients that the firm will “remain vigilant but cautiously optimistic of a non-confrontational resolution”.
If world peace depends on the vigilance of the Managing Director of my stock broker and his staff we are surely in trouble. Anyway, it transpires that he can keep several balls in the air at the same time and, when he is not watching Korea, he is dealing with MiFID II and GDPR. The former he is right on top of, the latter perplexes him. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will be implemented in May 2018. “We have already undertaken significant work on this and I will be able to update you on progress and the changes to our service as a result in a future issue of Private Insight.”
Next up in the magazine is an interview with a broker in the Birmingham office. I must reach for Roget; vapid, trite, bland, boring, dull, uninformative … But at least we are back on safe ground.
Then there is an excellent article on Bitcoins; genuinely informative and well written, although it omits to mention that the CME is introducing a futures contract that will be an easy route to exposure to this perilous new sector.
Finally, there is an article headlined with refreshing candour: “Money is Key for Women Entering Later Life Marriages”. On balance I like this new editorial policy while retaining a hint of nostalgia for the good old days when all I had to do was use my CGT allowance and top up my ISA.