Private Insight

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.


3 thoughts on “Private Insight”

    1. More than one wise person has advised me not to put money into something you don’t understand. I most certainly do not understand Blockchain but I believe that crypto-currencies are a dangerous bubble. First the price might go down; secondly my electronic wallet might be picked; thirdly I might be scammed even buying the nebulous stuff.

  1. My instinct is with you but there is the smallest chance that we may be wrong. Matt Ridley, who I usually believe is unerringly wrong on all enviromental issues, in today’s Times suggest blockchain and bitcoin may be here to stay even if bitcoin is currently overvalued. He cites a report from Lord Holmes. It spurred me to watch a U Tube seminar on blockchain which turns out to be a clever way of recording transactions and enabling the transfer of bitcoins and other crypto currencies. It is meant to be a hundred times safer than Lloyd’s Bank et al. It allows each of us to deal directly with the other party dispensing with all the “middlemen” in the transfer of money. This is slightly worrying for us middlemen. My knowledge at this stage goes no further.

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