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The Financial Ironmonger Blog No 4/2018

The Financial Ironmonger Blog No 4/2018

Every week our guest blogger, David Oakes of Mosaic Money Management (aka The Financial Ironmonger), shares with us his take on some of the major UK and overseas macro and political events that shaped the previous week.

Please be reminded the value of investments, and the income from them, may fall or rise. The views expressed in this article are those of the author at the date of publication and not necessarily those of Chelverton Asset Management Limited or Mosaic Money Management. The contents of this article are not intended as investment or tax advice and will not be updated after publication unless otherwise stated.

–THE FINANCIAL IRONMONGER BLOG NO 4/2018–

The shutdown of the US Government didn’t last long, and was over by Monday. Polls show that voters did not particularly blame one party or the other, let alone the President himself. Rather they blamed the political class, and the swamp they inhabit, a curse on all of them. Having concluded that there were no points to score, they hurried back to work; until the next time.

The swamp has only   grown bigger since the election; the relative unpredictability of the Donald has led those with vested interests to increase their lobbying efforts, hardly the result that his anti-establishment posturing was designed to achieve.

Indeed, the whole rhetoric seems to have changed tone.” America Fist does not mean America Alone”; trade must be free and fair, which is a long way from the economic nationalism promised on the campaign trail.

Indeed with Steve Bannon now totally banished from the scene, the Generals firmly in charge of the White House, and the Establishment now back in control, the building blocks are in place for a very successful term of office. The economy and stock market are on a roll such that it might just filter down to the “deplorables” that got him elected.

Of course he will keep reaching out to them, to secure his base, but the big question is whether they will care when it dawns on them that nothing has really changed. For the UK he promises a massive trade deal, should we ever achieve velocity on Brexit, and maybe he will come and visit in the autumn. He should be welcomed. Our links, and interests, go way beyond whoever happens to be in nominal charge at the time.

Meanwhile the German election saga limps on; the SPD party, or the leaders thereof, have entered in to further talks with the CDU/CSU alliance of Angela Merkel, but whatever final deal is reached, it must be put to the full party membership of some 440,000 where polls indicate increasing unhappiness.

Much as the Momentum movement has swamped the UK Labour party, gaining control of it this week, the activist end of the SPD is encouraging young people to sign up, and block the coalition move. It would seem that Angela Merkel’s days are numbered.

Hidden amongst the e mail trawl this week was one from the investment house, M&G, calling the end of the thirty year bull market in bonds. They manage the largest mutual fund in the UK, and whilst they are not the first to make this call, it is significant. I am off to their annual conference next week to learn more.

Oddly, following the Bribery Act, and MIFID 2, many firms will not allow their employees to attend, thus denying them the opportunity to debate these issues with the fund managers, particularly stupid when M&G called the top of equity markets in 2008. In some parts of this industry, sadly, this is what passes for grown up thinking, but they probably supported Hillary, and opposed Brexit. Some people need to get out more.

–MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST BLOGGER, DAVID OAKES–

David joined Manchester stockbroker Henry Cooke, Lumsden in 1977 and after becoming a member of the London Stock Exchange in 1984 held a number of senior positions within the firm including Managing Director of the in-house fund management company and member of the Executive Committee.

After senior appointments at Cazenove Fund Management and latterly Mercater Capital Management, David joined Mosaic Money Management in 2013. He has successfully managed private client and fund portfolios for over thirty years and has particular expertise in providing a multi manager service to his loyal client base.

The Financial Ironmonger is a hat-tip to Ironmonger Lane, the location of Chelverton’s London office.