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The Financial Ironmonger Blog No 43/2017

The Financial Ironmonger Blog No 43/2017

his article are not intended as investment or tax advice and will not be updated after publication unless otherwise stated.


Any hopes that passing through the American Border in Dublin airport might prove easier than the “real” thing were quickly dashed, not least by the sheer volume of people seeking to do so. This facility makes Dublin the obvious entry and exit point for Americans travelling all over Europe, with planes landing and taking off every 45 seconds

At the Border, there are two lines, one for those with American passports, and one for everyone else. But that was as far as any favouritism went; both were subjected to the same types of searching inquisition by officials who had been posted from America, and in no way could be described as having gone native.

Technology is obviously playing an increasingly important part in keeping track of people and things. Having produced satisfactory answers to their questions, I was asked to confirm that a picture on the screen was the bag that I had presented at the check in at Manchester airport. Impressive. It is a process that seems to take at least 90 minutes, and pleas from those who had cut it too fine were totally ignored. Most of those who missed flights on Monday were American.

Clearly, this is a big money spinner for the Irish economy, and as they play fast and loose with that other Border issue, they ought to bear in mind that the UK controls the airspace over the total country.

At the arrivals hall in Philadelphia airport, you can leave by one exit to get a taxi, and there they were, a neat line of yellow cabs, attracting almost no interest. Go out of a separate exit, and you will find the Uber pick up point, with vehicles of all descriptions heading in every direction, like bees round a honey pot. Unbridled capitalism at its most raw.

I had expected to find a country in the grips of a highly divisive election campaign, much as it was two years ago before the Trump victory. The midterm elections are but ten days away, but you would be hard pushed to see any evidence on the ground. Occasionally, there is a small sign urging people to vote on November 6th, but I have only seen one in support of a particular candidate.

The polls show that whilst the President has seen a rise in his personal standing to 45% approval, this has not been reflected by an increase for his Republican party. In broader terms, the expectation is that the Democrats will win the House, but not the Senate, and they have certainly been far more successful at raising money, an influencing factor on the likely outcome.

The row over the election of Judge Kavanaugh seems to have abruptly halted the progress that the Democrats were making, and will certainly have polarised opinion, but what irks the pollsters is the level of non-response, particularly amongst what is termed as “non-college whites”. These are the hard core Trump supporters, who were so important last time, and it seems unlikely that they will desert him now.

Would that the stock market was equally obliging. Some sense of normality finally kicked in as investors began to question valuations, with both Amazon and Google parent Alphabet producing figures below consensus. October, as ever, has been one of the most unpredictable months.


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.