IT COULDN’T HAPPEN TO ME – OR COULD IT?

As we get older we are mindful that we could be afflicted at any time with one of the many conditions that insurers categorise as ‘critical illnesses’. Although the list of qualifying conditions runs into several dozen the most common are the more familiar ones of heart disease, stroke and cancer. And it’s not just […]

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VOLATILITY – FRIEND OR FOE?

If you follow the financial markets closely you will be more than aware that they have been subject this year to considerable volatility. Exactly what does that mean? A dictionary definition of volatility as it applies in finance is: ‘The degree of variation of a trading price series over time as measured by the standard […]

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WHY ONE PENSION IS NOT ENOUGH

On Friday 16th March the Trump administration fired the Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe just 24 hours before he was due to take retirement with full benefits. Without entering into the rights or wrongs of the decision the fact is that by not fulfilling the complete 20 years to qualify for a full pension McCabe […]

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WHEN BAD NEWS AFFECTS YOUR FINANCIAL PLANS

When Gunung Agung came back to life last September, after remaining dormant since the early 60’s, many lives were turned upside down. Hardest hit were the local residents who were forced to flee the exclusion zone around the mountain, many of whom are still unable to return to their homes and livelihoods until the authorities […]

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SOME GREAT NEW WAYS TO LOSE MONEY!

In the far-off days before the Internet, smartphones and even credit cards, the greatest opportunities to become rich overnight often arrived in the form of hand-written airmail letters carrying exotic postage stamps, usually from West Africa. Typically, a letter would explain that a close relative in a very important government position had been murdered or […]

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CRYPTOCURRENCIES – OPPORTUNITY OR DISASTER IN MAKING?

Ever had frustrating dealings with banks? Tired of high charges for international transfers and other services? Weary of meeting compliance requirements and the difficulty in Bali especially of having to prove where you live when your home doesn’t even have a physical address? And now we have the Common Reporting Standard to which almost all […]

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LESSONS FROM A SURPRISING YEAR – BUT WHAT LIES AHEAD?

Let’s wind the clock back to January 1st 2017. Prospects for the world and for investors looked grim. Trump was about to start his term as US President threatening all manner of chaos (he has not disappointed), Kim Jong-un was threatening to up the ante with bombs and rockets (again, he has not disappointed), the […]

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IS IT TIME TO TAKE OUR CHIPS OFF THE TABLE?

If you have been to a rock concert you will appreciate the huge difference in participating in a live event compared to listening to the same music on a DVD (or for free on YouTube which has turned the music industry upside down). In the financial services industry the equivalent of a rock concert would […]

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FINANCIAL PREDICTIONS – SHOULD WE BELIEVE THEM?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could predict the future? It might not all be good news but at least we could plan ourlives accordingly. It would certainly come in helpful when making investments but I will come back to that later. Firstly let’s examine the most famous predictor of the future of all time, none other […]

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STORM DEVASTATION – COULD IT HAPPEN HERE?

Houston, Texas, 2.00am. I was awoken by a thunderous beating of rain and wind against the house. I got up to see a deluge of almost horizontal rain lit up by lightning that was so frequent that it resembled a strobe light. But you couldn’t hear any thunder as it was drowned out by the […]

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