Collective Investments

Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Proposes Name Change – Roger Lawson says Vote Against!

This article represents the views of its author, not necessarily those of ShareSoc. The Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Trust (SLS) is proposing to change its name. The managers are currently Aberdeen Standard Fund Managers Limited but the name “Standard Life” has been sold to Phoenix Group so a change of name is not unreasonable. Of course this is the kind of problem that arises when a trust is named after the fund manager. It also causes problems if the board of directors ...

Changes to KIDs Proposed by the FCA

Yet another public consultation issued by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in mid-summer is one on KIDs (Key Information Documents). This is relevant to private investors and is designated CP21/23 – see link below. KIDs are imposed and regulated under the PRIIPs regulation as devised by the EU for packaged investment products such as funds and trusts. KIDs give basic financial information, risk indicators and likely future performance based on past performance. Those who purchase investment trusts for example will be asked ...

FCA, AFMs, ACDs, High fees for inappropriate products, Closet indexers

By Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc. These are my personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of ShareSoc. The FCA has published two reports in a week that highlight the historic failings of the fund management industry and are hugely critical. According to Wealth Manager "In a damning report, the watchdog said fund houses have failed to properly assess the value of their funds." see https://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/news/asset-managers-can-t-explain-why-funds-offer-value-fca-says/a1527497 It is a good report with many sensible suggestions. It should have been done 5 years ago immediately ...

Platform Transfer Finally Completed and Pointless Trust Changes

Good News! A transfer of one of my SIPPs from one platform to another has finally been completed today (22nd June). I initiated the transfer on the 12th January this year so this has actually taken over 5 months. A totally unreasonable period of time for what should have been a simple transfer of cash and a few direct shareholdings of UK listed crest stocks. However their failure to collect the tax refunds on PID dividends on some of the holdings ...

Scottish Investment Trust Reviewing Management Arrangements

I wrote about the Scottish Investment Trust (SCIN) back in February and commented negatively on its underperformance in recent years. Their investment style has been based on a contrarian approach, i.e. picking cheap stocks that look undervalued but which might recover. The article included this comment: “It would appear that they adopted the new investment style five years ago which might be identified as when under-performance took off. If an investment strategy does not work, how long should you persist with ...

Investment Trust Discount Reduction – The SEC example

by ShareSoc Director Cliff Weight. These are my views and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Readers may recall my blog in Oct 2020 about investment trusts discounts and what to do about them https://www.sharesoc.org/blog/collective-investments/investment-trust-discounts-what-to-do-about-them-and-sec-example/ On Friday 28 May 2021,  SEC announced their new plan to help reduce their discount, https://www.londonstockexchange.com/news-article/SEC/contingent-tender-offers/14995537 : 2022 Contingent Tender The Board has determined to put in place a contingent tender offer in 2022, should the ordinary shares trade at a wider than average discount of 8 per cent. over the ...

Woodford Claims and the Financial Ombudsman Service – Update 19 May

We (Boz Michalowska from Leigh Day and me) met with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) on 7th May. They have received 549 claims so far relating to Woodford, Link, Hargreaves and IFAs. They have resolved 3 at final decision stage and these were simple cases against IFAs. We were given no evidence to suggest that the FOS route is likely to have a quick nor successful resolution. ShareSoc cannot give financial advice and individuals must of course make their own decisions. ShareSoc ...

Comparison of Woodford Claims

The Investors Chronicle have published on 30 March 2021 a useful table comparing the 4 ongoing Woodford Claims: ShareSoc endorsed the Leigh Day Claim, in November 2020 on the basis of information available at that time. The table highlights that the Leigh Day claim and Harcus Parker claim are both against Link, both have funding and insurance, and similar numbers of claimants, but Leigh Day is only charging 30% versus 42% for Harcus Parker. RGL is only part funded and says on its ...

Strategic Equity Capital GM

SEC still has a  20% discount (258p share price versus 312p NAV) and the Directors own pitifully few shares so have little skin in the game and no incentive to sort this out. I have registered my protest vote, via interactive investors' excellent voting platform (NOTE TO HARGREAVES LANSDOWN - you really ought to provide a better voting service to your customers). I think my vote is a protest vote as it looks likely the directors will win. Other shareholders should consider ...

Mail, 14 March 2021, Extensive ShareSoc press coverage in Mail newspapers

Mark Northway, ShareSoc Chair, is quoted extensively in this article for new investors. The Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail is doing a good job at informing its huge readership about investing in shares and funds. Recent coverage includes https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/share-investing/article-9343095/What-rights-shareholders-companies-own.html https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/share-investing/article-9346497/How-invest-shares.html  https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/investing/article-9358297/YOU-power-make-firms-kinder-Heres-how.html The good news about Mail On Sunday and the Daily Mail is there is no paywall, IT'S FREE, so everyone can read their very informative articles, unlike the FT, Telegraph and Times. Also, the articles include links to the ShareSoc website so this may attract ...