Mark Bentley

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  • in reply to: Interactive Investor #20699
    Mark Bentley
    Keymaster

      Thanks for posting your experience, Rajeev. Any member comments are helpful to others.

      Best,
      Mark


      in reply to: Suggestions and requests #19349
      Mark Bentley
      Keymaster

        Hi Oliver,

        We have a forum for general investment topics like this: https://www.sharesoc.org/forums/forum/general-discussions/ – but, like most of our forums, it is only accessible to full members of ShareSoc. You can upgrade here: https://www.sharesoc.org/membership/upgrade-membership/. Full members can also create their own discussion topics within a forum. We do ask that members subscribe, to use the full range of ShareSoc’s services.

        The issue of special dividends vs buybacks is a controversial one. Buyback programmes are often not conducted at optimal prices and, as a result, frequently don’t add value. Shareholders with a high proportion of their investments in tax efficient accounts like ISAs and SIPPs may well prefer special dividends.

        Best,
        Mark


        in reply to: AJ Bell #19140
        Mark Bentley
        Keymaster

          Hi Marthin,

          You’ll be pleased to hear that the FSCS compensation limit was raised to £85,000 for investments in 2019, to match the protection for savings. See https://www.fscs.org.uk/what-we-cover/investments/.

          Note also that ShareSoc is a campaigning organisation, whereas SIGnet is not. SIGnet’s sole focus is on investor groups but, following the merger between SIGnet and ShareSoc, SIGnet members are also associate members of ShareSoc by virtue of the their SIGnet membership and so can raise their concerns with ShareSoc.

          Raising the compensation limit further is a double edged sword. Whilst, obviously, an increased limit would offer more protection for investors with larger accounts, it is not cost free. Payouts by the FSCS are funded by a levy on the firms they cover. That levy has been increasing steeply in recent years. See https://www.fscs.org.uk/media/press/2021/may/21-22-levy-forecast/. Those additional costs are likely to be passed on through higher fees from brokers/platforms, ultimately.

          I have been assisting shareholders from a number of collapsed brokerage firms, notably Beaufort and SVS. It is reassuring that, despite the collapse, pretty much all client assets were recovered and the FSCS only had to fund the costs of the Special Administration for those firms and their clients. ShareSoc pushed for those costs to be distributed equally between all affected client accounts. That resulted in the cost per account being well below the FSCS compensation limit and hence being fully covered. The chief exception was in rare cases where clients held large amounts of cash in their accounts, because the Special Administration Regime (SAR) requires administration costs for the recovery of cash to be distributed pro-rata to the cash amount for each client.

          I am planning to launch a campaign for reform of the SAR for ShareSoc in the near future, as the current regime is excessively slow and costly IMO (as well as containing the cash anomaly).

          The FCA monitors the safe custody and segregation of client assets closely, requiring (at least) monthly reconciliation reports and annual independent audits from brokers/platforms. For this reason a loss of client assets is highly unlikely, even when a broker collapses.

          Best,
          Mark

          in reply to: Shareholder Rights #18783
          Mark Bentley
          Keymaster

            Hi Robin,

            Regarding Letters of Representation, ii are very good with this. Under account > personal details & preferences > your account information, make sure to subscribe to the “voting and information service”. You will then be able to vote electronically and/request to attend a meeting in person. When a meeting is announced, you will then receive a message advising you about it and directing you to your “voting mailbox”. From there you can submit your vote or press a button to request attendance. If you press the button, a letter of representation will be sent to you automatically, after you’ve completed personal details.

            Best,
            Mark

            in reply to: Investment club broker #16984
            Mark Bentley
            Keymaster

              Hi Douglas,

              ShareSoc members have reported that both interactive investor and Hargreaves Lansdown offer a service for investment clubs.

              Best,
              Mark

              in reply to: Interactive Investor #16933
              Mark Bentley
              Keymaster

                Thanks Toby,

                I was surprised by the concern expressed. As mentioned by others, I think ii’s support for voting and information rights is the best of any UK platform.

                Best,
                Mark


                in reply to: Hargreaves Lansdown #16809
                Mark Bentley
                Keymaster

                  Ok – that makes sense then. No reason to suspect any “funny business” going on!


                  in reply to: Hargreaves Lansdown #16800
                  Mark Bentley
                  Keymaster

                    6.5m trades generating £113m of revenue is interesting. Implies > £17 per trade. Surely their commissions are not that high? If not, suggests that they’re generating revenues on trades from sources other than commissions. Makes me wonder whether they get fees for order flow, which I was led to believe was not legal in the UK.

                    If I’m right that the revenue is more than just trading commission, it would be interesting for a shareholder to ask how that revenue was derived, at their AGM.


                    in reply to: AJ Bell #16560
                    Mark Bentley
                    Keymaster

                      I’ve been with AJ Bell since 2002, when they were “SIPPDeal”. Overall, I find their customer service very good and, as Douglas says, most trades are executed efficiently and good documentation is provided.

                      Drawbacks are that they really offer only electronic trading for smallcap stocks. Generally when I try to execute a hard to place trade with their telephone service, their dealers only seem to use the same online facility I can use myself. When I first opened an account, they didn’t do the dealing themselves but outsourced to James Brearley, who could offer a proper telephone dealing service and discuss execution with market makers on your behalf. I also find their non-UK dealing facilities limited. Whilst I do hold one Canadian listed stock with them and can trade it fairly readily, there’s another large cap TSX stock (IVN) which they can’t deal for me – so I have to deal that one in my ISA with ii, who offer a very comprehensive international dealing service, offering direct access to a broad range of markets.

                      My SIPP with AJ Bell is now in drawdown and they process the monthly payments efficiently and at a reasonable annual cost.

                      Mike, for shares in a dealing account, the custody charges are capped at £42 p.a.: https://www.youinvest.co.uk/dealing-account/charges-and-rates You’re right about the fund costs, though.

                      in reply to: Shareholder Rights #15719
                      Mark Bentley
                      Keymaster

                        Hi Patrick,

                        ii used to provide this service, but sadly it appears that they no longer do. I will update the table accordingly.

                        Part 9 of the Companies Act contains the provisions that enable (but do not require) nominee operators to nominate persons to receive information rights.

                        See this article for the latest on ShareSoc’s efforts to address these issues.

                        Best,
                        Mark


                        in reply to: Shareholder Rights #13399
                        Mark Bentley
                        Keymaster

                          Hi Mike,

                          I’ve improved the backgrouond colour for the header row.

                          Best,
                          Mark

                          in reply to: Information Sources #13392
                          Mark Bentley
                          Keymaster

                            Note also the page in the ShareSoc Investor Academy offering guidance on choosing a broker: https://www.sharesoc.org/investor-academy/new-investors/choosing-a-broker/

                            in reply to: Information Sources #13389
                            Mark Bentley
                            Keymaster

                              Some comparison sites/sources:

                              Compare the platform: https://comparetheplatform.com/

                              The Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (the broker and platforms’ trade body) offers a search facility to find a broker meeting your needs.

                              in reply to: Questions #12598
                              Mark Bentley
                              Keymaster

                                Hi Mike,

                                I’ve tried to explain them in the “how to use” post referenced in my reply to Penny above.

                                Do let me know if you have any suggestions for improving that post.

                                Best,
                                Mark

                                in reply to: Suggestions and requests #11686
                                Mark Bentley
                                Keymaster

                                  It has been requested that logged in forum users should be able to select a nickname to post under, rather than having to use their real-names.

                                  At present this can be accomplished by contacting our office. I will, however, raise a change request to create a feature allowing users to change their nicknames themselves.

                                  As a matter of principle, we discourage the use of nicknames, as most forums are only visible to a closed community of ShareSoc and/or SIGnet members and posts are much more credible if the identity of the poster is clear. We prefer members to post under their real names and aim to promote a friendly, mutually supportive community. By default, your real name will appear when you post. We will moderate posts by anonymous posters rigorously, to prevent posters hiding behind aliases to make abusive posts that they would not make if their identity was known.

                                  We do understand, however, that some members are very concerned about their privacy and do not wish to disclose their identities, even within the member community, but would still like to post. We do not wish to discourage such members from making useful posts.

                                  Mark Bentley, Webmaster

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