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Timing the markets

By Pauline Bowden - Topics: Costa del Sol, Investment Risk, Investments, spain, Uncategorised, wealth management
This article is published on: 29th August 2016

29.08.16

Staying the course

Every market cycle has both up days and down days. Often, a few very good days account for a large part of the total return. Staying the course ensures that investments will be “in” the market on the good days. Some people try to time market movements by selling stocks when they think the market is about to decline and by buying stocks when they think the market is about to rise. Resist being a market timer. By trying to time the market, you potentially miss out on market rallies that could substantially improve your overall return and long-term wealth. Thus, what’s most important is not timing the market, but rather time IN the market. Staying the course when confronting difficult markets may prove very rewarding in the long run. Consistently predicting which days will move in which direction, though, is virtually impossible and can be very costly.

Diversifying your portfolio

Diversification may reduce the overall volatility of your entire portfolio, thereby helping you achieve greater long-term returns. It is important to remember, however, that diversification does not protect against loss in broadly declining markets. Like markets in general, different investment styles come in and out of favour in Cycles Rather than trying to predict which investment is likely to be the best performer in the future, investing in a well-diversified portfolio can help you to seek returns whilst managing for volatility. Diversification strategies may be especially important in a volatile market environment, when sector rotations and market fluctuations happen continuously.

The Importance of Protection and Protecting What’s Important

By Pauline Bowden - Topics: Costa del Sol, Life Assurance, spain, Uncategorised
This article is published on: 25th August 2016

25.08.16

Life Assurance is not the most popular of topics, as no-one wants to think about dying!

Most people have mortgages, loans, household bills, perhaps education fees, the payment of which is totally dependant on the income of the “bread winner”. Most Life Assurance policies are taken out to replace that income should the bread winner die or where there are children in a family to cover the life of the housewife/husband.

If your partner died, would you give up work to look after your children? A Life Assurance policy can provide the funds necessary to employ a carer/housekeeper.

Business partners too are financially dependant on each other. Should one of the partners in your company die, Life Assurance can provide a lump sum payment to buy the shares from the widow/er and help with the costs of finding new staff.

There are two main types of Life Assurance:

  • Term Assurance. This pays a lump sum on death or diagnosis of terminal illness within a set period of time. Often used for mortgage protection/family protection.
  • Whole of Life. This pays out whenever you die. Often used for Inheritance Tax, funeral expenses or for family protection.

So, how much life cover do you need?

Employer schemes generally provide 4 times the annual salary but in order to provide sufficient capital to fully protect the financial future of a family, most Financial Advisers would recommend up to 10 times the annual salary.

And how much will it cost?

The cost of Life Assurance varies according to age, sex, medical and family history etc.
To find out more about this subject call Pauline Bowden now on 95 289 0383 for a confidential and personal consultation.

Where there’s a Will

By Pauline Bowden - Topics: Costa del Sol, Inheritance Tax, Residency, spain, Succession Planning, Tax, Uncategorised, Wills
This article is published on: 7th June 2016

07.06.16

Many people avoid drawing up wills because it requires them to contemplate their own mortality. If you are a foreigner with property and/or other assets in Spain, you should make a Spanish will.

You should also have a will for each jurisdiction within which you hold assets. For example, if you have a bank account in Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Jersey etc, you also need a will in that country.

Each of these wills needs to clearly state that they are for the disposal of assets in that country only and that you want your will to be governed by UK/ other EU country law. Only if you state this, will that disposal of assets be governed by your own national law and not that of Spain.

It is now possible to have your Spanish will made out in two columns. One side in Spanish and the other in English. This is checked by a Notary Public and signed by you, the Notary and your interpreter, if your Spanish is insufficient for you to read the Spanish side of the document yourself. The Testamento Abierto (Open Will) is kept by the Notary, an authorized copy will be given to you and the Notary will send a notification to the Registro Central de Ultima Voluntad in Madrid.

It is important to discuss with your legal or financial adviser in Spain, details of the heirs named on your Spanish will. The more direct descendants that are named in your Spanish will as heirs, the less the Inheritance Tax you should have to pay.

Unlike the UK and many other countries, in Spain it is the person receiving the inheritance that is taxable, NOT the deceased person’s estate.
There are many differences between the UK law and Spanish law on Inheritance and Gift tax and although the UK and Spain have many reciprocal arrangements for double taxation, there is no such arrangement for Inheritance Tax.

To die intestate (without a will) in Spain, makes the process of sorting out the deceased’s estate much more time consuming and costly. For the sake of a small amount of money and an hour of your time, you can leave your affairs in order, to help those left behind.

Retirement Benefits

By Pauline Bowden - Topics: Costa del Sol, Pensions, QROPS, Retirement, spain, Uncategorised
This article is published on: 21st April 2016

21.04.16

For people in all walks of life, retirement can be an uncertain prospect. At the very least it raises all kinds of questions concerning personal financial stability and the maintenance of living standards.

For those whose work takes them to a number of different countries during their career, the uncertainty is increased.

Until recently, retirement plans have traditionally offered a restrictive and inadequate package which was expensive to implement and complicated to arrange.

Most people require a simple yet flexible retirement benefits package, offering the possibility of a secure and prosperous retirement. An investment programme that allows you to decide exactly what you want and when you want it, how much and which type of protection you feel is appropriate for your own personal circumstances.

A plan where you can have the flexibility to take it with you from employer to employer and country to country, where you can increase or decrease or even temporarily suspend payments. You want to choose at what age you wish to retire and choose how you wish to receive your money upon retirement.

Flexibility and choice are the key words to most people when they start a retirement plan. Gone are the days when you worked for one company for 40 years, religiously paying into the company pension scheme. It is each individual’s responsibility to make sufficient provision for their retirement and which route to take to achieve future financial security can be a complicated search of bewildering facts and figures when comparing products available.

To get personal and confidential advice regarding your retirement provision, it is necessary to discuss your own individual future financial needs, together with your full financial planning objectives.

Spectrum sponsored DFAS lecture – Costa del Sol, Spain – Wednesday 16th March.

By Charles Hutchinson - Topics: Costa del Sol, Events, spain, Spectrum-IFA Group, Uncategorised
This article is published on: 7th April 2016

07.04.16

The Spectrum IFA Group co-sponsored an excellent NADFAS (National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies) lecture on 16th March at the San Roque Golf & Country Club on the Costa del Sol. The Spectrum Group was represented by our local adviser, Charles Hutchinson, assisted by his wife Rhona who attended along with our co-sponsor George Forsyth from Prudential International.
The National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies is a leading arts charity which opens up the world of the arts through a network of local societies and national events.

With inspiring monthly lectures given by some of the country’s top experts, together with days of special interest, educational visits and cultural holidays, NADFAS is a great way to learn, have fun and make new and lasting friendships.

At this event, around 150 attendees were entertained by an immensely interesting and informative historical talk on the Russian royal family and Fabergé’s Easter Eggs made for the Imperial Russian Court, by Toby Faber of the publishers Faber & Faber.

The talk was followed by a drinks reception which included a free raffle for prizes including CH produced Champagne and a coffee table glossy book on Fabergé. Prudential also supplied a presentation bottle of 12 year old malt whiskey and smaller gifts.

All in all, a good turnout and a very successful event at a wonderful venue. The Spectrum Group were very proud to be involved with such a fantastic organisation and we look forward to next season this Autumn.

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Spectrum sponsors the NADFAS event in Costa del Sol

By Charles Hutchinson - Topics: Costa del Sol, Events, spain, Spectrum-IFA Group, Uncategorised
This article is published on: 24th February 2016

24.02.16

The Spectrum IFA Group co-sponsored an excellent NADFAS (National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies) lecture on 17th February at the San Roque Golf & Country Club on the Costa del Sol.  The Spectrum IFA Group was represented by our local adviser, Charles Hutchinson, assisted by his wife Rhona who attended along with our co-sponsors Ignacio Ortega & Tricia Anderson from Currencies Direct.

The National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies is a leading arts charity which opens up the world of the arts through a network of local societies and national events.

With inspiring monthly lectures given by some of the country’s top experts, together with days of special interest, educational visits and cultural holidays, NADFAS is a great way to learn, have fun and make new and lasting friendships.

At this particular event, over 100 attendees were entertained by a fascinating talk on Indian Textiles Art & Design by Jasleen Kandhari, Head of Department, Oxford University.

The talk was followed by a drinks reception which included a free raffle for prizes including CH produced Champagne and a coffee table glossy book on Indian Fabric Design.  Currencies Direct also supplied a presentation box of Cognac and Chocolates and desk diaries.

All in all, a good turnout and a very successful event at a wonderful venue.  The Spectrum IFA Group were very proud to be involved with such a fantastic organisation and we shall also be sponsoring next month’s event on the subject of Fabergé’s Imperial Easter Eggs from the Russian court.

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Decorative & Fine Arts Society event

By Charles Hutchinson - Topics: Costa del Sol, Events, Uncategorised
This article is published on: 18th December 2015

18.12.15

The Spectrum IFA Group co-sponsored an excellent DFAS (Decorative & Fine Arts Society) lecture on 9th December at the San Roque Golf & Country Club on the Costa del Sol.  The Spectrum Group was represented by two of our local advisers, Jonathan Goodman and Charles Hutchinson, who attended along with our co-sponsors Richard Brown and Lewis Cohen from Tilney Bestinvest.
DFAS is an overseas branch of The National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies which is a leading arts charity which opens up the world of the arts through a network of local societies and national events.

With inspiring monthly lectures given by some of the country’s top experts, together with days of special interest, educational visits and cultural holidays, DFAS is a great way to learn, have fun and make new and lasting friendships.

At this event, over 150 attendees were entertained by a talk on Art Deco by Eric Knowles of Antiques Roadshow fame, who was simply brilliant and kept the audience gripped with his knowledge and humour.

The talk was followed by a drinks reception which included a free raffle for prizes including CH produced Champagne, a presentation wine box and a coffee table glossy book on Art Deco.  Tilney Bestinvest also supplied an art deco style money box designed and crafted by Viscount Linley, the Queen’s nephew, which caused quite a stir!

All in all, a fantastic turnout and a very successful event at a wonderful venue.  The Spectrum Group were very proud to be involved with such a fantastic organisation and we hope to have the opportunity to do so again.

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What holds you back from investing?

By Charles Hutchinson - Topics: Costa del Sol, Investment Risk, Investments, spain, Uncategorised, wealth management
This article is published on: 14th July 2015

14.07.15

Investing for some can be a very difficult task and yet for others it is both easy and immensely satisfying. Those in the former group would just love to be in the latter. So what is the problem? Why are they so different?

The underlying problem is fear but there are ways to reduce these anxieties.

The most fearful are the beginners and yet it is surprising how many “mature” investors go through a similar experience. There is no doubt that that without that leap of faith, you will not achieve the return you so much seek. If your overriding desire is to obtain real growth on your capital, however big or small, you must rethink your approach. For “from small acorns, grow great trees”.

Probably the best antidote is to look back through history – look at what our forebears were faced with when they were poised to put their capital at risk. I should add at this point that without risking your capital to some degree or other you will never experience real wealth creation. “There is no gain without pain”. Here at The Spectrum IFA Group, we look to do this in a controlled and disciplined fashion to insulate the client as much as possible from the stress and concerns of investing.

But we should go back to the basic instincts which create these fears and are the barriers to wealth creation. Someone once said that “The brain is a massive sabotage machine” which interferes in a negative fashion with every important decision we make. I could go into all the reasons for not making an investment decision but I would like to zero in on just one of the many. If you look for reasons for not making the decision to invest then you need to remain in your “comfort zone”. The older we get, the more we want to be in that place because the alternative is too stressful.

Probably the greatest excuse we come up with is the current situation: the Greek debacle, the threat to the Euro, Putin’s bellicose posturing, the state of the EU and its future, whether the UK will stay in, the collapse of the Chinese stockmarket, increasing terrorism, our old favourite secure backstop the Bond Market in total disarray, bank interest rates at all time lows, global warming, global overcrowding, shortage of food and water – need I go on?   In fact these are all the excuses for not investing. The fact of the matter is that the only way to beat inflation and actually create wealth is to invest in capital markets, whatever they are, whenever. There is no good or bad time to invest. In fact, if you are a contrarian like the all time most successful fund manager, Anthony Bolton, you invest when everyone else is selling. And to put it another way, fund managers wait with anticipated glee for markets to fall, so that they can get back in at a lower level. Using people like us is the least stressful way to invest as we have already done the research on your behalf as to who are the best managers and for which investment houses they work!

Let us now look back in history and see all the reasons why we shouldn’t have invested at that time. And yet, those who ignored these doomsday factors went on to achieve amazing growth on their capital – not through some rocket science wizard scheme but by just investing in the top stocks in their respective stock markets. An internationally renowned global investment house has produced figures over decades to show that if you had ignored the gloom merchants and just invested * when you had the capability, you would be a wealthy person now. For example, if you had invested just £1,000 in 1934, it would today be worth today over £4,000,000; just £4,000 invested in 1960, would have grown to £1,000,000.   If you had invested £10,000 in 1989, it would have grown to over £90,000 today. How could this have happened with all the appalling crisis’s which have occurred in the meantime? Simple, global capital does not just disappear in times of crisis, it has to have a home, it cannot evaporate and like seasons and the rise and setting of the sun every day, capital markets just continue on, regardless of war and pestilence.

(*invested in a portfolio of investment funds or top stocks actively managed by a competent regulated investment house with good past performance.)

Ah, but that was then, there is too much going on the world to de-stabilise the markets. Oh yes? What has changed in the last 80 years?   NOTHING!

Let me show you:

1934 Depression
1935 Spanish Civil War
1936 Economies still Struggling
1937 Recession
1938 War Clouds Gather
1939 War in Europe
1940 France Falls & Britain is blitzed
1941 Pearl Harbour & Global War
1942 British Defeat in North Africa
1943 Heavy defeats continue in the Far East
1944 Consumer Goods Shortages in the U.S.
1945 Post-War Recession Predicted
1946 Dow Tops 20 and London market too high
1947 Cold War begins
1948 Berlin Blockade
1949 Russia Explodes A-Bomb
1950 Korean War begins
1951 U.S.Excess Profits Tax
1952 U.S. Seizes Steel Mills
1953 Russia Explodes H-Bomb
1954 Dow tops 300 – Market Too High
1955 Eisenhower illness
1956 Suez Crisis
1957 Russia Launches Sputnik
1958 Recession
1959 Castro seizes power in Cuba
1960 Russia downs U-2 Spy Plane
1961 Berlin Wall Erected
1962 Cuban Missile Crisis
1963 Kennedy Assassinated
1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident
1965 Civil Rights marches
1966 Vietnam War Escalates
1967 Newark Race Riots
1968 USS Pueblo seized by North Korea – fear of renewed war.
1969 Money Tightens – Markets Fall
1970 Cambodia invaded – Vietnam War Spreads
1971 Clouded Economic Prospects
1972 Economic Recovery Slows
1973 Energy crisis & Market Slumps
1974 lnterest Rates Rise & steepest markets falls in 4 decades
1975 Oil Prices Skyrocket
1976 lnterest Rates at All-Time High
1977 Steep Recession Begins.
1978 Worst recession in 40 Years
1979 Oil prices sky rocket
1980 Record Federal Deficits & Interest rates at all time highs
1981 Economic Growth Slows
1982 Worst recession in 40 years
1983 Largest U.S. Trade Deficit Ever
1984 Energy Crisis
1985 Economic growth slows
1986 Dow Nears 2000
1987 Record-Setting Market Decline. Black Monday and UK Hurricane
1988 U.S. Election Year
1989 October “Mini Crash”
1990 Persian Gulf Crisis &1st Gulf War
1991 Communism Tumbles with the Berlin Wall
1992 Global Recession
1993 U.S.Health Care Reform
1994 Fed Raises lnterest Rates Six Times
1995 Dow Tops 5,000
1996 Dow Tops 6,400
1997 Hong Kong Reverts to China
1998 Asian Flu sweeps the Globe
1999 Y2K Millennium Bug Scare
2000 Tech Bubble Burst
2001 9/11 Terrorist Attacks
2002 Recession
2003 War in lraq
2004 Rising lnterest Rates
2005 Hurricane Katrina & destruction of New Orleans. London bombings.
2006 U.S. Real Estate Peaks
2007 Liquidity Crisis & Subprime Lending crisis spreads to Europe
2008 Credit crisis /Financial Institution failures globally
2009 U.S. Double Digit Unemployment Numbers
2010 European Sovereign Debt Crisis
2011 U.S. Credit Downgrade
2012 Fiscal Cliff Issues-/European Recession
2013 U.S. Government Shutdown/Sequester
2014 Oil Prices plunge 50% & Malaysian Airliner shot down in Ukraine

2015 Greece, Terrorist attacks, ISIS rampaging all over Middle East, etc.,etc.

So against this seemingly grim litany of disasters and cyclical market falls, the global financial wealth continued to increase at a remarkable pace over the last 80 years and before that. It will continue to do so into the future. The only thing to stop it would the total annihilation of the Human Race where wealth & money would be useless anyway!

I hope I have illustrated that fear of exposing capital to a perceived risk has no foundation! For those who are still not convinced, they should leave their money in the bank where it will continue to earn nothing, its real value will erode with inflation and possibly disappear with the collapse of the bank they have so carefully chosen to safeguard it!

The Spectrum IFA Group & the Decorative & Fine Arts Society

By Charles Hutchinson - Topics: Costa del Sol, Events, spain, Uncategorised
This article is published on: 2nd April 2015

02.04.15

The Spectrum IFA Group and Charles Hutchinson in the Costa del Sol were proud to sponsor a recent event for the DFAS (Decorative & Fine Arts Society), which is the local branch of NADFAS (National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Society).

The lecture in March was held at the legendary San Roque Golf & Country Club where the centre piece is the magnificent Domecq mansion. Attended by over 100 people on the 18th March the informative lecture was entitled “Romancing the Stone” and was given by Joanna Hardy on the subject of Jewellery and Gem Stones. She is a world famous authority on the subject, having been with De Beers, Sotheby’s, Phillips, regularly writes for the Daily Telegraph and features regularly on the Antiques Roadshow.

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