Le Tour de Finance – 100th event in Dinard
Our 100th financial seminar was quite rightly our biggest yet with approximately 90 attendees out of the 106 who had RSVP’d.
Guest speakers from Rathbones, SEB, Tilney Best Invest, Prudential International and Standard Bank all flew in specially for this event alongside the organisers and founders, Pippa Maile from Currencies Direct and Michael Lodhi from The Spectrum IFA Group.
The venue, Le Grand Hotel Dinard, was a fabulous location with first-class service and an excellent buffet lunch to finish.
There were plenty of prized to mark the event – five lucky attendees went home with 100euros in cash each, everyone received a goodie bag plus there was a prize draw for other prizes including champagne, signed British rugby shirts and autographed books.
Thank you to everyone who came along and made this such a great success. If you are one of the people who unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute, please feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like copies of the presentations or have a specific topic that you would like advice on.[Gallery not found]
Le Tour de Finance – Autumn seminars
The autumn run of seminars in France kicked off this week in Endreol,La Motte and moved onto the beautiful Chateau La Coste in Le Puy Sainte Reparade with a final stop in the Languedoc region at The Domaine Gayda.
These autumn seminars proved to be very successful offering English speaking expats a chance to meet various experts from fields including; specialist expat independent financial advice, mutli-asset wealth management, currency exchange, QROPS/pensions and expat tax advice. The string of autumn seminars will culminate in Dinard, Brittanty with Le Tour de Finance’s 100th event.
The next events are:
11th Nov 2015 Avrille, Loire
12th Nov 2015 Dinard, Ille-et-Vilain, Brittany
If you would like further information or would like to book a place, please contact us
The objective of Le Tour de Finance is to provide expatriates with useful information relating to their financial lives. We try and cover frequently asked questions that we receive from our clients. It would be helpful for us to know what your particular areas of interest might be.
For further details and to book your place at a future event please register here
Below you will be some photos of our lucky prize draw winners walking away with a refreshing bottleof champagne, together with our speakers and attendees.[Gallery not found]
The Spectrum IFA Group sponsors the Mimosa Matters Ball
On April 17th at The Royal Mougins Golf Club, the charity is hosting their second Mimosa Charity Ball.
Peter Brooke of The Spectrum IFA Group is kindly sponsoring the Illusionist, to entertain the guests and give the whole event that magical touch.
Funds from the charity ball will go directly towards the opening of a new Espace Ligue centre in Antibes – where cancer sufferers and their families can receive free counselling, support and alternative therapies – as part of La Ligue Contre le Cancer (a French Cancer Research Association)
For more information on the event please email Mimosaball@gmail.com
Le Tour de Finance Paris
The Spectrum IFA Group, one of the participants of Le Tour de Finance, is proud to announce that the event of 15th April will be held at the Ambassade de Grande Bretagne in Paris.
This prestigious event brings together a number of experts from major British financial institutions on subjects such as UK/French tax issues, the new succession rules for August 2015, pensions/QROPS and tax efficient investing for expats.
The popular Tour de Finance events are an excellent opportunity for expats living in France to get those all important questions answered by specialists in their respective fields. The events will also give you a chance to meet other like minded expatriates in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere.
The event will commence at 18.30, with a complimentary buffet in the Embassy from 20.30 – 21.30.
If you would like further information or would like to book a place, please contact us
The objective of Le Tour de Finance is to provide expatriates with useful information relating to their financial lives.
We try and cover frequently asked questions that we receive from our clients. It would be helpful for us to know what your particular areas of interest might be.
Send us your questions and the event you will be attending and we will try and cover them on the day:
Please click here Le Tour de Finance Questions
Precious metals and gold
Which of these has more value? Is there something better?
When it comes to hedging (protecting) against dollar debasement, few things have performed as well as gold. Having gold or unit trust gold funds could be said to be “preparing for the worst.”
Following the fairly recent global financial crisis, governments have adopted expansionary monetary policies by cutting interest rates and increasing the amount of money in circulation to keep their banks and indebted borrowers afloat. Even though the historical case for gold is strong and the price goes up, the raw supply and demand case for platinum and palladium might be even stronger.
Russia and South Africa currently hold 80% of the world’s platinum and palladium reserves and both are struggling to maintain output. In fact, global supply is becoming increasingly less as production declines in these two politically volatile countries. Strikes in South Africa have resulted in the loss of 550,000 ounces (14,174,761 grams) worth of production in the first quarter of this year. And the tensions along the Ukraine border threaten to trigger huge disruption in markets in Russia.
This instability in South Africa and Russia all but ensures that the platinum and palladium markets will see yet another supply deficit in 2014.
Regardless, demand continues to increase and is unlikely to come down soon. Primarily, these metals are used in catalytic converters, the mechanism in your car’s engine that helps reduce noxious gas output and helps to keep the air cleaner. As more and more cars hit the roads – particularly in developing nations – the demand for cleaner air looks set only to rise.
Do you have gold shares in your investment portfolio? Or Uranium or Platinum? Now is the time to look at exactly what assets make up your portfolio. After all, I am sure you want to cover all bases.
“The best time to invest is when you have money.
This is because history suggests it is not timing which matters, but time”
Sir John Templeton
Spectrum on Talk Radio Europe
Spectrum Adviser Charles Hutchinson was interviewed for Talk Radio Europe
You can listen to the whole interview by clicking on the link below
How can expats can get their ‘nest-egg’ savings working harder despite low-interest rates
Returns from bank savings accounts are at an all-time low, and savers are becoming increasingly frustrated. Interest rates in the western world are at extremely low levels, with the euro base rate at 0.75 percent. In the UK it is even lower, at 0.5 percent. While this helps some people, such as mortgage holders with tracker rates, savers are being punished as banks have continually cut the interest rates paid on savings accounts. Retirees drawing a pension, or looking to buy an annuity, have also been hit hard in this low-interest rate environment.
Low interest rates are here to stay
First, it doesn’t look like this will change for quite some time. The prevailing policy of central banks has been to increase money supply (quantitative easing), maintain liquidity in the banking system and keep interest rates low. Even a slight increase in the base rate over the next couple of years is unlikely to result in decent interest rates on savings.
Second, inflation is running at around 2 – 3 percent depending on which part of Europe you live in. It just feels like everything is getting more expensive, especially food and energy costs. The end result is that we are effectively losing money by leaving it in the bank.
Of course, we all need to leave some cash in the bank as our emergency fund (most financial planners would recommend around six months of income). But it is the ‘nest egg’ money (the savings that we don’t really need in the short-term) that we can do something about.
How can you get your nest egg working harder?
With the objective of ‘beating the bank’ over the longer-term, you can build a diversified portfolio of investments. In plain English this means spreading your money around and not having ‘all of your eggs in one basket’. Assets primarily fall into one of the following categories: equities (shares in companies), fixed-interest bonds, property, cash or commodities.
You need to be clear about your ‘Risk Profile’. At Spectrum, we carry out a ‘Risk Profiler’ exercise which aims to establish the level of risk you are comfortable with and helps you understand the relationship between risk and reward. We then employ a forward-looking ‘Life-styling Process’ which means building a portfolio to match your own personal situation and objectives.
The eventual portfolio should therefore match your risk profile, usually measured from ‘cautious’ at the lower end of the scale, ‘balanced’ and then ‘adventurous’ at the higher end. The investment strategy should therefore be appropriate for your stage of life.
What assets to invest in
There are literally thousands of investment funds and vehicles to choose from. At Spectrum, we filter these by using strict criteria when choosing clients’ investments. For example we only use: UCITS compliant, EU regulated funds. This ensures maximum client protection and highest levels of reporting. Daily priced, liquid funds, so that clients do not get ‘locked-in’ to funds. Financially strong and secure investment houses. Funds which are highly rated by at least two independent research companies.
Multi-asset funds are popular with clients as they are managed by experienced asset managers who, through active daily management, can offer access to all asset classes within a single fund. Their job is to capture capital growth while also protecting investors when markets suffer a downturn. Some fund managers have a great track record of doing this, for example Jupiter Asset Management’s Merlin International Balanced Portfolio, which has returned +34 percent (euro share class, as at end Feb 2012) since launch in late 2008, with relatively low volatility.
Multi-asset funds can be used as a ‘core’ holding within a portfolio, with more specialised and sector-focussed funds making up the rest of the portfolio.
Many blue-chip companies have very strong balance sheets and pay dividends of around 4 percent, which is higher than current interest rates. This dividend income can be re-invested into your capital (unless you need the income). The capital value of course will fluctuate but if you are investing for the longer-term you have time to ‘ride out’ any volatility.
Equity funds can be global in nature, regionally specific (for example focussing on emerging market countries) or even country specific. Other types of equity funds focus on smaller ‘growth-orientated’ companies rather than blue-chip, dividend paying stocks.
Ethical funds are also an option. These are funds which only invest in ‘ethical’ companies. They are screened and assessed on criteria such as environment, military involvement or animal welfare.
These include government bonds and corporate bonds. Western government bonds were traditionally seen as ‘safe havens‘, however yields are now currently as low as cash. You could consider corporate bonds, which are categorised in terms of risk (higher-yielding bonds means higher capital risk). Emerging market bond funds (with exposure to local currencies) could also be considered.
Many investors like to get exposure to bonds via a fund, which is a diversified mixture of bonds. One good option may be Kames Capital’s Strategic Bond Fund, with a return of +57 percent (euro share class, as at end Feb 2013) since launch in November 2007.
Commodities Commodity-focussed funds can be volatile and would normally make up only a small part of a portfolio. However there is potential for long-term growth by investing in companies with exposure to precious metals and resources (gold, silver, iron ore, copper) as well as other ‘soft’ commodities such as agricultural resources and the food sector.
Collective property funds or property-related shares could also form a small part of your portfolio. Physical property by its nature is illiquid but by using a property fund you can obtain exposure to shares in property companies, keeping your money liquid.
Review your portfolio regularly
It is vitally important that your portfolio is regularly reviewed. One reason why people do not get the most from their finances is the lack of regular attention paid to their arrangements. Consider using a regulated, independent adviser who should offer regular reviews as part of their ongoing service.
At Spectrum we have an in-house Portfolio Management team, helping advisers and clients monitor client portfolios regularly for performance and suitability. One aspect of our regular reviews is ‘profit-take alerts’; when one area of your portfolio has out-performed, then why not take some profits? Investors can really benefit from such active management.