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The Oaktree Blog

The latest blogs by Chris Macleod.

How to build houses

Some thanks are due the Chancellor.  The 22 November budget was not anything like as terrible as my worst fears.  No silly fiddly measures which create lots of silly red tape for small businesses and individual taxpayers, whilst producing minimal benefits to the economy.

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The No Win Budget

“Spreadsheet Phil” Hammond, the Chancellor, has in my view an unenviable task in his 22 November budget. The sort of budget measures needed by the economy are likely to be politically unacceptable, especially to the Brexiteer members of the Cabinet.

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Going up!

“Don’t fight the Fed!” is one of the most useful unwritten rules of investment.  When the US Federal Reserve is in a sustained period of interest rate rises, global asset prices struggle and often fall.  The Fed raised its prime rate in June and the Governor of the Bank of England made it clear we are likely to follow suit sometime in 2017.

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Why tax insurance can be great value!

This blog post is about a tax enquiry where HMRC wasted taxpayers' funds in a case they were never going to win.

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What is a proactive accountant?

Most accountants say they are proactive, so it annoys me when I pick up new clients who have been left to their own devices for a year or more.

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RTI – A Fine Tax Mess From HMRC!

From October 2013, HMRC plan to collate payroll information from every employer in the UK every month, rather than just every May as at present. This project has much political muscle behind it as it is a key plank for the Universal Credit system championed by the Government.

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Buy On 1 November For A SAD Gain!

Since 1990, the UK market has:

  • Risen an average 7.4% between 1 November and 30 April.
  • Risen an average 0.9% between 1 May and 31 October.

One factor here is the Northern hemisphere trading bias towards the winter months due to Christmas.  Another less logical one is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) depressing the mood of investors at the end of summer and start of autumn.  The evidence for this explanation is that Southern hemisphere markets such as Australia do better between May and October.

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The Eighth Wonder Of The World!

According to Albert Einstein, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it. He who doesn’t, pays it.” Unfortunately an awful lot of people don’t properly understand how this can affect long term investments such as pensions.

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Business Record Checks

One day in July 2011 HMRC settled the long-running Vodafone tax case for just over £1 billion – £1 billion less than Vodafone had set aside and £8 billion less than the maximum potential settlement.  On exactly the same day HMRC announced that an extra 150 or more staff were being assigned to Business Record Checking (BRC) on small businesses.

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