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  • FIRST POST
    • vigman
    • By vigman 6th Dec 17, 9:31 AM
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    vigman
    Oxford University Bonds?
    • #1
    • 6th Dec 17, 9:31 AM
    Oxford University Bonds? 6th Dec 17 at 9:31 AM
    Hi
    Is it possible, and if so how, for me to buy the new Oxford University Bonds? I see JP Morgan are their agents but everyone seems very shy about getting hold of the things and what the minimum cost is!?

    Also, please could anyone point me at where to find out more about fixed rate bonds, especially government ones? Surely these are a (fairly) safe way to get a good return?

    TIA

    Vigman
    Any information given in my posts or replies is intended to be of interest and/or help to members of the forum. I cannot guarantee that this is accurate or up to date.
Page 1
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 6th Dec 17, 11:17 AM
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    Malthusian
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 17, 11:17 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 17, 11:17 AM
    Can't answer the question about the Oxford bonds but investing in bonds issued by single companies is usually only suitable for sophisticated investors with very large portfolios, given the risk of permanent and total loss. Have you tried ringing JP Morgan?

    I notice that when University College Oxford launched a bond the rate was only 3.1% per annum, which is not particularly attractive given you can get higher yields from corporate bond funds investing in a wide range of bonds with much less risk of default.

    To answer the question on gilts, no they aren't a safe way to get a good return. The return is less than you should be able to obtain from best-buy savings accounts, and savings accounts won't fall in value as interest rates go up. Gilts only provide a good safe return if you are an institutional investor and unable to access retail savings accounts.
    • vigman
    • By vigman 6th Dec 17, 11:30 AM
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    vigman
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 17, 11:30 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 17, 11:30 AM
    Thank you so much for that information.

    I wish I knew more about investing. I am good with antiques, collectables and precious metals but know that our money isn't really working well enough for us.

    I do read up what I can but usually get bogged down in too much detail. I don't want to use a financial services provider as the last (fully registered) one cost me a considerable amount of money!

    Vigman
    Any information given in my posts or replies is intended to be of interest and/or help to members of the forum. I cannot guarantee that this is accurate or up to date.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 6th Dec 17, 11:33 AM
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    dunstonh
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 17, 11:33 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 17, 11:33 AM
    I don't want to use a financial services provider as the last (fully registered) one cost me a considerable amount of money!
    In which case, you should avoid investing in unregulated investments with 100% loss potential and no FSCS protection.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 6th Dec 17, 12:09 PM
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    Malthusian
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 17, 12:09 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 17, 12:09 PM
    I do read up what I can but usually get bogged down in too much detail. I don't want to use a financial services provider as the last (fully registered) one cost me a considerable amount of money!
    Originally posted by vigman
    Who was that?

    What you're proposing could cost you a considerable amount of money. It's a bit like saying that I don't want to get a dog because a dog bit me once, so I'm going to get a piranha.

    If you invest in an Oxford University bond then you are investing with a financial services provider. Bonds are a financial service.
    • vigman
    • By vigman 6th Dec 17, 3:02 PM
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    vigman
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 17, 3:02 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 17, 3:02 PM
    Thanks. Some of my questions and responses come across as quite naive as I have actually done well with property and tangible investments selected by myself and some carrying considerable risk eg gold bought at £7 per gram and sold at £12 per gram.

    Also did well with Bitcoin despite some comments made here!!

    Most cash though is in safe investments like ISAs and I have done badly with shares and unit trusts

    It was unit trusts advised by a professional financial advisory firm that were my biggest loss. Since then I have made direct investment purchases

    The OU bond was going to be a Christmas gift for someone and I wanted to know how to buy a relatively small quantity. I rang JP Morgan and was passed from pillar to post. Finally got someone who knew about the bond and promised to get back to me but hasn't.

    Now my wife and I are retired I can't take large risks as I am under 65 and on a work disability pension

    TIA

    Vigman
    Any information given in my posts or replies is intended to be of interest and/or help to members of the forum. I cannot guarantee that this is accurate or up to date.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 6th Dec 17, 3:20 PM
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    dunstonh
    • #7
    • 6th Dec 17, 3:20 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Dec 17, 3:20 PM
    Also did well with Bitcoin despite some comments made here!!
    But you could have lost a lot too. Just like all the other things you have bought

    Just because you have had something that went up in value, does not mean it was suitable. Equally, just because something went down in value does not mean that was unsuitable.

    It reminds me of an old conversation I had with someone who was slagging off their old adviser for putting them in a rubbish investment that lost them money. The person then switched into something else that had made them money and they thought it was better. It turned out that the advised investment covered a stockmarket crash and the individual investment covered the recovery period. The main differences were down to time and not due to quality. And it turned out that the original advised investment that was considered bad would have made more in the recovery period than the one considered better.

    Lack of understanding can lead to decision making that relies on luck rather than judgement.

    Most cash though is in safe investments like ISAs and I have done badly with shares and unit trusts
    It is very hard to do badly in those types of investments unless you make bad decisions based on poor understanding. As mentioned above.

    Nearly everyone that says what you have said has only done badly because they made bad decisions (e.g. selling after a crash rather than wait for recover)

    Now my wife and I are retired I can't take large risks as I am under 65 and on a work disability pension
    So, why are you gifting money if you cant afford to?
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • vigman
    • By vigman 6th Dec 17, 4:27 PM
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    vigman
    • #8
    • 6th Dec 17, 4:27 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Dec 17, 4:27 PM
    Thanks Dunstonh, I appreciate your reply

    The shares I did badly with were with things like Mersey Docks that stopped trading and paid out on holdings, the old Royal Bank of Scotland that were wiped out as were Amstrad. I can't remember the unit trust I was advised to invest in now but they went from £3 to 30p

    Is it really fair to say it is hard to do badly with such investments?

    I was advised not to buy a seaside property in 2001 for £40,000 as the market was going to fall anytime. It is now worth £220,000. I used my judgement that such properties are a limited commodity and were bound to keep rising.

    I'm gifting a small amount of money in the OU bonds if such a purchase can be made as a combined birthday and Christmas present. I said we couldn't afford to take large risks!

    Finally surely all investment is luck one way or another however well informed the investor is?

    Vigman
    Any information given in my posts or replies is intended to be of interest and/or help to members of the forum. I cannot guarantee that this is accurate or up to date.
    • dunstonh
    • By dunstonh 6th Dec 17, 5:00 PM
    • 89,928 Posts
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    dunstonh
    • #9
    • 6th Dec 17, 5:00 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Dec 17, 5:00 PM
    The shares I did badly with were with things like Mersey Docks that stopped trading and paid out on holdings, the old Royal Bank of Scotland that were wiped out as were Amstrad. I can't remember the unit trust I was advised to invest in now but they went from £3 to 30p

    Is it really fair to say it is hard to do badly with such investments?
    The only unit trusts that have gone down by that much were niche/specialist funds. Such as the tech funds during the dot.com crash. An extremely high risk, highly volatile niche fund that typically should form no more than 5% of your overall investments.

    I think based on this, it is fair to say your decision making with investments is the problem. All extremely high risk and niche and not at all conventional.

    I'm gifting a small amount of money in the OU bonds if such a purchase can be made as a combined birthday and Christmas present. I said we couldn't afford to take large risks!
    But your investing history appears littered with extreme high risks. The risk you take should be linked to how much you can afford to risk.

    Finally surely all investment is luck one way or another however well informed the investor is?
    No. If you pick investments that you know (or should know) are possible of making 90% or losing 90% in 12 months then that should be your expectation. If you pick investments that could make or lose 40% the same applies. You are going to get something in that range. What you get in future will be unknown but you know it's going to zig zag in value with good years, nothing years, bad years and sometimes really ugly years. However, you can somewhat control the level of risk you are taking and likely loss range.

    For example, if you built a portfolio of funds covering US equity, UK, Europe, Asia, Emerging Markets, property, fixed interest securities etc you can weight the holdings to suit your loss tolerance. You would likely have no more than 1% in any one asset. If that one asset fails, then its not going to make much of a bump in your portfolio. You are controlling the level of bad luck you can suffer.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 6th Dec 17, 5:06 PM
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    • 5,300 Thanks
    Malthusian
    The shares I did badly with were with things like Mersey Docks that stopped trading and paid out on holdings, the old Royal Bank of Scotland that were wiped out as were Amstrad. I can't remember the unit trust I was advised to invest in now but they went from £3 to 30p

    Is it really fair to say it is hard to do badly with such investments?
    Originally posted by vigman
    Three individual shares plus a unit trust that lost 90% of its value in a downturn is an extremely poor portfolio and you would have had rock-solid grounds for redress. Or are you only telling us about the holdings that did badly? It is impossible to answer the question if you don't give us the full picture. That would be a bad investment if it was 100% of your portfolio but not if it was only a very small part - which is what they are designed for - and the rest of your portfolio was sufficiently well-diversified to ride out bumps in the market.

    I was advised not to buy a seaside property in 2001 for £40,000 as the market was going to fall anytime.
    No decent adviser would make a crystal-ball-gazing statement like that.

    I'm gifting a small amount of money in the OU bonds if such a purchase can be made as a combined birthday and Christmas present.
    Why do you think the receiver would want to invest in OU bonds? Are they a sophisticated investor with over a million pounds in an existing and well-diversified portfolio? Seems a bit odd for someone who says they are on a disability pension and aren't in a very comfortable financial position to gift an investment to someone who is rich enough that investing in individual corporate bonds is suitable for them.

    Obviously having less money than someone doesn't mean you can't give them presents, but it does make it odd to give cash - or any other purely monetary present. I give presents to my parents at birthdays and Christmas but not in cash or stocks. Surely they would appreciate a gift with sentimental value more.

    Finally surely all investment is luck one way or another however well informed the investor is?
    No. One of the most basic principles of investing is to take luck out of the equation. In the jargon this is called eliminating non-systemic risk. You never known when the market is going to go up and when it is going to go down (that's the systemic risk), but you do know that a diversified non-geared portfolio of equities and other real assets will beat cash over the long term, provided you don't panic and cash in.

    Luck only becomes involved if you try to gamble by timing the market or on individual shares and sectors.
    Last edited by Malthusian; 06-12-2017 at 5:09 PM.
    • jamei305
    • By jamei305 6th Dec 17, 5:30 PM
    • 239 Posts
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    jamei305
    The minimum holding is likely to be £100,000 or more.
    • vigman
    • By vigman 6th Dec 17, 6:41 PM
    • 1,171 Posts
    • 278 Thanks
    vigman
    Thanks everyone

    The only advised investment that lost were the unit trusts in 1997. I didn't follow up a complaint as the financial advisor helping me died suddenly and I didn't want to put in a complaint about him

    All othe losses were of my own making. No this is not the whole picture but certainly have done better with actual items and commodities than stocks and shares. I also own property.

    I can't win in one way. I bought Max Oil shares (yes risky) and they increased considerably. I could (should in hindsight!) have cashed out quickly with a reasonable profit. When they nose dived I thought I would not lose my nerve but they were soon de-listed from AIM (plus I was in hospital during the fall period) and the whole investment lost.

    The OU bond idea was just as my son has started investing and works for an associated branch of OU. Not quite up to the £100,000 Chistmas present yet!

    I'd be happy to pay a reasonable fee for professional advice but feel a bit put off by the unit trust experience

    Thanks again

    Vigman
    Any information given in my posts or replies is intended to be of interest and/or help to members of the forum. I cannot guarantee that this is accurate or up to date.
    • redpete
    • By redpete 6th Dec 17, 10:24 PM
    • 4,142 Posts
    • 3,645 Thanks
    redpete
    But you havent really invested, you have made serial gambles. When you choose a single company's shares a lot will be down to luck.

    Also, you are considering this 'investment' as a gift, so why does your attitude to risk come into it at all? You buy something for £50 and give it away. You are £50 down, it will never be any more nor any less.
    loose does not rhyme with choose but lose does and is the word you meant to write.
    • vigman
    • By vigman 7th Dec 17, 8:27 AM
    • 1,171 Posts
    • 278 Thanks
    vigman
    [QUOTE=redpete;73525606]But you havent really invested, you have made serial gambles. When you choose a single company's shares a lot will be down to luck.

    Also, you are considering this 'investment' as a gift, so why does your attitude to risk come into it at all? You buy something for £50 and give it away. You are £50 down, it will never be any more nor any less/QUOTE]

    I initially only asked about where I might buy the university bonds and what a minimum investment might be.

    I would have no concern about risk if I could buy say £100 of these and give them as a gift and am slightly puzzled by the last comment?

    Is buying 15+ different individual company shares and trading them in X-O as a part of my investing really a succession of serial gambles? Some are blue chip some are risky. I've researched the companies in share discussion sites and made a judgement on how I think they may perform. I just didn't use a management company when trading.

    Property, ISAs, and interest paying accounts along with antiques and gold bought in the past at low cost make up most of my investments. The most I have had in shares is around £5k

    Like many of us I would like to find a home for say £100k cash at a safe 4-5% but this does not seem possible at the moment.

    I may put £10k in a S&S ISA managed by Hargreaves Lansdown to see if I can do better than the new NSI 2.2% 3 year fix. Issue 56 Growth Bond.

    My concern about large risk is for my wife's security. Ten years ago I was given approximately eight years to live and as I do have serious health issues I don't want to risk LARGE amounts that she may need in the future.

    Vigman
    Last edited by vigman; 07-12-2017 at 8:53 AM. Reason: Added issue 56 Growth bond
    Any information given in my posts or replies is intended to be of interest and/or help to members of the forum. I cannot guarantee that this is accurate or up to date.
    • martinthebandit
    • By martinthebandit 7th Dec 17, 8:34 AM
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    martinthebandit
    http://monevator.com/the-permanent-portfolio/

    This has always made sense to me
    Politics -
    from the words Poli, meaning many
    and tics meaning blood sucking parasites


    (thanks to Kinky Friedman (or Larry Hardman) for the quote}
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 7th Dec 17, 12:05 PM
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    Malthusian
    Is buying 15+ different individual company shares and trading them in X-O as a part of my investing really a succession of serial gambles? Some are blue chip some are risky.
    Originally posted by vigman
    Yes. In the 19th century that might have been considerered a diversified portfolio. Not any more.

    A portfolio of 15 shares has a significant risk of permanent loss if a few of the shares go bust or do a BP, and the others don't perform well enough to make up for it. Risk of permanent loss means the portfolio may never make money no matter how long you wait. A diversified portfolio of tracker funds has almost zero possibility of permanent loss unless the investor panics and cashes in or invests with borrowed money. The vast majority of investors should not be taking on any risk of permanent loss.

    If you had used an adviser they would have helped you avoid your losses or, in the very slim chance that you found a bad one, you would be entitled to redress.

    http://monevator.com/the-permanent-portfolio/

    This has always made sense to me
    Originally posted by martinthebandit
    Unsuitable for most investors as only a quarter of the portfolio is invested in assets that can be expected to deliver real growth. It's simultaneously extremely cautious (only 25% in equities and 50% in cash and gilts) and extremely speculative (25% in a single commodity with no yield). There's no logic to it other than picking four assets at random and splitting the investment between them, which is very old-fashioned.

    Very few UK investors should be investing any money at all in conventional UK gilts because they can get better returns from cash with less risk, unless they're so loaded they're effectively an institution. This is why it's often a mistake to take investment advice from people writing in a different country under a completely different set of economic conditions.

    If a UK adviser had been recommending the same products and the same funds for the past 10 years, they'd be a rubbish adviser, a stick-in-the-mud too lazy to update their knowledge. But if advice is old enough then somehow it ceases to become out-of-date and becomes an eternal verity.
    Last edited by Malthusian; 07-12-2017 at 12:09 PM.
    • redpete
    • By redpete 9th Dec 17, 1:33 PM
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    • 3,645 Thanks
    redpete
    Is buying 15+ different individual company shares and trading them in X-O as a part of my investing really a succession of serial gambles? Some are blue chip some are risky. I've researched the companies in share discussion sites and made a judgement on how I think they may perform. I just didn't use a management company when trading.
    Originally posted by vigman
    I was commenting on the information you had given in previous posts although 15+ individual shares is by no means low risk and without knowing what they are I can't comment on the diversity of those shares.

    I reckon any one of the unit trusts i have include shares in at least 50 companies and more likely 100+, I've also diversified across different areas of the world.

    But then if I only had £5k in shares I wouldn't be too worried about controlling risk or diversification.
    loose does not rhyme with choose but lose does and is the word you meant to write.
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