The Anonymous Widower

Would You Want To Buy Part Of A Used Insurance Company From This Man?

There is an article in today’s Times, which is entitled Arron Banks Wants To Sell £4million Stake In Firm.

My answer would be a big no!

November 6, 2018 Posted by | Business, Finance | , , | Leave a comment

The City Of London Reaches For The Sky And Keeps More Feet On The Ground

This article on Construction News is entitled City of London To ‘Encourage’ New Skyscrapers.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The City of London Corporation has opened the door to a new wave of towers and an overhaul of one of its main routes as part of draft new local and transport plans.

The local authority wants to encourage the development of new towers able to provide an “iconic image of the City” that will enhance its global standing in the finance, professional services and commerce sectors.

The main route to be upgraded will be Bishopsgate between Liverpool Street station and London Bridge.

  • Pedestrians will have more priority.
  • Cycling and walking will be improved.
  • The public realm will be upgraded.

It the Peak hours, it could become one the busiest walking and cycling routes in the world.

  • At the Northern End, there is Liverpool Street station and Crossrail.
  • At the Southern End, there is London Bridge, London Bridge station, Southwark Cathedral and the River Thames.
  • Just to the West, is the massive Bank station complex.
  • Just to the East, is the soon-to-be-redeveloped Fenchurch Street station.

In addition, the road is fringed on either side with alleys, side streets and the impressive Leadenhall Market, many of which are full of restaurants, cafes, pubs and retail outlets.

Conclusion

In the article, Brexit wasn’t mentioned once, but a large increase in employment wasn’t.

Has the City of London, just put several handfuls of fingers up to the selfish plans of others?

 

 

November 6, 2018 Posted by | Business, Finance, World | , , | Leave a comment

My Preparations For Brexit

My Dalstonian grandmother was caught out by WW1, so she had a hundredweight each of jam and sugar in her cellar for WW2.

I shall be storing my money in Zopa, as it should ride out any storms, as it has done in the past.

October 24, 2018 Posted by | Finance, World | , | Leave a comment

Zopa Supports Citizens Advice ‘Super-Complaint’

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Peer2Peer Finance News.

This is the first paragraph.

Zopa is supporting a ‘super-complaint’ against the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which aims to stop loyal bank customers from being overcharged.

This may seem a bit cynical on Zopa’s part, but I’ve been with them for eleven years and have always got a better return after tax and any losses,  than I would have got from say a cash ISA or one of the Big Banks’ Savings Accounts.

Read the article and see what you think!

Intriguingly, I’ve never heard a licenced Financial Adviser recommend Zopa.

September 29, 2018 Posted by | Finance | , | Leave a comment

Wonga Gets Its Calculations Wrong

I have just reread Some Financial Ramblings About Wonga, which I wrote in 2012.

This was a paragraph.

So this all makes me think that at some time, Wonga will be unable to sustain the current growth. Especially, if legislation to limit their interest rates of over two thousand percent was passed by parliament

The legislation didn’t happen, but publicity around a 2,000 percent interest rate didn’t help.

I used to part-own a finance .company and know from personal experience, that with such a company cash-flow is very easy to predict to the penny.

So when Wonga lost its sheen a few years ago, I suspect that the owners should have seen the writing on the wall.

Mathematics doesn’t lie!

But they didn’t and only last week, a group of mugs poured £10million on the fire.

 

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Finance | | 2 Comments

Financial Trouble At TfL: Can It Stay Afloat?

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Technology.

This is the first paragraph.

London’s public transport provider, TfL, is under increasing pressure. Not only has its government operating grant been slashed but a funding freeze is also expected to cost £640m across the course of the current mayoralty. Can TfL create the commercial income needed to keep it afloat or are there serious causes for concern?

The government is cutting subsidy to TfL, but Sadiq Khan knew that when he stood for Mayor.

So what did he do? He offered a fare freeze until 2020.

It looks like more fantasy Socialist accounting to me, to ensure victory in an election.

The article also says this about the future.

Nevertheless, TfL’s hopes for the future are pinned on the completion of its upcoming Elizabeth Line project, scheduled for the end of the year. The £14.8bn project, which will create a brand new line running underground across London, is expected to be a big revenue raiser. TfL predicts that ridership will increase from the current 46 million passengers on TfL Rail, to nearly 270 million by 2022-2023.

If these predictions are wrong, TfL will be in trouble.

For myself, I suspect that Crossrail will suffer with its own version of London Overground Syndrome, with passenger numbers much higher than predicted. In The Scottish Borders Have Caught London Overground Syndrome, I talked about an outbreak in the Scottish Borders, after the opening of the Borders Railway, and said this.

This disease, which is probably a modern version of the Victorian railway mania, was first identified in East London in 2011, when it was found that the newly-refurbished East London Line and North London Line were inadequate due to high passenger satisfaction and much increased usage. It has now spread across other parts of the capital, despite various eradication programs.

But for the Mayor to rely on that, is clutching at straws.

May 15, 2018 Posted by | Finance, Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Eversholt Joins Very Light Rail Consortium

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Global Rail News.

One of my previous clients; Cummins are involved. I used to provide analysis software for their factory in Darlington.

  • That factory, used to specialise in providing custom-built engines for smaller applications. So if say you wanted a diesel engine for a customised application, Cummins were the first place to go.
  • The factory was also geared up to making small numbers of these engines.
  • The company was very keen on getting quality right, which had actually led to my involvement.

I doubt Cummins would get involved in a project, that didn’t have a good chance of success.

I think the addition of Eversholt to the consortium could be beneficial.

Their traditional market is being eroded by new players looking for safe long-term investments funding some of the new trains.

But they have expertise in funding rail systems and Revelution VLR’s concept of very light rail running on a lightweight slab track could be something that they could fund, especially as a very light rail solution, must be cheaper than a traditional solution.

I shall be watching this consortium.

May 11, 2018 Posted by | Finance, Travel | , | 1 Comment

How The Class 717 Trains Are Financed

This is a paragraph in an article in Rail Technology Magazine, which is entitled Brand-New £200m Class 707s Undergo Testing Ahead Of Autumn Roll-out.

The 25 six-car trains, financed by Rock Rail Moorgate, will be the first to be introduced in the UK using a new model for financing rolling stock. In an unprecedented move, the trains will be financed through long-term investment from pension and insurance companies.

So many of us will own a portion of these trains, through our pensions and insurance policies!

May 2, 2018 Posted by | Finance, Travel | | Leave a comment

L&G To Build 3,000 Affordable Homes By 2022

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Construction News.

This is said.

Legal & General is to start building affordable homes with the aim of delivering 3,000 a year by 2022.

The firm said it will target affordable housing due to underinvestment in the sector.

L&G is aiming to become the “leading affordable housing provider in the UK” by drawing on its £15bn investment programme, according to chief executive Nigel Wilson.

It looks like the story could be better than the headline.

April 27, 2018 Posted by | Finance, World | , | 4 Comments

I’m Now Following The Queen’s Example

By Legend, the Queen never carries any cash.

I’m now deliberately following a similar policy, but I only use a contactless bank card for most of my daily purchases, like my paper and food.

I’ve even still got a couple of John Lewis vouchers gathering dust in my wallet, as sincve the new M & S Food opened in Dalston, I rarely go need a Waitrose.

One thing I find with M & S Food, is that on a typical purchase the average price is two pounds per item. So to keep under the thirty pound contactless limit, I rarely buy more than fourteen items. These unusually fit easily into usable bag.

Buying my paper in M & S or a station also means I can use contactless for the purchase.

A couple of days ago, I was approached by an aggressive tin rattler for a charity I would never suppose because of some of their practices. So I waved my card and asked. “Do you do conactless?” I got a smiling “Sorry! No!”

I still use cash for three purposes.

  • Restaurants with waiter/waitress service, so the tips go to the staff. It also means at busy times, in cafes I use a lot, I always get a table.
  • Black cabs, when I occasionally use one.
  • Personal services from local tradesmen, where the value is small. Otherwise it’s a bank transfer.

But it’s amazing, how little cash you now need.

 

April 25, 2018 Posted by | Finance | , , , , , , | 1 Comment