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Gold - How Much?

UBS executive Josef Stadler, who manages investments for clients with assets of $50m+ to invest, advises that wealthy investors are now buying into physical gold as a safe haven during these troubled times.
 
“If you talk to ultra-high net worth individuals, the level of uncertainty has never been higher in the last two, three, four years. If they ask me, 'Is inflation going up or are we entering a deflationary cycle?,' I don't know. But obviously nobody knows."
 
Van Anantha-Nageswaran, Julius Baer's chief investment officer for Asia, adds, "I see gold as an insurance. I recommend 10 per cent as minimum in portfolios and anything more than that to be used for trading purposes, to respond to short-term over-bought or over-sold signals."

Speed Camera Ban Leads To Crash Fall

It was reported at the weekend that Swindon, the first town in the UK to get rid of all of it's speed cameras has seen a significant reduction in traffic accidents during the last year. Swindon Council was heavily criticised when it took the decision to decommission all Gatso's in the town last year. Critics warned that the measure would lead to an increase in crashes and accidents. However, figures indicate that since the move the number of accidents has infact dropped significantly. The council's leader Roderick Bluh said the town had "never seen a drop (in accidents) like this before".
 
The Council argues that it has been able to invest the money it has saved in more productive road safety measures such as warning signs that  flash when cars are going to fast.
 
However, there are still in the region of 6,000 cameras across the UK taking around £100 million in fines each year.
 

Wine & IHT

Wine is often promoted as a tax-friendly investment with many sellers saying that, for Inheritance Tax purposes, its value is based on the price it was bought at rather than its current value.
 
Accountants UHY Hacker Young have just issued a warning about this, saying there may be capital gains tax exemptions but that these exemptions do not apply to IHT.
 
‘Tax law is pretty clear on this point but wine investments are sometimes made in a very salesy and high pressure environment and good salesmen always sound plausible - some may not even know they are giving incorrect tax advice.’ Always seek tax advice before investing in wine. 
 

Dealer's Dodgy Finance

New stats from the Finance and Leasing Association reveal that about half of new car purchases were bought with dealer finance in the first six months of this year. As with all intermediary finance, it’s rarely competitive as the intermediaries, in this case car firms, take commission.
 
Confused.com, for example, recently worked out that the cost of buying a new £10,390 VW Polo was £12,127 via dealer finance and £11,618 via a loan from Tesco Bank.
 
The best advice? ‘Customers should be certain to consider all finance options available before committing to dealer finance when it comes to purchasing a new car as a personal loan may prove the cheaper option.


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