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Winston Churchill's Teeth

Adrian Roose at Paul Fraser Collectibles has just emailed offering Winston Churchill’s teeth for sale. Let’s see what Paul has to say…
‘Churchill's collectibles are among the most valuable and sought-after in today's global markets. The more 'personal' the collectible, the greater the investment. And the following example shows the extent collectors are willing to go to to purchase 'touched by Winston' collectibles. Last June, a Havana cigar Churchill gave to a fellow diner in a Monte Carlo restaurant sold for £2,125. But the real money is involved in items that can be proven to have been used by Churchill. Like a cigar he has actually smoked. In Aylsham, Norfolk, a half-smoked cigar abandoned by Churchill to attend an urgent cabinet meeting brought £4,500.
It sold for more than twice as much as the Havana cigar. The reason being that Churchill had smoked it - it had actually been in his mouth. The more personal it is, the more collectible it is. And the more valuable it will be in future years. And prices are rising. According to the industry's PFC40 Autograph Index, a signed Churchill photograph cost £2,600 in 2000. Today, it is worth £5,950. That's an increase in value of 128.8 per cent.’
If you are interested in investing in Winston Churchill collectibles, drop me a line and we will sort an article out for you. With the upcoming 50th anniversary of Churchill's death and the 70th anniversary of WW2's end in five years, now is the time to buy.

Hot Oil Buy

Our friend Robert Sutherland-Smith has an oil tip for us today. ‘I tipped oil services group John Wood (WG) two years ago after the collapse of the oil price. Although the results for the six months to 30th June were not much to write home about (sales revenue only fractionally up and pre tax profits and earnings down by a quarter) it was the management’s explicit confidence about this second half and for next year that catches the attention.’
‘Next year should see earnings per share rise 20 per cent to 29p (the estimated price to earnings ratio of 18.4 forecast for this year falling to 15.3 next year’s forecast estimate.) The dividend yield is estimated at 1.6 per cent for the current full year, rising to an estimated 1.9 per cent next year. Not a big dividend but big enough in relation to what banks are giving their customers Meanwhile, the estimated earnings yield for next year is 6.6 per cent.’
‘Indicators of non earnings value are to be found in recent cash and near cash reserves of £210 million (worth over 41p a share) and some pretty solid looking attributable balance sheet assets worth about 250p a share (57 per cent of the current share price). Generally, the BRIC world looks in good condition whilst Europe has got some colour back in its cheeks, even if it still has some big structural problems to deal with. In such a world over the next few years, the outlook for the oil price and oil industry activity looks encouraging. Buying John Wood at the price 442.3p looks a good way of buying into those prospects. Good prospects and good value in my opinion.’ 

HMRC and Offshore Tax

You may not have noticed Treasury Secretary, Danny Alexander’s, announcement that HM Revenue and Customs is to invest up to £900 million to 2014-15 to set up a new offshore avoidance team and increase prosecutions for tax avoidance. If you have offshore accounts, you need to be warned.  Neil Whyte, tax investigation and dispute resolution partner at PKF, says, “HMRC has built up a mountain of information on offshore account holders over the past three years, but has so far failed to investigate many of the individuals involved. To date, it has just relied on making vague threats and offering tax amnesties to encourage people to come forward voluntarily and pay up what they owe.”
“The irony is that this crackdown will hit just as the most beneficial tax amnesty yet gets into full swing. The Liechtenstein Disclosure Facility (LDF) requires individuals to pay only tax penalties of 10 per cent by coming clean and many individuals with offshore accounts still have an opportunity to rearrange them and use the amnesty to come clean on tax arrears.”
“Creating a financial asset in Liechtenstein now can enable individuals to take advantage of the LDF. Meanwhile individuals caught by the new team that HMRC is creating will face penalties of up to 200 per cent on their undeclared offshore income. It remains to be seen how effective the new HMRC team will be. But, if it collects anything like the £7 billion in additional tax revenue that the government is predicting, that means an awful lot of people who don’t take the chance to put their tax arrears right now will be paying very large tax bills – and, some of them will wind up in court.”