The Mail on Sunday ran a piece investigating funds that, though at the upper echelons of the fee scale, are little more than tracker funds (moving up and down with the FTSE benchmark by choosing many of the same stocks) disguised by marketing semantics.
The shocker is that these so-called ‘closet trackers’ are charging up to ten times the fees charged by tracker funds. Furthermore the City Watchdog has identified up to 84 of these kind of funds. Buyer beware!
No surprises sprung as promised – mostly
Chief secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss had told us to expect “no red box, no rabbits out of the hat and no tax changes”, but as it turned out, it wasn’t entirely the non-event we were advised it would be. The figures played in Hammond’s favour – however slight the increase – with the economy having grown 1.7% in 2017, 0.2% up on the OBR forecast. Forecasts for growth in 2018 have now been revised up to 1.5% from 1.4%, although estimates for 2019 and 2020 remain unchanged, and forecasts for 2021 and 2022 have been revised down by 0.1% to 1.4% and 1.5% respectively. But for those hungry for tax-related policy, the chancellor announced a wave of tax consultations and calls for evidence, paving the way for a raft of tax changes in the Budget later this year.
Trade Wars – Trump tariff hits UK investor portfolios
The repercussions of US president Donald Trump’s move to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports have hit UK investors’ portfolios, according to the FT. Trump has raised fears of a global trade war since his decision to impose 25% tariffs on imported steel and 10% tariffs on imported aluminium. A trade war could hit China and other Asian companies exporting to the US, the FT warns, while also increasing costs for American manufacturers. Following Trump’s tweet on 2 March that “trade wars [are] good” and threats on 3 March to impose heavy taxes on imported EU-made cars, UK-based investment funds with money in Asian and Chinese equities, as well as high weightings in basic materials, all fell.
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