Simon Read: Be wary of Bolton's Chinese comeback tour
Sunday 29 November 2009
The investment industry welcomed the news last week that fabled Fidelity fund manager Anthony Bolton is returning to the fray. What may have surprised many is his decision to move to Hong Kong and manage a China fund.
Bolton says China's growth story is an almost unprecedented investment opportunity. He believes that China is in the first year of a multi-year bull-run and it's that opportunity which has persuaded him to return to fund management.
He has a fantastic track record, managing the Fidelity Special Situations fund for 28 years during which he achieved an annualised return of 19.5 per cent, compared to just 13.5 per cent for the FTSE All-Share Index. Anyone who stuck with him from the start – in December 1979 – with a speculative £1,000 would have seen their cash grow to a decent £148,200.
But investors excited by the prospect of Bolton's return and eager to invest in his new fund – which launches next spring – should think carefully. Would you have invested in China anyway? The answer for many, I suspect, is no.
For that reason I would wait before backing Bolton on this occasion. One City trader compared his return to that of a prize fighter making one last comeback. While I hope that Bolton does score a knock-out, there is clearly a risk that this is one fight too far for the fund manager.
Tax amnesty extended
HM Revenue & Customs has extended its amnesty to taxpayers with offshore investments, giving them more time to come forward. The New Disclosure Opportunity, announced in this year's Budget, requires taxpayers with undisclosed overseas income to notify HMRC of an intention to disclose their income and then send in full details.
The Revenue originally gave people until tomorrow to come forward, but has extended that to 4 January. Anyone who doesn't come forward faces possible investigation and fines.
The Revenue is gathering information from 308 banks in the UK. In other words, it will soon know if you have cash in an offshore account. HMRC said its move is recognition of the fact that some people may have not yet heard from their banks. "We know that some bank customers will not be contacted in good time for the original deadline of 30 November so in the interests of fairness we have decided to extend our deadline by a month."
But I believe this helpful move comes ahead of a chilling, much harder line from tax authorities. The pre-Budget report on 9 December could include new measures cracking down on tax-evaders and 2010 is likely to see some high-profile criminal prosecutions of some of those caught.
If you have got cash tucked away in an overseas account, use this breathing space to get your tax in order. Delay and you could face severe penalties.
Housing on path to normality
House prices have climbed for five months in a row, according to Land Registry figures. Prices in October climbed 0.6 per cent over September leaving the average house price in England and Wales at £159,546.
There's been much speculation about a double-dip in the economy which could hit the fragile housing market. So the steady increase in prices over the past few months is a sign that normality is beginning to return.
Actual activity – ie sales – is still very low, which shows how far from a buoyant market we are. But a gentle growth in movement is a good sign that we are not going to rush back to the market madness of recent years.
For people thinking of dipping a toe back into the market, the signs look promising, although over the year prices are still down 3.4 per cent.
Five Questions On: Pensions advice
Problem gambling: Amid heavy advertising and a surge in remote sports betting, more and more 16 to 24-year-olds are now seen as 'at risk'
Simon Read: Retirement advice is good - if it's impartial
The HiFX guide to managing corporate foreign exchange and international payments
Bank-beating exchange rates on your international payments
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
- 4 Exclusive: Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
iJobs Money & Business
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...
£280 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Test Analyst, Edinburgh, Credit Ris...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
Day In a Page
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony
A charming four-bedroom Oxfordshire cottage with oak floors and chunky-beamed ceilings, £465,000
A beautiful one-bed flat in a sought-after portered block, with access to Norland Square communal gardens
A one-bedroom flat within a Sixties school conversion with high-spec design and open-plan kitchen, close to Lambeth North Tube, £435,000
A 17th century four-bedroom house, with open fireplaces, cellar and pool, £600,000
A three-bedroom, coach house with luxury open-plan living space and contemporary breakfast bar