A real dog

I am talking, in the first place, about the investment management industry of course.

This Woodford chap and his Equity Income Fund has really put the cat among the pigeons and caused a bit of a stir. Why? Well, because he’s brazenly taken exorbitant management fees in the face of mind blowingly bad results and he and his colleague bagged a 30 millionish salary last year. So much for the efficient market hypothesis and all that stuff? Isn’t that what this industry is all about?

This has been driven by the usual nonsensical hype and the rather adroit salesmanship of Hargreaves Lansdowne. Money for old rope springs to mind. I think Mr Woodford was creaming off a hundred thousand a day from hapless investors whose stocks were very much heading south. This has to change. It’s a sham and an embarrassment to the industry. Fees should and must be performance related. Surely? Not this ridiculous global 0.5 to 1 % charge on assets under management. That can result in huge fees for poor performance and some quite incapable people getting very rich indeed. Annoying what? It’s kind of like levying a mandatory 15 % service charge on your restaurant bill even if the service is crap. It stinks.

Fish soup!

I had a really bad fish soup in Fishers on the Shore on Monday and it cost me 8 and a half quid. It was tasteless and insubstantial and decidedly uninspiring. I am really going off restaurants that don’t care about what they put out, trying to rest on their laurels and supposed reputations and pretty locations. I guess that’s the massive benefit of having an owner-managed place with people who do care about what their customers are eating. And I suppose that’s why Jamie’s Italian chain rather collapsed. Because let’s face it- food is very important and it’s not going to wash that my pizza is made in a franchise-fronted joint living entirely off the reputation of some whipper-snapper cockney A-List celeb.

People want decent, honest food. Well at least I do.

Now politics. What a bloody mess we’re in. Or should I say the Conservatives are in. This leadership contest is one thing but I think as a party they are doomed. Well unless they have the guts to put Rory Stewart in. That would be a tonic for us all. National service is a tip-top idea and the citizen’s assembly takes away the need to try and get a consensus of MP’s. Ok he’s a rather well spoken Etonian, Oxford PPE bod. But that’s ok. I think he’s very well meaning.

But please not Boris. I couldn’t cope with five potential years of hair tousling, pretentious Homeric references and Bertie Wooster antics every night on News at Six. I will stick with PG Wodehouse for that. And just remember what a mess he made as Foreign Secretary. Dumb bloody blonds.

Anyway, we are forging ahead at Leftbank. It should be open by mid-July (2019). We have a clean slate here and will attempt to provide fresh food, great quality wine and beers, the best coffee, teas and hot chocolate. All in a beautiful space. It’s not just all about the bottom line for us and that’s our main credo. We want people to have a genuinely good experience. In this respect we really care. And I think that’s a good start, as it appears many don’t.

Here is my present roll-up bet. Constantinople in the St Leger, Matt Wallace the US Open, Fraser Clark MCBA champ, Rory Stewart PM, Japan World Cup Women’s footy and Men’s rugby, Federer Wimbledon and a K McLaren to miraculously pull off an historic win in the Jock Hutchison Trophy over the Old, after an amazing second round qualifying score of a hundred, to just secure the 32nd matchplay qualifying spot.

Yes miracles do happen.

The odds on this are a massive 350 to 1 and min bet the usual £100.

Thanks and tidings.




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