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Surviving the pandemic #FinanceFriday

This week, the chancellor announced measures to help business and employment. He made the point that the job support scheme will support “viable jobs” and require employees to work at least 1/3 of their normal hours with the government covering 2/3 of their pay. It’s new help but with new conditions.

Overpaid?

The entertainment  industry is suffering and we might ask if those overpaid football players and television stars will take a big pay cut now to help the industry that made them millionaires. I see no sign of them offering to help and the industry has its begging bowl out hoping for government support too. ITV had a falling share price before this crisis as it loses advertisers and competition from the likes of Amazon Prime and Netflix steals its audience. Like many people I watched Amazon Prime last night and only briefly watched ITV for the late-night news.

Gold

Gold is a preferred investment in times of trouble, especially amongst the paranoid conspiracy theorists. It topped £1500 an ounce but it’s falling now as people are accepting the pandemic and adjusting to it. Today, the price is around £1466 an ounce but still way above the pre-pandemic price. I think it will probably remain higher than the price before the pandemic for some time to come. Gold is an investment that most investors should have as a small part of their portfolio.

The stock market

As the stock market recovers a little so the gold price goes down towards ‘normal levels’. The market is unpredictable at the moment with some share prices varying widely particularly on the US markets. Tesla shares have been popular but they saw a 10% plunge this week. As always I’m watching my portfolio. Verona Pharma is going to delist from the London Exchange as they now favour the NASDAQ. I’ll have to sell my shares and accept a loss. I sold most of my Premier Foods shares and now they continue to rise but that’s the way it goes sometimes. At least I made a good return on them and continue to make a good return on the ones I decided to keep. My portfolio now broadly reflects the economy and so I just have to watch and wait. I’m confident that the banks will rise in the long term and my recent purchase of Royal Dutch Shell looks promising. The oil price is still stagnating below $40 a barrel but with the production of US oil cut the price of oil could increase quite sharply when industry increases production and demand for oil.

Cryptos

I flirted with cryptos briefly when I bought (and sold) XRP. I think that crypto from Ripple is the best of the bunch but I’ll be avoiding them in the future. My initial judgment was that cryptos are essentially Ponzi schemes and that is now my view. Buying crypto with x10 leverage could make you a lot of money but it is more likely to lose you a lot of money. Steer clear!

Surviving the pandemic

Overall my finances are quite healthy because I’m not going out anywhere to spend my money. I intend to be careful and keep avoiding people. We can only beat this pandemic if we work collectively. I suspect the minority that insists on holidays overseas and is still visiting people and ignoring the new regulations are keeping the transmission of the virus going. We need to isolate this country from the world more and only allow in the goods we need such as food. The way things are going we won’t even be able to celebrate Christmas with our families.

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