The Money Matters Group meets on the 3rd Friday of every month at the Surbiton Golf Club. It starts at 10am for coffee and the meeting commences at 10.30am

The Chairman prepares an agenda to which are added items which members wish to raise - either to pass on information which may be of interest to others or where they seek advice. The subjects, which normally have a monetary element, will range from stocks and shares, insurance, foreign exchange, other savings and investments etc.

We also have an annual competition whereby everyone invests a hypothetical £10,000 in shares with the object of achieving the highest capital gain in 12 months. The range of chosen shares and reasons for investing in them are fascinating.

The meetings end at 12 noon.


As last month, here are some “facts” for your enlightenment. No forecasts are made, as any made now are almost guaranteed to be wrong.

  1. The UK figure for April was -20.4%. The USA figure was -11.3% and 17.3% for the EU.
  2. Inflation rate fell to 0.5% (CPI). The RPI was 1.0%. The low numbers are primarily due to the low price of oil.
  3. Price of oil has risen from $30/ barrel last month to about $40/ barrel (Brent Crude). One commentary reckons that the oil majors need some $60/barrel to break-even. (This needs verifying!).
  4. Some commodity prices are generally much higher than last month –gold has risen about 30% since the start of the year. Copper and iron ore are both much higher than last month (c+10%).
  5. £ is still weak as against most major currencies. This has implications for imports- but beneficial for exports (if there is much demand out there).
  6. The UK stock market –nothing new to report.
  7. Public Sector borrowing (PSPR) was £62.1 billion in April. Last April the figure was £11bn. The good news is that long-term interest rates are +/- 0.2%. The bad news is that this is about £120 million that has to be paid out.
  8. Official unemployment rates for the three months Feb. to April are: “Economically Inactive 16-64” 20.5% of the workforce. For the group 50-64, the figure is 25,5%. (See office for National Statistics for these numbers).

Now a comment. Some commentators think that the recession (depression?) will be “V” shaped. i.e. a quick return to pre-covid levels. This doesn’t often happen-more often than not the curve is more like an elongated tick –taking a few years to recover. (Just saying; it would be good to be proved wrong).


Money Matters meeting Friday 15th May 2020 by video

Report by George Holder.

Another online meeting organised by Mervyn to whom we are all indebted .

The core of Money Matters is the share competition . Well it may not have caught Covid19 but every entrant has caught a cold.

Nobody made a profit ,of the 53 selected shares only three were in the black and one share, selected by two competitors, made a stonking loss of £1,891-28p Passing quickly over the FTSE 100 .The most pessimistic forecast for the half year to June 2020 was 7200 an over estimate of 1,458.76.

GDPs First quarter:- USA - 4.8%  UK - 2.00% and Eurozone -3.

Petrol is now under £1 a litre but as we cannot ( shouldn’t?) drive anywhere that’s a bit pointless, Unemployment rates are high at 14.7% for April with the outlook for the 18 to 25 year olds frightening £ is down against most major currencies fluctuating so much that I’ll make no comment.


Some notes from Roger Oldcorn.

Here are some facts for your consideration. There are no forecasts from me, nor speculations: all too uncertain.

Long range “blue-sky” thinking (i.e. futurology more than 10 years) is much more fun!

  1. GDPs First Quarter 2020. USA -4.8%.  UK -2.0%……%. Eurozone -3.8%.  China -33%,
    1. Remember the old adage: “When America sneezes, Europe catches cold”.
  2. Inflation stats are difficult to validate since the indices include “leisure spending”. So treat all with caution!
  3. Many companies have “passed” their dividends. Implications here for individuals who rely on this source of Also pension funds, “income” investment trusts, and insurance companies are hit.
  4. Price of oil extremely low. Brent crude wobbling about at $30 per gallon. Back in November it was c$60, gal. A gallon of petrol is now lower than a gallon of milk.
  5. Other basic commodities are also lower, except gold. (See Hargreaves Landsdown Commodities charts).
  6. £ is down against most major currencies. (See charts).
  7. UK Stock markets going nowhere – waiting, I guess, for some hard economic news.
  8. Long-term interest rates, especially bonds, are almost 0%.
  9. Unemployment rates are at their highest in a very long time at 14.7% in April.
  10. The Budget Balance, at -14.8% -is the highest of all of the world’s major economies. The Euro area’s balance is -5.8%.

                                           That’s enough bad news to be going on with for now. However, fill your cars with cheap petrol – but don’t put it into your tea, or on your cornflakes.