And so it came to pass that the old year ended, and the people did cautiously open their eyes on the new year’s morn, and lo they found that everything was much the same except slightly worse because of the military drum cadre playing a tattoo on the inside of their skull owing to half a bottle of Old Pulteney they skulled the night before, and lo the people did say “balls to this, I’m going back to sleep.” And there was very little rejoicing. And the gloomy spectre on the doorstep which was known as “Dry January” was banished in all but the house of Mark of Locke, with the people saying “that can get right in the sea for a start, I need a drink, whose turn is it to go to the Co-op?” and there was slightly more rejoicing.

Sigh. Here we are again, and already we need to add 2021 to the list of “years that can absolutely do one”. However! All is not lost. As we’ve said before, we’re turbo-lucky to work in an industry that can continue to function through these times, and most of us still have jobs; relatively well-paid jobs at that.

With all that in mind, I’ll dwell only briefly on a couple of bits and bobs before sending you on your way for this first week back with an uplifting tune.

Probably the most interesting news is that Transact/Integrafin has decided to keep its money in its pocket and not to bid for Nucleus. I don’t think this should be a huge surprise to anyone – a merger of the two books would either have been disruptive for Transact users or Nucleus users and probably both – and so the field is clear for Epiris to decide if it wants to let Sanlam and all the other shareholders feel the fibre of its fabric. Lots of reasons for Epiris to go for this, but some for it not to, and I’d have thought that betting cats would now get reasonable odds on an as-you-were-lads-and-lasses result. I suspect many Nucleus users would prefer that.

We also need to let you know that AJ Bell has made some changes to its pricing (it’s all very platformy this week, meat and potatoes type thing), effective at the start of this month. The fixed quarterly SIPP admin charges go up a bit to £45 if you’re under £100k, £55 up to £200k and £65 over that. All are waived if you have £200k in AJB’s Funds & Shares Service. We’ll have updated Platform Analyser with all these changes by the time you read this, unless the coffee’s ready, so dive on over and premium users can run your price comparisons if you need to.

HAPPY NEW LINKS

  • No HomeGames this week – like Bond, it will return – but if you are jonesing on a weekly not-entirely-serious webinar then please do head over to the lang cat’s YouTube channel to browse our back catalogue and while there do please mash the living daylights out of the like and subscribe buttons. I’m never quite sure why that matters, but it does.
  • Nice to see Christopher Woolard being gonged for his tenure at the FCA. In other, unrelated, news, the FCA got ‘slammed’ for having been asleep at the wheel over minibonds.
  • And your music choice this week is a tricky one. It needs to be uplifting for the new year, but not trite. It needs to acknowledge the gravity of the situation we’re in, but not depress. Am I wrong or is this a case for The Mighty Mighty Bosstones? I’m not wrong. Please have The Impression That I Get in your earholes and have a lovely wee skank on me.

See you next week

Mark