The best funds must also be accountable

James Coney

James Coney

I bet Terry Smith cares not a jot; there is more than enough pouring in to his fund. It sends an important message though to the rest of the industry: that there should be standards when it comes to accountability.

This is an important step for HL in terms of shaking off what has gone before. And from clients I know, the fees have never been an issue.

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They have always been happy to pay more because the service has always been good. And when you have a proposition like that it can be hard for others to compete.

Unhealthy split

Mortgages are the new financial apartheid. 

If you have plenty of equity and a regular job then loans are cheap and affordability is good.

If you have only got 10 per cent, then you probably should not bother. Just like the battle of the ages over who should pay for this crisis, the debate is equally polarised.

Young people think this is grossly unfair and in some cases are being forced to eat into their deposits to get them through unemployment. The older ones think the young ones have been feckless and besides, “they’ve not lived through 15 per cent interest rates”.

Whichever side you fall on, it is not healthy for the housing market. Without one side functioning properly, the other quickly falls apart too.

Moving on

The funny thing about moving house is that it is something I have written about so often, but have never done. I have bought one house and am still in it, so moving (until recently) was largely theoretical.

Now we are on the market and may be about to move. Frankly, we keep getting it wrong.

Bids are made at the wrong time and I am not sure of the order you do things. We must sound like amateurs — no wonder landlords have always got the upper hand when buying property. 

James Coney is money editor of The Times and The Sunday Times