Sunday Long Reads: Death of a Sherlock Holmes fanatic, Islamic State family, Monetising Nothing, Bad Electric Vehicles, Boat Accident
Why does anyone still use Hargreaves Lansdowne (HL) of Neil Woodford infamy? Its latest customer screw is for shareholders in Hammerson (HMSO).
A reader of this website who I have known for many years and who is a truthful and honest man is a client of Hargreaves Lansdown (HL). Poor man. He was advised, falsely, by Hargreaves that if he wished to convert Golden Prospect subscription shares (GPS) into Golden Prospect ordinafries (GPM), he had to notify the company by 31 October. Hargreaves then claimed, again falsely, that this date had been extended.
A reader has been contacted by Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) about what is in his acount. No not units in Neil Woodford funds bought on the advice of Hargreaves as its own funds were selling out but certain funds invested in crypto currencies. The letter reads:
More than a million Americans a month opened a brokerage account with Robinhood in the first quarter of this year, most of them new to trading. The attraction: Robinhood charges no commission at all and you need just $1 to open an account. And now, as you can see below, it is coming to the UK this year. Great news or worrying news? It depends who you are. I start with my long held belief that traditional retail brokers like Hargreaves Lansdown (HL) and AJ Bell (AJB) rip folks off with execution only charges that are far too high.
Roger Lawson of ShareSoc is bang on the money with his comments on plans to sue Hargreaves Lansdown over its shocking behaviour in pushing clients into Neil Woodford's funds. In essence his conclusion is to be wary of throwing good money after bad.
There are some contests where you want everyone to lose: The FSA vs ISIS vs Hezbollah in Syria, the Democratic primary once Tulsi Gabbard pulls out, a tournament involving the English rugby team and the German and Argie soccer teams. You get my drift. And that brings me to Aussie ambulance chasing lawyers Slater & Gordon (SGH) of Quindell infamy. I have a word of advice for S&G.
I have written recently about St James's Place (STJ) and its toxic culture but it is time to think about a company with potentially even bigger problems...and that is Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.)...
As it announced pretty decent full year numbers, shamed Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) did its best to pull the sting from the Woodford scandal by announced that CEO Chris Hill would skip his 2019 annual bonus altogether. But with respect the firm talked utter shite…
Citywire has reported this afternoon that Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) has exited its position in Neil Woodford’s smaller dog fund, the Income Focus fund with regard to its house Multi-Manager funds. This, after dropping the fund from its Wealth 50 last week and telling investors there that if the income was not important to them they should consider their position.
Over the last five articles looking at the Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) multi-manager funds I have found two cases where they were selling Neil Woodford’s flagship fund, the Woodford Equity Income fund, whilst retaining it on the recommended Wealth 50 list, one where the jury is out and two where there is no case to answer. I now move on to the Hargreaves Lansdown Multi-Manager Balanced Managed trust (HL MM BM).
Over the last four articles looking at the Hargreaves Lansdown multi-manager funds I have found two cases where they were selling Neil Woodford’s flagship fund, the Woodford Equity Income fund, whilst retaining it on the recommended Wealth 50 list, one where the jury is out and one where there is no case. I now move on to the (relatively) much smaller Hargreaves Lansdown Multi-Manager Strategic Assets trust (HL MM SA).
Over the past three articles it has become obvious that two out of the three Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) multi-manager funds I have looked at were dumping Neil Woodford’s Equity Income Fund (WEIF) even though the funds themselves were growing, whilst HL was still promoting WEIF to its private clients. The third I felt was too close to call. In part four I look at the Hargreaves Lansdown Multi-Manager Special Situations Trust (HL MM SS).
In part one of this series I showed that the HL Multi-Manager Income and Growth fund had been dumping Woodford Equity Income fund since the end of January whilst HL was still recommending Woodford via its Wealth 50 list. Part two – the HL MM Equity and Bond fund was inconclusive, although I did show that its % allocation had fallen. In part three I look at the HL Multi-Manager UK Equity fund (HL MM UK Eq).
Yesterday I showed quite clearly that the Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) Multi-Manager Income and growth fund has been dumping Neil Woodford’s sunken flagship Equity Income Fund whilst HL retained Woodford on its Wealth 50 list of recommended funds offered to its private investors. This was in terms of cash value, in terms of the % of the HL fund and in terms of the number of units in Woodford’s fund – yet all the while the HL fund had been increasing in size. Today I move on to the HL Multi-Manager Equity and Bond fund (HL MM E&B).
I said the debacle involving the gating of Neil Woodford’s Equity Income Fund was going to get messy and it gives me no pleasure at all to write this article because I am myself a client of Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.). But the question has to be asked: has Hargreaves been selling Woodford’s Equity Income Fund whilst at the same time advising clients to buy it.
Hargreaves Lansdown has announced the removal of Neil Woodford's Equity Income Fund from its Wealth 50 top picks- no suprises there: HL may have egg on its face but since the fund is no longer tradeable there was no choice. But HL has also chosen to remove Woodford Income Focus Fund as well. Given what has just happened at EIF it is now a racing cert that Income Focus will also be suspended when there is a tsunami of panicked redemptions, Woodford cannot meet, tomorrow.. If you hold some, you had better hope you can get out tomorrow.
You would have thought that a firm of stockbrokers would want to see a critical press exposing fraud on AIM so that its clients do not lose money. But it appears that Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) has given into the Bulletin Board jihadists and has joined other companies such as Tesco in refusing to advertise here. The same folk who have sent me death threats, smeared me and the restaurant because of what I write (fraud exposes) are trying to get this website closed down.
This morning I noted Hargreaves Lansdown’s ebullient interim report. The headlines are pretty impressive. These include record revenue (up 13% to £158.4m), record before tax profit (up 11% to £104.1m) and total assets under administration up to £43.4billion (up 43%). However, it was the growth in active client numbers, which really caught my attention. The company now has 584,000 of these, an increase of 77,000 since June 30th last year (another record number).
Most people think a tip should be a “rush out and buy it” kind of thing. “Buy ABC now it will go to the moon.” Well this double share tip is the opposite, it is to wait and see and sell.
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