Paper, Paper Everywhere

Issue 16

Claude and Clementine are sitting in their lounge sipping Earl Grey tea with lemon (of course) when the postman screams to a halt at the top of their drive and forces several large, thick envelopes through their letter box. They crash to the floor.

The postie slams his van door shut, revs his engine and sets off like Lewis Hamilton at the start of a F1 race. Rather appropriately, his radio is playing Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.”

Claude turns to his wife and enquired, “Did you hear something, darling?”

At that point the cleaner, Mrs. Cannybody, shuffles in with the delivery. “Where do you want this lot?” she asks. She is holding several A4 sized envelopes each about half an inch thick.

Clementine turns toward her. “Put them on the desk there next to yesterday’s delivery.” Mrs. Cannybody raises her eyes to the heavens as that pile is already about a foot in depth. She does as she is asked and shuffles out of the room.

“Darling, why are we getting so many large letters?” Clementine seems concerned as the pile has been growing over the last few days.

“Darling, it is because of the ISA reporting season,” replies Claude. “All the providers have to report to their investors twice a year.”

“So, darling, we will have this again in six months?” asks Clementine in the hope she is wrong.

“Oh darling,” chuckles Claude, “we have several more of these to come yet and then we will get them all again in six months.”

Clementine sighs. “Darling, how many ISAs do we have?”

“Between us, darling? I would say about 40,” muses Claude.

“Darling, do you have time to look through what they send you as you are so busy with your golf, shooting, bridge club, organising the gardener et al?” Clementine has a furrowed brow.

“Oh no,” laughs Claude. “I just bin them all. The values are out of date by the time they reach us anyway. And I never read the market commentaries they send.”

This aggravates Clementine so she uses his Sunday name. “Claude Balls, this is ridiculous! It must cost a fortune to send this much information out. Also you are telling me you don’t know how much they are worth and you don’t know how well they are doing compared with each other never mind all the other options out there.”

Claude stammers “Sorry, darling, I will start on them now and cancel my round with Binky Hughes this afternoon.”

“Don’t bother. I will organise that nice Lady from Three Counties to come round and we can see what she can do for us.” Clementine was very firm in this. “You go and play this afternoon as I don’t want you sighing and moaning at your desk whilst I listen to “The Archers”.”

The Lady from Three Counties* duly called at the appointed time. She explained that the ISAs could be held all in one place with a consolidated report being issued twice a year. She also explained how they could also utilise the portfolios run by Three Counties and how the system only invested in funds run by managers who could show consistent above average performance.

Claude and Clementine were relieved to have the paperwork dramatically reduced and did decide to invest in appropriate portfolios. They were able to go online every day, if they wished, and could see exactly how much their portfolios were worth.

Both could relax as, with all their investments in one place, it would be easier for the family as and when one or both of them died.

The Lady from Three Counties came to see them regularly to discuss their needs and objectives and discussed things like Inheritance Tax planning, something that Claude had been talking about sorting out but just never had the time!

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