Wine and antiques could bring cheer

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IN these worrying times more and more people are looking to alternative investments such as fine wine, a breakfast seminar in Douglas heard.

The gathering also heard that some form of break-up of the eurozone seems increasingly likely.

Carolyn Gelling, senior portfolio manager at Thomas Miller Investment in the island, told how some were looking to invest in alternatives such as commodities, antiques, arts, jewellery and even wine.

She told the briefing that people hoped to manage risks and hope for smooth returns by venturing down these paths of making money in the future. She looked at the role of alternative investments within a diversified investment portfolio.

And she demonstrated where alternative investments can help to increase returns as well as reduce volatility, but did remark that these assets are not without their risks.

To combat these risks, Thomas Miller Investment adopts a conservative approach by carrying out a detailed due diligence process and ensuring appropriate allocation according to client circumstances and objectives. The message for business people gathered at the Claremont Hotel, Douglas, was that if they want to invest in fine wines or precious gems they should always seek the ‘appropriate advice’.

Earlier, Abi Oladimeji, investment strategist with Thomas Miller, gave an economic update and said ‘some form of break-up (of the eurozone) seems increasingly likely.’

He added that break up need not mean the end of monetary union and that closer integration and fiscal union ‘remains on the table’.

And he claimed that ‘a smaller stronger eurozone’ could be better for financial markets.

Mr Oladimeji reviewed the macroeconomic backdrop in the US, UK, eurozone and emerging markets.

Mr Oladimeji stated that the US economy should continue to perform better than other major developed economies.

Nevertheless, the pace of growth in the US is likely to remain modest.

On the UK economy, he said: ‘Even before the new recession was confirmed, it was evident that the pace of the economic recovery in the UK remains exceptionally weak both in an absolute sense and relative to its developed market peers.’

Turning to the UK Mr Oladimeji said a ‘technical recession’ had been confirmed there and recovery had been ‘particularly weak’.

He summed up the situation as a ‘negative economic outlook overall’.

And while there was a ‘severe recession’ in the eurozone, German growth was set to remain steady.

He said the political issues surrounding the situation in places such as Greece made it difficult to fully analyse the final outcome.

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