SHAM: Bricks and mortar, beards and why oil is in Dire Straits

Added 29th January 2016

We investors all have our expensive vices, right? Let me tell you about mine.

SHAM: Bricks and mortar, beards and why oil is in Dire Straits

It’s Sunday morning, and I’m up early, trudging through the rain to the address of a shabby, former bingo hall in East London. A nod to the shady looking outcast tending the door, through dusty curtains and down a rickety staircase before a musty odour almost throws me off balance.

I look up… a sea of beards. 97% men, all ages; many baring ancient badges pinning allegiance to some forgotten 1960 dandy, or 1980s keytar-carrying torch singer.

Everyone, without exception, is looking down, whether it’s at their shoes or into crates upon crates of LPs and ‘45s, stacked up on to buckling tables.

Yes, I am a record collector. Vinyl. It’s all about artefacts from another time, another life, and our grubby mitts reach for forgotten treasures like the first archaeologists uncovering the tombs of the pharaohs.

Can I really justify spending so much on an album I already have six times over? Why, of course I can. It’s my pension, I kid myself. It’s an investment!

"Can I really justify spending so much on an album I already have six times over? Why, of course I can. It’s an investment!"

And believe me, those magic words “mono first press” or “complete with inserts” can get one very hot under the collar.

So, what has this all got to do with investment management? It’s all about supply and demand.

The mega-rare ‘butcher’ cover of The Beatles’ Yesterday and Today? It’s as precious and sought-after as gold was in the months following the financial crisis.

For the supply glut in oil markets today, well that’s more akin to a tatty copy of perennial yuppie favourite Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms. Makes me wonder actually, how many barrels have been wasted in the manufacture of the millions of copies of that record clogging up our charity shops?

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About Author

Gary Shepherd

Editor

Portfolio Adviser

Gary joined Last Word Media in 2009, becoming editor of Portfolio Adviser a year later. Previously, he worked at Incisive Media with roles across its Professional Adviser, Investment Week, Bloomberg Money and Mortgage Solutions titles. Gary has been shortlisted for various awards, winning Headline Money Investment Writer of the Year in 2010.

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