Just like with 10cc, there is no substitute for experience
PUBLISHED: 17:19 22 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:19 22 September 2017
For a short while, it was the Tubes, although they were superseded by the Police, who I first saw at Bath University around 1978 when, incredibly for a support band, they received a rapturous encore. Unfortunately, they didn’t know any more tunes, having performed their complete repertoire, so had to play Roxanne again, to tumultuous applause.
Fast forward several decades and Sting & Co were finally knocked off their musical perch by the temporarily re-formed Faces (without Rod) when they performed at the Vintage Festival in Sussex about eight years ago.Mick Hucknall assumed Mr Stewart’s role to great effect; the live version of Stay With Me could probably be heard in France.
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Ah, the wonders of live music. I suspect that every time we attend a gig, we do so in the hope that even our favourite moments, those most dear to us, will be surpassed by a virtuoso performance.
I never thought it would happen, but the Faces were relegated to number two (in my admittedly very subjective list of favoured live performances) by a band who were simply flawless when we caught them at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall recently. The collection of grey-haired, casually-dressed musicians looked as though they were enjoying themselves as much as the audience. When they finished, the sell-out crowd stood as one, shouting for more until their throats were raw, eventually persuading 10cc to return and belt out three final tunes, satiating the auditorium’s vociferous demands.
Who would have thought that 10cc (Rubber Bullets, I’m Not in Love, Dreadlock Holiday etc) could turn in such an outstanding performance? But wait! Consider how long these guys have been together. It wasn’t the original line-up (though brilliantly led by founder member Graham Goulding), but the accomplished musicians we saw in April have been together since 1999.
Experience is a priceless asset, capable at once of transporting music fans back to their youth, or perhaps appealing to those investing in mutual funds who seek the assurance of knowing they’re putting their money in skilled hands.
Millions of people prefer to hand their hard-earned over to fund managers who endeavour to generate a decent return on the funds with which they’ve been trusted. Of course, it’s impossible for every manager to succeed; there are more than 2,000 mutual funds, each looking to attract investors’ cash and, as is the case in every other walk of life, the prowess of managers at each fund’s helm varies considerably.
Some fund managers enjoy the benefits of a very clear investment brief and the pin-sharp services of professional research analysts which allows them to determine how they’ll invest. Others rely upon what are known as ‘quant screens’, usually as a means of paring down their investment universe to a handful of companies which are then analysed in depth.
One fund manager, Templeton, has a team of five managers, each responsible for a different sector; others employ a similar investment approach across each of their funds, while yet more give their managers greater leeway to determine strategy and investment approach.
I’ve been a big fan of investment trusts for many years and concluded that when buying any type of mutual fund, it’s important to understand the manager’s approach to investment to ensure it matches your tolerance for risk. It’s equally important to consider how long the manager has been at the helm, ostensibly because an experienced manager can show investors how their investment strategy works – in good times and in bad – and offer a clear indication of what investors should expect from a fund at different points in the market cycle. First time investors, perhaps unsure of where they should start saving could do worse than consider the appeal of various investment trusts operating across a variety of areas. Almost all trusts offer ISA-linked saving schemes, many starting at £50 a month.
Avoiding fads and investing simply because a fund happens to top a current sector-related table makes little sense. Personally, I search for consistency of performance, invariably achieved by combining skill and experience, much the same as 10cc have done (and will, I suspect, continue to do so) to great effect.
THE WEEK IN NUMBERS
Amount pocketed by Essex council in just 25 days after installing a bus lane in Chelmsford from which cars were banned to ease congestion. More than 4,800 motorists were caught and fined £60 apiece. One driver called the council ‘sneaky’; no other comments are printable.
Estimated sale price a family of mammoths (actually, it’s their skeletons) is expected to achieve at auction in Sussex next month. The skeletons, pieced together by hand, were unearthed in Siberia.
Weight, in tons, of a 250 metre-long ‘fatberg’ blocking a sewer in London’s Whitechapel Road. The monster, comprising wet wipes, nappies and hardened cooking fat, etc is being broken down by a team from Thames Water and sent to a nearby disposal site.
Speed achieved by wingsuit flyers during the Carabao World Wingsuit Championships in China’s Hunan province. The flyers leapt from a 4,783ft cliff before careering, head first, into suspended polystyrene targets.
Estimated wealth of Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Since establishing the philanthropic organisation that bears their name in 2000, Bill and his wife Melinda have donated £25.4 billion, helping to virtually eradicate polio and improve the lives of millions.
Current forecasted cost of building a tunnel under Stonehenge. Fifteen years ago, the estimated cost was £183 million. One engineer quipped that Stonehenge would make a perfect roundabout and save a lot of money.
Peter Sharkey read economics at the University of Bristol. He has been a company director and investor for more than 30 years.