London Stone Securities was founded in January 2008 and is regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FCA number 479827). Please feel free to visit www.londonstonesecurities.com for full details. We are also part of the ‘London Stone Group’ which includes a number of different subsidiaries, www.londonstonegroup.co.uk. Our motivation is to become the premier financial company offering a bespoke and tailored service across all asset and product classes to private investors within the UK.
Our business model is simple – to provide a bespoke and exemplary service for all of your wealth management needs. That means we are able to offer relevant market information and advice on all of your savings, bonds and equities. We also have a number of subsidiary companies which focus on specific areas of investment including foreign exchange, precious metals (gold, silver), funds, derivatives and alternative investments.
We even have our in-house Financial Advisor who can give you free tax and planning advice if you require it. Whatever your investment objectives we have the service, products and advice to reach your goals.
We offer a number of services including:
Execution only trading facilities (£10 per trade)
Market Research and Information Services (Free)
Specific Trading Recommendations (1% per value of transaction)
Tax planning and advice (Free)
Direct Market Access (DMA) – (Free)
Charting Programmes & Technical Analysis (Free)
Training Courses (Varies – 1 or 2 day courses)
Seminars (Free for clients)
We offer a number of products including:
Nominee Accounts (Normal Share dealing)
Self-Investment Pension Plans (SIPPs)
Share Certificates service
Extended Settlement Trading (T20)
Contracts For Difference (CFD)
We don’t follow one particular strategy as each client is unique. That said the majority of clients do tend to follow a similar pattern in most cases.
That is to say that our clients generally want to invest in good, solid blue-chip FTSE100 and FTSE250 companies, they wish to protect their capital and they look to make modest returns of around 5-15% per annum (depending on market conditions). They don’t want to take any silly gambles or if they do it will be a punt in perhaps the AIM market where they are putting in a relatively small amount that they could afford to speculate with. They usually look for capital appreciation with some income yielding stocks and tend to have a mixture of some long term, low risk dividend paying stocks and funds coupled with some short to medium term capital growth stocks. Similarly some of our clients look just for long term investments whilst other clients have a desire to trade in the short term.
We also look at a number of other factors in order to get the most out of the portfolio which includes looking at the volatility of the portfolio (measured by beta), the types of sectors, and the number of stocks required to optimise diversification whilst simultaneously reducing the portfolio’s systematic risk.
The typical demographics of our client base consist of individuals who are either retired or are approaching retirement age. Therefore dividend yielding investments and income usually plays a large part in any investment strategy that we implement. However each individual is unique which is why our team work closely with all of our clients to firstly understand their investment needs and then secondly to create an investment strategy best suited to satisfy those needs.
Yes, it’s £50,000. The reason for this is because we don’t apply any leverage on your portfolio (unless you specifically ask us to). This is therefore very unlike CFD brokers for example which accept accounts with as little as £5,000 only to then multiply that by 10 to give their client’s a total exposure or risk of £50,000. That means if it all goes wrong clients are left with a bill of £45,000 that they may not be able to repay! Of course CFD brokers are usually very happy to use leverage because they earn commission on the total inflated figure.
Our thinking on the other hand is very different. We believe that when clients come to us and say that they have £50,000 to invest it seems obvious to us that this is the amount that they are prepared to put in the stock market (and therefore assume some element of risk). They don’t want us to then go out and take on positions of up to say £500,000!
Typically most accounts range in value between £100,000 and £500,000. Portfolios in excess of half a million are usually managed by one of the Senior Traders and portfolios in excess of a million are usually managed by the director himself.
The vision of London Stone Securities was to set up an organisation which could offer a premium service to private clients who fell in that awkward area between being too small for the larger institutions to have any particular interest to, and too large for the very small brokerage firms that were in the past have been more concerned to either sell their clients high risk penny shares or engage in speculative CFD trading. So that’s where London Stone comes in.
We are independent which allows us to be small and nimble enough to be able to react to our client needs quickly and without the red tape that some of the larger firms are tied up with. However at the same time we are large enough to have benefited from economies of scale so that we can compete on a level playing field with the biggest brokerage firms in the country. For example we have access to the best trading platform (SaxoBank award winning platform), the best research tools (Bloomberg terminal), the best charting programmes (E-Signal) and the most efficient trading facilities (Direct Market Access).
Therefore we sit in that niche market and have genuinely made it our own. In that respect and in terms of competitors we don’t really think that we have any. We know that sounds bizarre but we are really trying to break the mould and become pioneers in what we are trying to achieve. That said and although as a firm we are smaller in size we align our business model with the likes of firms like Hargreaves Lansdowne, Brewin Dolphin, TD Waterhouse, Redmayne Bentley, Charles Stanley and similar type operations.
It is our belief that there is very little to distinguish between one broker and another in today’s climate. With the explosion of the internet all brokerage firms should have access to the best prices, the best systems and good research. So how do we differentiate ourselves?
Well, the first thing is the quality of service. You would be assigned your own personal broker and account manager which means that a bespoke and tailored service where you are more than just a number is our solemn promise.
The second element comes down to the quality of our market research which in turn should hopefully lead to an above par performance. That’s why we always send out our top 10 monthly tips and performance figures so you can evaluate and make your own decision as to whether our analysis is worth using.
When London Stone Securities was set up in 2008, we were in the middle of the worst financial crisis arguably seen in over a century. One of the major problems was too much lending, over-leveraged positions and specifically the non-segregation of accounts between ‘casino banking’ money and retail client money. As a result a decision was made that we would take every possible step to ensure that we did not fall into this same trap. Also and from a moral point of view we just don’t believe that it’s right to mix the funds of the firm with that of our clients.
Therefore you’ll be glad to hear that we have in place a structure which gives you total and 100% protection in the (very unlikely) event that anything was to happen to London Stone Securities. The structure involves using two regulated FSA custodians whose sole purpose is to hold your funds. As neither custodian has any sort of investment banking or trading arm and therefore by definition has no risk of any positions going wrong, this gives you even greater protection.
Please feel free to conduct your own due diligence on our custodians.
Unfortunately there continues to be a number of boiler room operations to target investors in a various elaborate scams and despite the best efforts of the FCA and the City Police, many of these companies operate from abroad which means that it’s near impossible to shut them all down. However there are a number of simple steps that you can take to ensure that you are dealing with a legitimate firm. We have listed three of the most useful tips below:
1 The first thing to do is to go and pay a visit to the offices, as illegitimate firms will often use PO Box addresses or forwarding addresses. On the other hand legitimate firms like ours will always welcome their clients to meet them face to face. Our offices are based in the City and we welcome you to visit us at any time:
18 King William St, EC4N 7BP
2 Companies House is the next step. Any company registered in the UK will have records of their incorporation held on a central national database which you can easily check.
3 The third and most important step to ensure that you are dealing with a legitimate firm is to check the FCA website. Specifically you should check the address and telephone number on the FCA website matches with the details that you have been given. Please click on the following link and type in our registration number ‘479827’ to see for the details of London Stone Securities. Alternatively call the FCA directly on 0845 606 1234.
As you will already be aware we do not cold call and the only reason that we have contacted you today is because you have either downloaded a report or you have previously had contact with our organisation and wished to remain on the database. However our duty of care as an FSA regulated firm does not stop there. We will continually update our records to ensure that the service we provide is right for you. That’s why we continue to add value in whatever we do from sending regular market updates, news commentaries, microeconomic or macroeconomic analysis and so on.
The way we develop our business is not through ‘selling’ but ‘demonstrating’ how we can add value to their portfolios. We therefore show investors the type of service that they can expect to receive from London Stone if they were to register and from there investors will make their own decision. If they like what they see they usually sign up and if on the other hand they don’t like what they see, then of course they won’t come on board but that’s absolutely okay too. At least we have had an opportunity to present our case and we can’t ask for anything more than that.
One of the best ways to build a rapport and trust with a new firm that you are thinking of dealing with is to meet them face to face. That’s why we encourage all of our potential (and existing) clients to take the time to meet us at our offices. We will present teas, coffees and biscuits with a smile and you will see the operation and importantly you will get to meet the team.
That said and whilst meetings are very useful there is no comparison to the seminars that we now regularly hold due to the demand. These are highly educational but easy to understand two hour sessions which literally brings together over 100years of trading experience from the floor in a simple to follow format.
If you would like to hear more you can speak to previous seminar attendees, or simply read the various testimonials of those who have previously attended. The greatest compliment that we receive straight after the event is that there is no element of hard selling whatsoever. It really is just a fun way for you to learn the insider secrets to investing successfully, which you can then take home and use with your own portfolios at no cost.
Step 2 of the process is the 2nd call which is where you will be contacted (at a time and date of your choice) to run through the reasons why you should consider using London Stone Securities. After all, performance is everything and is the main reason why people move from one broker to another.
That’s why we are very clear about this also and our statement is simple: If you are doing very well either on your own or with the advice of another broker then there’s no reason for you to move. That means that if in both a rising and falling market, you can make money and protect your capital respectively, then you really don’t need to speak to us. If on the other hand your portfolio is not doing well as it could (i.e. not beating the index for example) then you should come and talk to us.
That doesn’t mean that we will wave a magic wand and double your performance but we will take a look at the parts of your portfolio which require some attention. If you think what our research team is saying makes sense, then you can implement it if you wish. If on the other hand you don’t agree, then you’ve lost nothing and you can simply go back to your original strategy. That’s the beauty of this relationship – you only pay us for our services if you think we can add value and those services are worth paying for.
Unlike fund managers who take an upfront fee at the start of the year of the value of the fund irrespective of how they perform we are paid a small fee on a transaction basis only i.e. you pay only if and when you trade. That means you can pull the plug at any time and walk away; there are no lock-in periods, redemption penalties, early account closure fees or anything else. You simply stop trading.
What’s also absolutely important is that before this 2nd call, that you have conducted your own due diligence about London Stone Securities as a firm, to make sure that you are in no doubt that we are a reputable and FSA regulated institution. That’s because the next call specifically looks at how our analysts and traders have performed over the past few years and if you are still unsure whether you are speaking to somebody stood in a phone box in Bermuda that will probably distract you from the conversation that you should really be focussing on.
You may after having conducted your own research into us and you’re happy to get things moving now, or indeed when you’re desperately unhappy either with your current broker, your portfolio or both. If that’s the case then of course there is no need to go through the whole 3 step process.
If you want to register straight away you can do so and the process is very easy:
1 Complete the online application form – http://www.londonstonesecurities.co.uk/contact-us
2 Send in two forms of ID (copy of passport and copy of utility bill)
3 Decide on what sort of account you want (stock ISA, Nominee, SIPP, share certificated)
4 Fund the account (either with transfer of shares or with a cash payment)
One of our experienced brokers will then contact you to understand more about your appetite for risk (low, medium, high), your preferred time for holding your shares (short, medium, long), whether you want capital growth, income or both, your preference in terms of sectors and markets, whether you wish to hedge (reduce risk) or speculate (increase risk), your tax position and your financial expectations. Armed with this information a bespoke investment strategy will be created just for you which you can then look at and change if you wish to.
Once we have reached a consensus in terms of strategy, your broker will then go through the finer details of your preferred dealing size, the position of stop loss and limit orders, when you should be looking to take profits or cutting losses and so on. Again, this would be with your consent and can be changed at any time if you so wish.
And from there, the work begins. We research and analyse the market and make recommendations (both to buy and sell) to take advantage of market fluctuations and news developments. We relay this information to you and then you decide on whether you wish to proceed.