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The Four Seasons: Winter

Joshua Wynn - 06/02/2019

So tentatively trod, on icy paths
Beneath our feet no anchorage is found.
The biting wind snatches all warmth away
And drives us on towards the homely hearth.

It is interesting to note that even the Po Valley spends at least a little of the year experiencing some of the wintry climates we do in transalpine Europe. Visiting Parma one December, I was surprised to find the weather less hospitable than my native Lincolnshire, a place so familiar to the Vikings that many came and never left. In contrast, travelling less than a hundred miles north a week later, the stunning Lake Garda was to prove a tropical micro-climate. It seemed that the crystal waters of Benacus, nestled in the mountains of Northern Italy, enjoyed an eternal April.


Despite the trudging uphill start to a new year and the FTSE showing all the determined direction of our disarrayed UK Parliament, product launches have benefitted and thrived. The cup runneth over for issue 8 of the Investec/ Lowes 8:8 Plan, offering its highest ever potential return at 8.5% per year. The plan, which has the potential to run for up to eight years, can mature early from the second anniversary if the FTSE 100 Index is up to 8% below its level at the beginning of the term. This means that the 8:8 can produce positive returns, even in neutral or slightly falling markets.

The offers of Société Générale’s January tranche, unfortunately now closed, is nonetheless worth mentioning. With potential returns of 12.3% per annum, this was the one of the most generous FTSE-only kick-out plans that has been available this decade, bested only by Morgan Stanley’s FTSE Bonus Growth Plans 6 & 7 back in 2011/12. We look forward to seeing what the next instalment in Société Générale’s storming comeback will bring us.

The Mariana 10:10 Plan February 2019’s Option 2 is closing in on the prize for best terms currently available for an at-the-money FTSE kick-out, with 12.28% potential for each year. However, the more adventurous Option 3, which will mature early on any anniversary from February 2021 if the index is at or above 105% of its initial level, offers an impressive potential 14.51% for each year the plan is in force. *

Finally, the Lowes UK Defined Strategy Fund has now invested in an initial range of several exclusive structured investments which, being on institutional, rather than retail terms, better all of the terms above. To find out more about the investments acquired by the fund to date please visit


Throughout the instability that is still causing tremors to financial markets and bringing trepidation to those who make a living reading their auspices, still there is opportunity, if you know where to look. Creatures of the tundra spend their lives hunting for sustenance which often lies just beneath the ice of landscapes we would consider barren. Who knows, maybe there’s profit in the lesson?

*Full details of all plans currently available in the UK retail market are available on our website.

Joshua Wynn, Lowes Financial Management

All investments referenced put capital at risk.

Disclosure of interest: Lowes has provided input into the concept, development, promotion and distribution of the 10:10 & 8:8 Plans and is investment manager for Lowes UK Defined Strategy Fund. Lowes has a commercial interest in these investments as a result of its involvement. Where Lowes is involved in advice on these investments to retail clients, it will not receive benefit of any fees for its involvement, other than those fees payable by the client to Lowes. Lowes has robust systems and controls in place to ensure that it manages any actual or potential conflicts of interests in its activities.

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