Tax & Pensions and Investment with Whisky or Lego

I’ve just returned from a tax conference where a hot topic was pensions, the tax reliefs available and efficient saving for retirement. There were certainly some interesting ideas around tax & pensions and how to make the most efficient use of your pension contributions. After the conference was over and I was on that long road home, I started to wonder about investments and investment returns and what people have been doing over last few years while interest rates have been so low.

The Cryptocurrency  ( Bitcoin)

You might havtax & pensionse seen in the news the never-ending rise of the Bitcoin the currency. I will not try to explain what it is, but it seems to have banks and governments a little edgy.  The value has been rising, and it was well on the way to $5000 per coin and beyond. That was until China blocked any further transaction in Hong Kong.

It looks like they have, in effect, outlawed the currency in China. The ban has caused a crazy scramble as Chinese investors seek to offload their exposure. It has seen the price drop back although it is still trading at around $4000 per coin.

Scam alert – You should be wary of emails from supposed Chinese officials looking to cash in their bitcoin at preferential rates.

Aside from high-tech investment solutions others prefer to put their money into some real oddities, and I here are a few that I have found.



Whisky Investments

tax & pensions


It would seem the national tipple can be worth a significant penny according to Rare Whisky 101. They are a whisky broker and will provide a valuation for that old bottle of Glenfiddich you might have stashed away. Whisky is no joke, a 50-year-old bottle of Glenfiddich could auction for £22,000 or more. They have an index of the top 100 products, and they are showing yields of more than 30% a year.

If that is your idea of an investment opportunity, make sure you don’t accidentally drink your pension.

LEGO the toy that gives back

tax & pensions

The company issued a profits warning this year, the first in ten years, and as a result, slipped back in value 3% to £1.8 billion. That is a lot of bricks.

I got my first (small) box of Lego bricks from my mother after she had been in Stockholm as part of her work, and that was not yesterday. The profits and therefore the investment value is now in the large sets and the special editions.

Do you have the ‘Café Corner’ set originally sold in 2007 for £89.99? If it is still in its box, it could now be worth an incredible £2,096. Remember the box must stay pristine, and the contents are not to be played with.


Hermes Birkin bags

Hermes shoulder bag in Taurillon $3,750.00

Personally I have never heard of these, but presumably about half of you will know the French Fashion brand. Hermes Birkin bags have seen consistent growth over the years. 2015 was a record-breaking year with a sale for a single handbag selling at auction. The pink crocodile-skin Hermes Birkin, sold for $223,000.

I don’t suppose the rarity was the difficulty in finding pink crocodiles. Forgive my flippant remarks but fashion as a subject is not often on my agenda and frequently just passes me by. Is that an age thing or an accountant thing.

I’ll leave you to judge.


To more serious matters …


Tax & Pensions

Please remember none of the above is to be taken as advice, for that see your FSA. Enough of mad investments lets talk about tax & pensions and a few of the new opportunities that have floated to the surface.  Are you on target with your pension are you making personal contributions from your income? Time to think again I have some savings for you.

As ever, any thoughts or questions on the above or other aspects of tax planning, please call or email.

Call us on 0800 180 4401 or email

Slaying your tax dragons and making life less taxing!

Alan Long
The Long Partnership

PS.  Do not forget Highland Spotlight 2017 there will be interesting things on Stand D15  Are you on target?

Here are Ten Reasons to Visit 





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