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March update: news, opinion and comment for your financial wellbeing 

In this issue:

Top marks for 2021

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay
We're really proud and humbled to reveal that Oak Four's Net Promoter Score (NPS) for 2021 has been revealed as 96.

What is NPS? It's a customer satisfaction benchmark that reveals how likely customers are to recommend a firm to someone else. 
It's an international scoring system ranging from -100 to +100. Anything above '1' counts as 'good', as it means a business has more promoters than detractors. The very best companies have an NPS of 70 and above, and include brands like First Direct (73) and FreeAgent (93)
To put this into context, Paypal's current score is 67, Amazon's is 25, and Apple's is 47. The average score last year for financial services firms was 34.

A perfect score of 100 would indicate that every single respondent to the survey would recommend a company to someone else. Apparently this has never been achieved, so our score of 96 is remarkable, even if we do say so ourselves. 

We'd like to thank every one of our private clients who responded positively to the survey.

It's NFT, but is it art? 

US artist Beeple (real name Mike Winkelmann) became the art world's latest sensation earlier this month when his artwork 'The First 5000 Days' - a montage of hundreds of Beeple's smaller works - sold at Christie's for over $69 million (£50 million), placing him in the top three most valuable living artists. 

Beeple takes Banksy a step further by creating art in such a way that makes buying and selling the pieces even more complex. He creates a piece of digital art - i.e. it only exists online - every day. 'The First 5000 Days' was a collection of the first 13 years of his work. 

The piece wasn't bought in the usual way. It was sold as an NFT - or Non-Fungible Token - described by The Hustle as "a piece of code on a digital ledger (blockchain) that points to where the artwork lives, which is usually on a server somewhere else."

You could say that the purchaser (a crypto-currency entrepreneur who uses the pseudonym MetaKovan) does not own the work itself, but he knows where it is.
Beeple explains the absurdity of NFTs
NFTs have digitised an alternative asset class (in this case, art) the same way that crypto-currencies like bitcoin have digitised cash. If you think of an NFT as being like a collectible - say, an autographed baseball card - but in digital format, you’re getting close to envisioning its worth. Similar to playing cards, people are collecting these pieces of code, typically exchanging them in cryptocurrency such as bitcoin.
 
How much is an NFT actually worth? However much the market decides. Some are currently trading in excess of $1 million each. It's not just the art world that's sitting up and taking notice. Rock band Kings Of Leon released their latest album as a $50 NFT, which allows the purchaser to download the album and access artwork and a limited edition vinyl LP for just two weeks, after which no more will be made - making the NFT a kind of limited edition collectable itself.

Where there's a will, there's a way 

Did you know more than half of UK adults, and 60% of parents, haven't made a will?

Even if you think your family and financial circumstances are such that disputes after your death are unlikely, it's always worth having your wishes written down. Not only does it make things absolutely clear to your beneficiaries, it saves them the worry and hassle of second-guessing what you'd really want at a time when they are grieving.

Having a will makes financial sense, too. It's something we'd always recommend to clients when discussing estate and tax planning.

There's more in our recent blog on the subject. March is Free Wills Month, so if you haven't yet done the deed, you can do it now at no cost and ensure your favourite charity or good cause is remembered, too. 

Don't change lanes

We love this short video and analogy from Dimensional about sticking with your evidence-based portfolio, despite all the market commentary out there.
 
When markets are rough, it’s tempting to want to make a quick change to your investments. But much like changing lanes in traffic, impulsive moves can add anxiety and risk with no guarantee you’ll benefit.

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