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12 days of Christmas

12 days of Christmas

James Horniman, Partner, Portfolio Manager

Could there be a grander romantic gesture ­– sending your true love gifts for each of the 12 days of Christmas? Yes, we’re talking gold rings, partridges, pear trees and leaping lords. But what would it cost? And is it a good investment?

A partridge in a pear tree = £55

JHP_Partridge in a pear treePartridges can be flighty and really prefer to live in groups, so expect the bird, costing £25, to disappear quite quickly unless you buy more. It’s hard to buy a mature pear tree­. Hopefully, one a couple of years old at £30 will suffice for now.

Two turtle doves = £40

JHP_two turtle dovesTurtle doves are rare and difficult to find. We’ve had to adopt ours via the Sussex Wildlife Trust at £20 each.

Three French hens = £215

JHP_three french hensWe’ve gone for 16-week-old point-of-lay salmon faverolles at £30 each and a coop at £125 to protect them from foxes.

Four calling birds = £130

JHP_four calling birdsWe picked yellow canaries at £20 each and a cage at £50. The original Tudor version was “colly birds” – or blackbirds – which might have made a nice filling for a pie. Let’s stick with canaries!

Five gold rings = £3,125

JHP_five gold ringsWe’ve not scrimped here, opting for 22ct yellow gold 3mm rings at £625 each. Cheaper rings are available (Argos sells them for £29.99).

Six geese a-laying = £210

JHP_six geese a layingA practical gift at £35 each – you’ll get goose eggs and they’ll save on gardener bills, keeping the lawn in trim (though you may not want to walk on it barefoot any more).

Seven swans a-swimming = £4,949.96

JHP_seven swans swimmingExpensive, we know! We’ve bought Trumpeter swans at £250 each. Assuming your true love doesn’t have a lake in the garden, we’ve had to provide a pool for them to swim in. For their welfare, we’ve chosen the biggest we can find – a 24-foot long, 30,045-litre capacity pool at £799.99. Unfortunately, swans fight if they don’t have enough space and need to be kept in pairs – so we had to order four pools. We hope the recipient isn’t on a water meter.

Eight maids a-milking = £5,287.60

JHP_eight maids milkingProfessional milk maids are hard to find. We’ve bought fancy dress costumes but chosen a tasteful Victorian version at £26.95, as we felt some others we saw might send the wrong message. We’ve bought a couple of antique wooden pails for each maid at £40 a pail – they’ll make garden planters later. We’re hiring the maids on the adult minimum wage of £54 a day. Call us mean, but we thought one freshly calved cow at £1,000 apiece between two maids would suffice.

Nine ladies dancing = £240

JHP_nine ladies dancingYour true love might need a break from the honking swans, mooing cows and singing songs, so we treated them some time ago (nearly sold out now) to two tickets to see The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House at £120 each.

Ten lords a-leaping = £4,000

JHP_lords leapingMembers of the House of Lords may claim a flat-rate attendance allowance of £300 for each sitting day in the House. We’ve assumed they’ll charge as much to leap as they do to sit. We’ve also assumed your love lives in London and have added £50 each way for a taxi. Allow extra if despatching their lordships beyond London.

Eleven pipers piping = £1,320

JHP_eleven pipersHiring a decent bagpiper will cost from £120. We’ve assumed they’re local. Flying them in from Scotland will be costly.

Twelve drummers drumming = £1,440

JHP_12 drummersThe BPI Musicians’ Union says £120 should suffice for a standard session of three hours. Again, we’re hoping you’ve got some local drummers.

Overall total = £21,012.56

Investment commentary:

James Horniman, Portfolio Manager

James Horniman, Portfolio Manager

James Horniman, portfolio manager at wealth manager James Hambro & Partners, says: “This is the worst investment of over £21,000 I’ve ever seen. Your true love is likely to be selling most of this stuff on eBay before January the 5th and will almost certainly get back much less than you paid. Even the gold rings may generate little more than the value of the gold itself. A bigger worry is that if you’re already married to your true love you’ll end up with an additional expense – paying £400 an hour for a divorce lawyer on the grounds of unreasonable behaviour. Go for a £1,000 diamond ring and put the rest into a balanced investment portfolio of shares, bonds, property and alternatives – think how you’ll enjoy spending the returns over a long and happy life together!”

Download our 12 days of Christmas infographic here

Published 12 December 2016

Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Investments in livestock and ancillary facilities are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and you may not get all your money back. This is not investment advice and JH&P can accept no liability for damage caused by wildlife or for compensation claims made by lords injured in the process of leaping. We are happy to be approached for investment and financial advice. JH&P is not authorised by the FCA to advise on romantic gestures.