Multiples of that scale, associated with such meagre yields, underscore the crisis.
We start with the premise that Questor has £500,000 and a target income of £25,000, or 5pc.
Such an ambitious target will push some of Questor’s money into assets more cautious investors might wish to avoid.
I will refer to tax implications occasionally but the basic assumption is that tax does not apply, either because the investments are inside an Isa or, in other cases, an individual’s various savings, dividend, capital gains and personal allowances means tax can be managed down.
In coming weeks Questor’s portfolio will be fleshed out in complete detail and then tracked, with capital values and income expressed in pounds and pence, thereafter (bookmark Questor at telegraph.co.uk/questor).
For now these are the guiding principles.
As several readers have pointed out, with natural yields so low, some holdings will need to be focused on capital growth.
This will be both to preserve Questor’s wealth but also, hopefully, to enhance income through ad hoc profit-taking.
The aim will be to build a portfolio where approximately £300,000 (60pc) is invested in individual shares and portfolios of shares, providing immediate income.
These dividend-paying equity holdings – around 10 – are likely to yield far less than the target 5pc (see City of London IT, below, a dividend stalwart, where the rising cost of every penny of income is sadly apparent).