Seismic or Temporary Shifts?

One of the most interesting aspects of my job is to produce updated portfolio valuation statements for my clients’ investments. Sometimes it makes good reading, other times not. In my report I compare the figures with previous valuations, typically undertaken six months’ earlier. Aside from the change to the total figure it is very instructive to see investment trends i.e. …

Where to Buy a Suit & Asset Allocation

This is the second blog post on my investment advice process. In the first I described the three personal risk metrics that need to be assessed as part of my fact-finding of clients – the risk a client is willing to take, the risk they are able to take and the risk they need to take. I started with this …

Standard Advice, Better Than Standard

This is a brief article given I wrote an investment blog post just a few days ago. Standard Life Investments (SLI) are a respected investment company, unusually so for an asset manager borne out of a traditional life assurance company. They have particular expertise in managing UK equities including smaller companies. Each quarter SLI publish a detailed market report. In …

Which Assets And Markets Will Fare Best in 2015?

For mere mortals accurately predicting the future of investments is probably as successful as consulting Mystic Meg with her crystal ball or the Oracle in BBC’s Saturday night drama Atlantis. For example I wonder who guessed the oil price would collapse to the extent it did in 2014? In the absence of Meg and Juliet Stevenson, their fees are too …

Half Time Team Talk

In football parlance, for investors we have just come out for the second half. So what is the half time assessment of stockmarkets in 2014? My brief comments are based on my own observations and those of Neptune Investment Management, M&G and Neil Woodford, formerly of Invesco Perpetual and manager of the newly launched Woodford Equity Income fund. Equity Market …

Climbing a Wall of Worry

Imagine being a rock climber. The higher you get up the rock face or cliff the scarier it gets, particularly if you dare to look down. So it is for investors as stock market indices in the US and the UK scale new heights. A widely expressed fear is we are heading for a crash and investors are getting nervous. So should you be banking …

What’s Hot, What’s Not?

Apart from the weather, some investments are hot and some are cold. Of course I am referring to current buying and selling trends by investors. These trading decisions should be based primarily on economic and investment fundamentals but often sentiment and investor psychology is a key reason why investors trade. This is not always logical or proportionate. That said there …

Cash to Equities – US, China and Gold

Early this month I decided to move more but not all of my pension fund cash into equities. Historically December is the best month for stockmarket index gains. I am not sure of the precise reasons for this but it may be due to end of year performance fees, fuelling buying by fund managers and institutional investors or the holiday …

How to Create and Service Your Investment Portfolio

The content here is an article to be published in the Eastbourne Herald in December. I have agreed to write six monthly articles on investment issues. It is pretty basic but perhaps a useful reminder for you.   For those with a portfolio or money ready to invest this article will help you grasp key principles and increase the potential for …

Asset Allocation

There are different fundamental strategies available to investors both active and passive however it is universally accepted in the investment community that asset allocation is the single most important contributor to investment returns. The latter does not principally come from choosing the best stocks or fund managers. Estimates I have seen is getting the right asset choices accounts for 90% of returns. An example can …