Barometer of the Global Economy & Eeyore’s Favourite Food

Over Easter I read an excellent article written by Pictet Asset Management. This boutique investment house run a number of specialist funds such as the Pictet Water and Pictet Clean Energy but also manage a very good multi-asset portfolio that I have recommended to a number of clients. Pictet are strong advocates of the view that getting the asset allocation …

Interest Rates & A Visit To The Dentist

Global stockmarkets have continued to slide in the last week. Aside from the usual suspects of US interest rates and the Chinese economy the car emissions scandal at VW has sent the auto industry sector lower. What I found especially interesting was the reaction to the Federal Reserve’s decision last week to keep US interest rates on hold. Markets have …

After the Storm

A kind of calm has returned to global stockmarkets after the August sell-off, triggered by fears about the Chinese economy and its impact on global growth. In the last few weeks I have had time to selectively digest the many commentaries from fund managers. There is a wide spread view the crash was overdone, no surprise there, but nonetheless there …

Post General Election Surge & Market Outlook

Whatever your political persuasion UK stockmarkets have given a resounding thumbs up to the Conservative victory today. As I write the FTSE 100 index is up 2.08% p.a. whilst the more domestically focused FTSE 250 index has surged by 2.68% p.a. Favoured sectors include house builders, utility companies, banks, financials and outsourcers such as Capita. This has been a relief …

When the US Sneezes

We all know the rest of this adage – “the world catches a cold.” With the US representing around 30% of the global economy what happens on the other side of the pond has an impact on us all, be that a US consumer recession, a banking collapse or tapering of QE. It is therefore with interest I recently read …

Bonds v Equities – Away Win or Score Draw?

During an unprecedented four week holiday in Lanzarote, enjoying its unique volcanic landscape, tapas bars and restaurants, I largely forgot about work. I guess the plan worked. It was somewhat surreal therefore to return to the world of stockmarkets and investing. I had to remind myself of what asset allocation and an ISA are. Did I really give advice on …

Tail Spin, Fundamentals and Europe

Markets are in a tail spin, emerging markets and Japan have fallen sharply, the US modestly, odd given it was the tapering off of money printing by the Fed that got the bears going. Risk averse investors have been buying dollars, emerging market currencies have fallen. Japanese Government Bonds (JGBs) are volatile, yields have spiked with falling prices spooking the …

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 …

One Sort of Right, One Sort of Wrong!

It is always a useful if sometimes a salutary exercise to review one’s investment predictions. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes wrong. Some recent blog posts highlight this for me. In my post “Equity Rally, Equity Income & Monsters,” of 27/1/13  I suggested the second quarter could mark a downturn in the stockmarket rally. In the last few weeks …

Historical Perspectives on Equities and the Great Rotation

January was the best month for the FTSE 100 index for 24 years with a gain of 6.4%. Elsewhere global markets posted strong returns. It is worth however taking a longer term view and I came across an excellent chart of the performance of the FTSE All Share Index over 50 years since inception to April 2012: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/markets/9196093/Graphic-50-years-of-the-FTSE-All-Share-index.html The FTSE …