Investment Themes for 2017

At the start of the year fund managers, economists and other investment professionals as usual have put forward their views on the state of global economy and the direction of equity and bond markets. So what will be the key themes for investors in 2017? There is a wide consensus that this year could be a pivotal year for markets. …

Looking Forward to 2016, Part 2

My last blog post on 11/12/15 covered some key economic themes for 2016. For the first post of the new year I want to briefly look at 2015 before expanding on the prospects for investors this year. I want to start with a question, you have a minute to think. Which were the four best performing equity sectors or markets …

Debt Mountain Danger

As you are no doubt aware, in the UK although the deficit has been falling since 2010, debt has risen. This is simple maths. Until the budget returns to surplus i.e. the government earns more than it spends, UK plc will have to borrow more to fill the gap and total national debt will continue to rise. Recently I have …

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 …

Volatility & Interest Rate Sensitivity

A recent feature of global markets has been increased volatility in both equities and bonds. Clearly the Greek debt crisis has weighed on equity markets especially in Europe. Incidentally UK banks have very little exposure to Greek debt although the knock on effect of a default could be significant given the EU is our biggest trading partner and the potential …

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 …

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 …

High Yield – The Search for Income

In an economy of balance sheet deleveraging and low growth a key challenge for investors is the search for income. The impact of the financial crisis in 2008 has led to structural changes in the UK economy with very low interest rates having become the norm. By low interest rates we need to distinguish between those that apply to cash and those that …

Cash Savings & Comparison Website

With inflation falling, cash now offers better real returns. In addition increasing competition for cash savings is leading to higher interest rates and better terms, for example on accessibility or not employing temporary bonuses. These attract customers with high interest which tumbles to a paltry rate after six months or a year at the end of the bonus period. Deposit takers have historically relied on customer apathy not to move monies. Shockingly many …