Investing and Investment Planning – Art, Science, Gambling or Gardening?

For my final investment blog post of 2016 I want to change tack from the usual technical analysis and market commentary and address the more philosophical aspects of investing. The key question is this. Is investment planning and advice on investments an art or science? Should I be going to the Tate Modern for inspiration or the Science Museum and …

Bond Sell Off, Investor Fears and Strategies

May has seen a sell-off in government bonds, in the UK, US and Germany. Yields had reached ultra-low figures and a correction was not unexpected. However investors are asking if this signifies the end of the bull market in bonds which has run for about 25 years. It commenced around 1990 when a secular long term trend of falling global …

The Impact of Investment Styles on Fund Performance

It is fairly well known that many fund managers adopt specific investment styles in running their portfolios. These are the underlying investment principles and strategies a fund manager favours and this in turn determines their asset and sector allocations and the type of stocks they buy. Whilst the main styles are often described as “value” or “growth,” there are variants, …

Investor Psychology – It’s all in the Mind

In my last blog I discussed the link between economic growth and stockmarket performance. I noted in some cases there are clear correlations, such as returns from cyclical or economically sensitive stocks; in other cases there is little or no correlation, China and defensive stocks with global franchises and stable earnings are examples. However another dimension to the link relates to investor psychology or behavioural finance. …

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 …

Looking Back, Looking Forward

At the start of the New Year it is worth reviewing how the last 12 months has fared for investors as well as looking forward to 2013. Global markets have rallied in the second half of 2012; financial stocks in particular had a positively balmy year. In July the President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi promised to do …

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 …

Favoured Investment Opportunities

Recently in advice to a client on investment of cash I briefly surveyed a variety of my current favoured ideas and other options. I thought my comments would form the basis for a blog post, so here goes.   1. Cash   This can be retained for risk reduction purposes. Cash is suitable for very cautious investors who are more interested …

Episode Investment

Inspiration for my investment blogs and previously my investment e-mails may come from unexpected sources. This one was from a normally dull type of communication that I regularly receive, about changes to a fund range – investment objectives, mergers or fund names. They normally get filed or sent for recycling. The letter and document in question was from M&G about changes to their multi asset …