Crystal Balls, Yield Curves & Old Folk

Arguably the greatest challenge that faces fund managers, those who give investment advice and investors alike is to correctly assess the strength and direction of the global economy and stock markets. Get those calls right and it should be evident whether to adopt a cautious or adventurous investment strategy. Good asset allocation will then follow. Currently that question is very …

Second quarter rally – Is the pesky blonde girl back ?

In the last investment blog I reported that global stock markets retreated in the first quarter of 2018. How things change! Half way through the second quarter there has been a marked improvement in investor sentiment and stock returns. The FTSE 100 index for example closed yesterday at 7,711, a significant recovery from its March 26th low of 6,889 and …

Markets Retreat in Q1 2018

Global stock markets ended the first quarter of 2018 down. Data from HSBC Global Asset Management and Datastream showed the following index returns,* UK Equities: -7.3% Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) -7.2% Japan Equities: -5.5% European Equities: -3.3% Emerging Market Equities: -2.3% US Equities: -2.2% *MSCI are an independent producer of stock market indices widely used in the industry. These are …

The First to Present His Case

There is a proverb I like which states: “The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.” * The context of this proverb suggest it relates to court judgements but equally it is relevant to investment opinions as fund managers advocate polar opposite views on the investment case for differing assets and markets. For …

Value in US & UK Stock Markets

In recent blogs I have suggested price and value are not the same thing. An index or stock price may reach a high but that does not necessarily make it expensive. Similarly a collapse in the price of an index or stock does not necessarily create good value nor is a signal to buy. Remember the concept of “value traps?” …

Have Your Investments Been Trumped?

Probably not or not yet! I have never received so many invitations to hastily arranged webinars by investment companies as I did on Wednesday morning after the US presidential election. In addition I was also bombarded by numerous commentaries and opinions by fund managers. So what are my thoughts on how a Trump presidency will impact the global economy and …

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 …

Super Taper Tantrum?

You may recall back in May 2013 there was a sharp sell-off in equities and fixed interest when Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, the US central bank announced that tapering of QE was ready to start. The market ignored the good news that the patient, the US economy could come off its money printing life support and …

The Sage of Henley

The famous and highly successful US investor Warren Buffet is commonly known as the Sage of Omaha. He is noted as a shrewd and long term investor with a strong focus on value. He is also the source of insightful and humorous sayings on investment. It is worth googling and reading his quotes but two of my favourites, I have …

October Blues, US & UK Update

Global equity markets have pulled back since mid-September, not long after the FTSE 100 index was close to breaking through the elusive psychological barrier of 6,930, its December 1999 peak. So what is happening? A number of factors have weighed on equity markets. The political protests in Hong Kong have been a worry as have stock specific issues, notably Tesco …