How might higher inflation affect your portfolio?

The latest figures for US consumer prices showed that the rate of inflation increased the most since September 2008. This is raising fears that we are headed for a sustained bout of inflation. Rapid price increases lower a currency’s purchasing power, reducing the amount of goods and services you can buy with money. This damage … Continue reading “How might higher inflation affect your portfolio?”

Can global cities still thrive after the Covid-19 crisis?

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to many changes in the way people live and work. With many forced to work from home during lockdown, some people are now questioning whether they need to live in the city in which they work. This has prompted much speculation in the media about the future of global cities … Continue reading “Can global cities still thrive after the Covid-19 crisis?”

Stock markets are not economic reality

Equity cycles have some relationship to GDP growth, but they are also dependent on central banks’ policies, lending by commercial banks – and on investors’ ever-changing view of the future. Market commentators and forecasters spend a lot of time trying to predict what will happen to economies – and therefore to turnover and profits of … Continue reading “Stock markets are not economic reality”

China offers a glimpse of life after lockdown

China delivered a startling reminder of what a post-pandemic world might look like, setting a new record high for domestic tourism during its Labour Day holiday this month. The national May 1-5 break saw 230 million Chinese citizens make in-country trips1 – the equivalent of more than half of the entire European Union on the … Continue reading “China offers a glimpse of life after lockdown”

Things usually turn out better than we feared

Over time things have a habit of turning out better than we feared. This is not to suggest that we adopt a Pollyanna mindset, but to simply highlight that there is a tendency to view uncertainty as a negative.  Now, if we turn to the business of investing the whole exercise is fraught with uncertainty, … Continue reading “Things usually turn out better than we feared”

UK mid-caps – far from middle of the road

No matter what their size, the past few years have been tricky for UK companies. First Brexit, then the Covid-19 pandemic – two headwinds that saw many investors leave the UK equities market for more certain climes. Now though, with an acceptable Brexit conclusion and a potential vaccine-led recovery, we believe UK equities, mid-caps in … Continue reading “UK mid-caps – far from middle of the road”

Which equity sectors can combat higher inflation?

The sharp rise in bond yields over recent weeks has rattled equity markets amid fears that fiscal stimulus and a post-pandemic spending splurge could stoke higher inflation. Five-year inflation expectations, as measured by the yield difference between nominal and inflation-protected US Treasury bonds, have rebounded sharply from their pandemic lows and are now at 2.5% … Continue reading “Which equity sectors can combat higher inflation?”

Steering a course to UK equities for the opportunities ahead

It’s not an easy time to be an investor. 2020 was a rollercoaster year whatever asset class you invested in. Even looking ahead, it’s understandable that investors may be nervous about making any big asset allocation decisions at the moment. However, at times of uncertainty and change, some of the best investment opportunities can reveal … Continue reading “Steering a course to UK equities for the opportunities ahead”

Back with a bang: US fourth-quarter earnings turn positive

The big news from the fourth-quarter reporting season is that earnings growth is back. Consensus expectations for were for further contractions in corporate earnings, but instead we’ve seen an expansion – in the US at least. Now that most of S&P 500’s constituents have reported, some 83% have surprised positively – well above the historical … Continue reading “Back with a bang: US fourth-quarter earnings turn positive”

How Asian stock markets shook off the pandemic

It seems ancient history now, but 2020 opened with a high degree of optimism for Asian markets. True, valuations were no more than reasonable given the share price gains of the previous twelve months, but conditions appeared favourable and there was a widespread consensus on a global economic recovery and a strong year ahead for … Continue reading “How Asian stock markets shook off the pandemic”

Looking back at the markets through January 2021

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month.  Global Market Review “Unintended consequences” Financial markets are becoming increasingly vulnerable to a sharp correction that would, in turn, jeopardise stability, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF warned that investors’ expectations of continued support from governments and central banks has generated … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through January 2021”

What can investors expect from the Year of the Ox?

This year Chinese New Year ushers in the Year of the Ox, which began on Friday. The Ox is thought to be a symbol of reliability, strength, patience and caution. It is also associated with harvesting, fertility and prosperity. After a tumultuous 2020, many an investor will welcome financial markets that are reliable, strong and … Continue reading “What can investors expect from the Year of the Ox?”

Why lockdown winners are not vaccine losers

The past year has brought significant changes to all our lives and sped up the growth of a number of consumer and leisure trends. Online shopping is an obvious example and the same is true for some of the other “lockdown winners”: namely computer games and cook-at-home meal kits. Like online shopping, we think these … Continue reading “Why lockdown winners are not vaccine losers”

Looking back at the markets through December 2020

A selection of articles looking back through the markets last month. Global Market Review Shares advance on vaccine optimism After a tumultuous year in which the coronavirus pandemic gripped the world, many major stock markets ended 2020 in positive territory. Investor sentiment was buoyed towards the end of the year by optimism over the prospect … Continue reading “Looking back at the markets through December 2020”

Volatile markets reflect fears of reality

Many refer to the growing gap between the reality of Covid-19-torn economies and equity markets. Battered businesses trying to adapt to social distancing and closures struggle to generate profits, to meet rent bills – or pay dividends. At the same time, major equity indices hit new highs. Most of us run with the wind, which … Continue reading “Volatile markets reflect fears of reality”