Investors dump equity in favour of safe havens

Government bonds received a boost in demand last month as investors’ risk appetite was tested by volatility in equity markets. This risk-off attitude proved negative for corporate bonds, however. The looming threat of a trade war between the US and China sent shockwaves throughout equity markets last month, as investors braced for the impact of … Continue reading “Investors dump equity in favour of safe havens”

Why UK-focused stocks look their cheapest in a decade

Uncertainty about the country’s long-term relationship with the European Union, its biggest trading partner, has left many international investors nervous about investing in UK companies. One recent poll showed that UK stocks were the least popular asset class among global fund managers. I disagree. I can see bright spots in the UK stockmarket that offer … Continue reading “Why UK-focused stocks look their cheapest in a decade”

A spot of turbulence

Global markets hit a rough patch in early February. Equity markets sold off, commodities softened, credit spreads widened and capital flowed out of emerging markets as volatility bounced back sharply. There have been a range of explanations offered for this dislocation, from jitters over rising inflation to concerns that rising term premia could snuff out … Continue reading “A spot of turbulence”

After the melt up

In January we saw shares rising rapidly, in what some called a melt up. In the last few days they have come back down again very quickly. The year’s gains were rapidly erased. Should we worry? Last week before the fall I wrote that “There will be bad times from time to time. Worrying about … Continue reading “After the melt up”

One year of Trump

January 20th marked Donald Trump’s one-year anniversary as US President.  So far, his tenure has proved controversial and divisive, both domestically and abroad. His attempts to take credit for the performance of the US economy and equity market should be taken with a pinch of salt, particularly given the considerable momentum carried over from his … Continue reading “One year of Trump”

Farewell to 2017

Is it better to travel than to arrive?  The US share market has done well this year.  It has been in fitful anticipation of tax cuts to come.  As the old year draws to a close the tax cuts have as we expected taken legislative form. The US growth rate has risen, exceeding 3% as … Continue reading “Farewell to 2017”

Exchanges and the companies quoted on them – surely it’s different this time?

Although it is not the oldest stock exchange in the world, the London Stock Exchange can trace its lineage back more than 300 years. The earliest stockbrokers were debarred from London’s centre of commerce, the Royal Exchange, because of rowdiness. Instead, they began to congregate at Jonathan’s Coffee-House on Change Alley. Here, one of the … Continue reading “Exchanges and the companies quoted on them – surely it’s different this time?”

Turbulence ahead: Politics is never far from the surface

November was a lacklustre month in terms of stock market returns. Japan and the US led the way with rises of 1.14% and 1.06% respectively, which resulted in the FTSE World index managing a rise of just 0.7%. Closer to home the FTSE All Share fell by 1.66%, as did Europe and Emerging markets which … Continue reading “Turbulence ahead: Politics is never far from the surface”

What stockmarket valuations tell us about equities’ next move

The world is, seemingly, in a bull market in everything. Just take a few headlines from this month alone: US stocks, already at all-time highs, hit a sixth consecutive closing high, which is the first time that has happened for 20 years. In debt markets, Ireland issued a bond with a negative yield, which means … Continue reading “What stockmarket valuations tell us about equities’ next move”

Back to Basics: Investing is a long term game

Believing that ‘now’ is the most difficult point in history to make sense of markets is one of the biases which investment professionals can pick up from their extreme proximity to the volatility, uncertainty and surprise that go with investing money. The cure to these jitters is just to step back and review some of … Continue reading “Back to Basics: Investing is a long term game”

Brexit, North Korea and Hurricane Harvey

August is the holiday month and with many key decision makers, in particular, the politicians, away from their desks, it’s normal for things to be a little quieter. Theresa May, for example, took a three-week break for some walking in the Swiss Alps, presumably with the ‘Sound of Music’ on her iPod and ‘Climb Every … Continue reading “Brexit, North Korea and Hurricane Harvey”

Could the election hit your portfolio?

Theresa May is likely to increase her majority in today’s general election, although some outlier polls have suggested a hung parliament is a possibility. Here’s what could happen to markets. Charles Stanley is neutral regarding the outcome of the today’s campaign, but the polling and the commentary about the vote suggests a Conservative win with … Continue reading “Could the election hit your portfolio?”

Politics takes centre stage, once again

Overview Global equity markets (ex-UK) were relative sanguine in April, gaining between 1% and 3% in local currency once sterling volatility was removed.  As can be seen below, the strength of sterling post the election announcement has detracted from that performance for UK investors, while the market has repriced large cap UK companies for the … Continue reading “Politics takes centre stage, once again”

Should investors worry about Syria and North Korea?

The aircraft carrier USS Vinson is being sent close to North Korea with a ballistic missile cruiser and two ballistic missile destroyers in attendance. The Korean peninsula sits uneasily between China and Japan, adjacent to Beijing and Tokyo.   As President Xi of China and President Trump sat down to dinner last week, two different … Continue reading “Should investors worry about Syria and North Korea?”

The Only Way Is Up…

February was a month of  universal price rises across Developed Market equities, higher risk Emerging Market benchmarks as well as safe havens such as lower risk bond markets and gold – making it difficult to see what was the key themes motivating investors. Surely something has to give? On one hand for equity markets it … Continue reading “The Only Way Is Up…”