World pension ages on the rise: when will you retire?

State pension ages are rising around the world. Most countries will increase the point at which people can withdraw payments to 67 in coming decades. Some governments have been more aggressive. The UK and Ireland will increase the age to 68, and the British government has indicated that more even higher ages are inevitable. The … Continue reading “World pension ages on the rise: when will you retire?”

Liabilities and the long-term effects of low rates

We lived through history earlier this month. The Bank of England (BoE) raised interest rates for the first time in ten years. But interest rates will stay low for a lot longer yet and this should encourage those with a long-term view. The move was symbolically important – a small, but significant, reminder that interest … Continue reading “Liabilities and the long-term effects of low rates”

Will it be smooth sailing for markets until the end of the year?

Schroders Keith Wade & Aymeric Forest look at whether equities can sustain their stellar run in view of the coming reduction in central bank liquidity, geopolitical tensions, currency moves and stretched valuations? Equities underpinned by solid synchronised global growth The global economy is on a firm and synchronised upward trajectory, which is increasingly industrial-led and underpinned … Continue reading “Will it be smooth sailing for markets until the end of the year?”

Inflation is dead, long live inflation

When the Federal Reserve and other central banks introduced quantitative easing in response to the global financial crisis, the loudest and most persistent criticism was that such actions would unleash a major surge in inflation. The reality has been very different. Inflation has persistently fallen short of central bank targets and economic forecasts for the … Continue reading “Inflation is dead, long live inflation”

Financial Crisis Ten Years On

Ten years ago, queues quietly began forming outside branches of Northern Rock. Unsettled by press reports that the bank was asking for help from the Bank of England, anxious customers wanted out. The first run on a UK bank for over a century was underway, and Northern Rock would be nationalised within a year. In … Continue reading “Financial Crisis Ten Years On”

Curve ball

Governments aren’t the only things proving to be less than strong and stable these days. Take the Phillips Curve, which describes the relationship between unemployment and wage growth. As unemployment falls, using up spare capacity in the labour market, it makes intuitive sense that wage growth starts to pick up. Given the key role played … Continue reading “Curve ball”

Merkel’s world collides with Trump

The G20 meeting this week in Hamburg should be just another review meeting by the 19 largest economies and the EU.  The Agenda is full of long term ambitions and intractable problems, from climate change to gender equality, from financial stability to managing refugees.  You can read the background papers as worthy long term statements … Continue reading “Merkel’s world collides with Trump”

Why the oil price is now in a bear market

The price of crude has slipped into bear market territory this week, despite Opec’s attempt to boost the price ahead of the flotation of Saudi Aramco. What caused it – and will it reverse anytime soon? Crude oil prices are once again in a tailspin, on concerns that the global glut of oil is not … Continue reading “Why the oil price is now in a bear market”

Green is the new black

There is a new breed of bond in the fixed income world. It’s different, it’s bold – it’s the so-called ‘green bond’ market. As the drive towards environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing continues to gather pace, policy makers and investors alike are waking up to the importance – and benefits – of green bond … Continue reading “Green is the new black”

Does low volatility mean a shock lies in store for investors?

Despite the many economic and geopolitical risks in the world today, volatility in asset markets has been remarkably subdued. The Vix index, the market’s so-called fear gauge, has recently fallen to a reading of around 10. This is exceptionally low compared to long-term norms. and only just above the all-time low of 9 that it … Continue reading “Does low volatility mean a shock lies in store for investors?”

UK election: what a hung parliament means for markets

Following the surprise UK general election result, Schroders’ Alix Stewart,  David Docherty & Azad Zangana, consider the implications for the economy and markets.   The UK general election has resulted in a hung parliament, with no party commanding an overall majority. The Conservatives have emerged as the largest party and will likely seek to form … Continue reading “UK election: what a hung parliament means for markets”

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”

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…”

Why all investors should care about China

Isabelle Mateos y Lago, Global Macro Investment Strategist at BlackRock, puts China in context, showing how important it has become for the global economy. China’s debt-driven growth model is starting to reach its limits. Yet the country is also transitioning into a high-tech, more consumer-driven economy. How this economic evolution plays out will have major … Continue reading “Why all investors should care about China”