Ethical Investing: Myth vs. Reality

Ethical investing has been around for a long time, with the first recorded instance dating back to the 18th Century.  But despite its longevity, many investors are unaware that it is an option for them, and there are a number of common misconceptions.  In this short article, we provide the facts so you can make … Continue reading “Ethical Investing: Myth vs. Reality”

Nobody puts sterling in the corner

The story for September remains mundanely similar as for much of the year. Global political noise is barely being acknowledged by capital markets; central banks attempt to signal the way higher for rates without spooking the market; the global economy continues to bump along. Despite an increasingly aggressive stance from North Korea, a destructive hurricane … Continue reading “Nobody puts sterling in the corner”

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”

QE: The Beginning of the End

To limit the damage from the financial crisis, central bankers were forced into Quantitative Easing (QE) on a massive scale, in possibly the largest ever monetary policy experiment. The policy worked and confidence returned to financial markets. Nearly a decade on from those events, are we now looking at the end to QE and the … Continue reading “QE: The Beginning of the End”

Are markets underestimating geopolitical risk?

Every week it appears that North Korea tests a missile that falls safely in the Sea of Japan. Saudi Arabia and its close neighbour Qatar are having a spat about terrorism funding, could they come to blows and what would that mean for the oil price? Should we worry about such events? And how will … Continue reading “Are markets underestimating geopolitical risk?”

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”

Has QE failed, and if so why are markets clamouring for more?

The aim of Quantitative Easing [QE] was to support global economic growth in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, and help to push GDP growth back towards its trend rate, typically around 3.2 – 3.5% for the world and 2 – 2.5% for the UK. This would allow the amount of outstanding debt to … Continue reading “Has QE failed, and if so why are markets clamouring for more?”

Monthly Commentary – October 2016

The FTSE World returned a little under 5% during the month of October. However, as has become a regular occurrence since the UK’s decision to leave the EU, currency devaluation was the primary driver of returns for UK investors. Versus the US Dollar, Sterling lost around 6% during the past month – essentially all in … Continue reading “Monthly Commentary – October 2016”

Monthly Commentary – September 2016

The FTSE World index climbed again in September with a rise of 1.2% in sterling terms. Year to date central banks around the world still appear willing to do what it takes to generate growth, and avoid recession and deflation. Politics remains important; the new government in the UK is now 100 days into its … Continue reading “Monthly Commentary – September 2016”

Keynesian vs. Monetarism

There have been two schools of thought in the history of economics; Keynesian and Monetarism. The former rests on the belief that government actions can determine growth in the economy, spending money on say infrastructure projects when demand is slack and reining back once the economy picks up. Monetarism on the other hand believes the … Continue reading “Keynesian vs. Monetarism”

Around the world and back again: has the globalisation theme turned full circle?

2008 may come eventually to be seen as the peak in the trend towards globalisation, the point at which the tide turned and the global spider’s web of supply chains and trade routes began to shrink. For several decades we have witnessed a continued expansion in the trade between economies around the world, crisscrossed by … Continue reading “Around the world and back again: has the globalisation theme turned full circle?”

Has QE caused a crisis of capitalism?

Capitalism has delivered prosperity, and countries that adopt the principles of free markets and enterprise are more prosperous. Witness the countries of the former Eastern Bloc. However it would be disingenuous to say everyone at all times benefit from capitalism. It does suffer from crises and the Great Financial Crash (GFC) in 2008 may be … Continue reading “Has QE caused a crisis of capitalism?”