Surprises in European equities

Why have European equities performed so well in 2019 and what are the prospects for 2020? For much of 2019, European equities were an unloved asset class, shunned by investors. At first sight, this was understandable – the region is growing only slowly, wracked by political tensions and wrestling with headwinds in vital sectors such as … Continue reading “Surprises in European equities”

Don’t lose your investment marbles in emerging markets

If one of your investments jumped 3,800% in less than a year how happy would you be? Ecstatic, probably. Now imagine how you would feel if 98% of these gains evaporated within a short few minutes. Utterly terrible, I’m sure. Well, that’s exactly what happened to shareholders in Hong Kong listed ArtGo last month  – … Continue reading “Don’t lose your investment marbles in emerging markets”

Deforestation leaves investors exposed

Owning companies linked to forest destruction risks major financial losses. But focusing on engagement and demanding transparency and supply chain discipline could bring rich rewards. Deforestation linked to growing commodities demand presents significant risk of loss for investors, but also opportunities to benefit by engaging companies and adding to pressure for stricter policy actions. Deforestation … Continue reading “Deforestation leaves investors exposed”

How does geopolitics impact investment returns and what can you do about it?

Schroder’s economists have analysed the effect geopolitical risk can have on investors’ portfolios. Should investors simply hold their nerve during volatile times? Or is it better to entrust fund managers able to take a more dynamic approach? Geopolitics can significantly impact investment returns; whether it’s trade wars, actual wars, populist politicians or terrorist attacks. Geopolitical … Continue reading “How does geopolitics impact investment returns and what can you do about it?”

European equities – interesting times

“There is a Chinese curse which says ‘May he live in interesting times.’ Like it or not, we live in interesting times.” Robert F. Kennedy’s 1966 quote sums up what it has been like to be a European equity investor since the UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016. While politicians have … Continue reading “European equities – interesting times”

The Middle East stirs some old worries

America is intensifying its policy against Iran in the Gulf, and challenging more EU policy over Iran and energy as well as trade. Donald Trump has spent the last week moving markets. His decision to push back hard on China before agreeing a trade deal led to sharp sell offs in the Shanghai market and … Continue reading “The Middle East stirs some old worries”

29 reasons not to invest in the stock market

Wars, disasters, economic strife and political instability have been persistent themes over the last three decades and they can affect people’s attitude towards investing. In many cases they make an already tough decision to part with your money and invest even harder, leading some to not invest at all. Behavioural scientists have a name for … Continue reading “29 reasons not to invest in the stock market”

Cyber-risk: how investors can prepare for the unpredictable

Cyber crime continues to create significant costs for companies globally, but understanding the risk means going beyond a formulaic assessment of policies.  Digital data has grown exponentially in recent years, spurred by increased penetration of mobile devices and consumption of online services. The rapid expansion in the volume of data companies store, many of which … Continue reading “Cyber-risk: how investors can prepare for the unpredictable”

Emerging markets: increasing or decreasing risks?

So far, 2018 has been a difficult year for emerging market (EM) assets, which in the last few months have fared significantly worse than their counterparts in developed markets. This has been due mainly to worldwide issues but also country-specific political uncertainty. Many investors are now asking if the sell-off presents a buying opportunity – … Continue reading “Emerging markets: increasing or decreasing risks?”

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 I need a financial adviser

Combining risk frameworks with appropriate asset allocation is no mean feat. Economists call them “teachable moments” – life events which make us think more about long-term financial planning. Until my 40th birthday, I barely thought of my mortality. But since then I have barely thought of anything else. A major birthday milestone, combined with the … Continue reading “Why I need a financial adviser”

Signal or noise? Political risk in 2018

Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Terrorism. Populism. A newly emboldened Russia. The world is an unsettled place, but financial markets are relatively calm. A few factors could yet jolt them. US equity markets have generated significant gains over the last year, despite the headlines speculating over possible Russian interference in the US presidential election, … Continue reading “Signal or noise? Political risk in 2018”

Where should investors look for opportunities in 2018?

After a turbo-charged 2017 investors have become nervous of a market sell-off. Among the signs: technology stocks have wobbled recently; high yield corporate bond spreads – the risk premium corporate bonds provide over government bonds – have narrowed to levels not seen since the financial crisis; and speculation has driven a bitcoin frenzy. But while … Continue reading “Where should investors look for opportunities in 2018?”

Germany shows there is still political risk in the Eurozone

When the Netherlands kept Mr Wilders out of power and Mr Macron swept into office in France, the immediate threats to the Euro disappeared. The recent collapse of coalition talks in Germany does not presage any undermining of majority support for the single currency in its heartland. The next major political issue facing the Euro … Continue reading “Germany shows there is still political risk in the Eurozone”

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”