magazine archive

magazine archive

Talking Point

The rise of the regulators

Thursday 25 Apr 2019

Led by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), anti-trust regulators around the world are having a bigger say than ever in corporate affairs. While this is good news for consumers, for investors the regulators represent another level of risk and complexity. There are many current examples...

Higher or lower: how to play the volatile pound

Thursday 18 Apr 2019

‘It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future,’ as they say. Variations of this quotation have previously been attributed to physicist Nils Bohr, writer Mark Twain, movie mogul Sam Goldwyn and baseball player Yogi Berra, yet the identity of the originator is less important that its...

Is cannabis the next investment bubble?

Thursday 11 Apr 2019

At midnight on Wednesday 17 October 2018, Canada became only the second country in the world after Uruguay and the first country in the leading G7 group of nations to legalise the recreational use of cannabis for adults over 18. Canada’s ‘experiment’ is being closely watched by other governments...

Dual-class share structure – unfair or underused?

Thursday 04 Apr 2019

One share, one vote remains one of the bedrocks of UK stock ownership yet the debate on so-called dual-class listings could heat up once again in the wake of the US stock market debut of ride-hailing company Lyft last week. San Francisco-based Lyft is a rival of Uber, the better known of the two...

Why aren’t challenger banks living up to their billing?

Thursday 28 Mar 2019

Following the financial crisis more than a decade ago and the public bailout of Lloyds ( LLOY ) and Royal Bank of Scotland ( RBS ) , the UK banking market was opened up to a new wave of companies who it was hoped would genuinely challenge the established players. Without ‘legacy issues’ such as mis...

Are two heads ever better than one at the top of a PLC?

Thursday 21 Mar 2019

Less than two years since Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management merged, the enlarged group is finally dispensing with its unpopular co-CEO structure as Martin Gilbert is relegated to a different role. The boss of Aberdeen Asset Management before the tie-up, Gilbert will remain with Standard...

The psychology of stock market bubbles

Thursday 07 Mar 2019

The US investor John Templeton famously observed that bull markets ‘are born on pessimism, grow on scepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria’. Indeed, by the final stages of a bull market many investors have come to believe that either they have some magic gift or that they are destined to...

New accounting rule could have a big impact on corporate net debt levels

Thursday 28 Feb 2019

There hasn’t been any fanfare or special announcement, but 1 January saw the introduction of one of the biggest changes in corporate accounting for decades. While analysts and investors will be busy poring over 2018’s results for many weeks to come, for most firms the impact of the new regulations...

Can expensive shares ever offer good value?

Thursday 21 Feb 2019

As investors we’re regularly told to buy low and sell high in terms of valuation. This line of thought often leaves people feeling nervous about buying shares on higher ratings, especially when market exuberance is in short supply. For many investors, buying stocks on a price-to-earnings (PE)...

What sort of annual return should you expect from the stock market?

Thursday 14 Feb 2019

At the end of every year the great and the good of financial markets give their forecasts of where the FTSE 100 and other major indices will be in 12 months’ time. It’s a fruitless exercise because no-one can consistently forecast how much markets are going to gain or lose. As the legendary...