magazine archive

magazine archive

Talking Point

What would a consumer slowdown in the US mean for markets?

Thursday 28 Nov 2019

For the last year the mantra among market observers has been that although the US economic expansion is long in the tooth, there’s no need to worry about poor manufacturing confidence surveys. As long as the services sector is still showing growth, goes the thinking, markets can keep rising. Recent...

Negative yields have forced investors to explore ‘alternative assets’

Thursday 31 Oct 2019

It is little wonder that interest in ‘alternative assets’ has exploded. We live in a world of negative interest rates, where $17tn of bonds including government bonds trade at nominal yields below zero – meaning that if investors held them to maturity, they would lose money not make money – and...

Learning the lessons from Woodford woes

Thursday 24 Oct 2019

Investors have been rocked by the culmination of the woes facing one-time star fund manager Neil Woodford and more importantly those who put their faith in him. Having seen the flagship equity income fund wound up, Woodford Investment Management has now resigned from LF Woodford Income Focus (...

Record levels of corporate debt is not good news

Thursday 26 Sep 2019

The failure of Thomas Cook is a timely reminder of the destructive power that excessive debt can have on shareholder value. Investors have been wiped out by the strain of the package holiday firm’s £1.5bn borrowings. A decade on from the global financial crisis and UK corporate leverage is back at...

What the sharp move out of momentum into value means for your portfolio

Thursday 19 Sep 2019

On a normal, relatively quiet Monday afternoon on 9 September, some shares experienced a sharp move with no associated corporate news flow attached. As it later turned out, the same thing was happening to stocks with similar characteristics across global stock markets. Momentum was suddenly out of...

Mooted changes to ‘flawed’ inflation measure could hurt investors

Thursday 12 Sep 2019

The Chancellor has refused to review a decision on whether to scrap the controversial Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation in the short-term, despite reputable statisticians saying it is a flawed measure of price increases. However, an indication that it will be reviewed from 2025 has...

London suffers a sharp decline in the number of IPOs

Thursday 05 Sep 2019

There has been a dearth of companies floating on the UK stock market this year, perhaps understandably given Brexit-induced volatility. A mere 25 companies have floated in London so far in 2019, compared with 87 in 2018 and 106 in 2017 excluding listings classified as international offerings where...

Is a shorter trading day right for UK shares?

Thursday 29 Aug 2019

Fund managers, banks and City lobby organisations are understood to be working on ground breaking proposals that could cut stock market trading hours in the UK and across Europe, opening an hour later at 9am and closing an hour earlier at 3.30pm. The talks, which are reportedly at a very early...

What happens next with China’s currency devaluation?

Thursday 15 Aug 2019

WHAT HAS HAPPENED? The state-directed Chinese yuan currency moved through the seven per dollar threshold on 5 August for the first time since the global financial crisis in 2008. This provoked the US Treasury department into accusing Beijing of currency manipulation as the trade war continues to...

US tech firms (mostly) shine in latest quarterly earnings season

Thursday 01 Aug 2019

The FANGs and other big US tech stocks are being viewed through the lens of record high share prices by investors worried about a US stock market on the point of overheating. Yet many of the biggest and fastest-growing tech companies are still knocking the ball out of the park when it comes to...