Articles

Fund Analysis

Cash

There is something comforting about cash; we know if we have £100 in the bank and we don’t spend it, we will still have £100. Whereas, if we put £100 into the stock market we must accept that it could go down as well as up; although a loss is only a loss if we “cash” the investment in, it stills feels uncomfortable when we see money go down in value.

Time in the market

When markets are rising, there is a danger that we think (or secretly hope) that they will keep going up. The reality is that at some point stock markets will go down; we just don’t know when, by how much and how quickly they will recover (because what goes down will usually come back up).

Buy-to-let – some thoughts

There is no doubt that over the last 20 years, buy-to-let property has been a good investment. Landlords have not only benefited from an increase in house prices but rising rents; the average house price in the 1990s was around £45,000, today that figure is close to £250,000. At the same time however, rental yields have moved from 12% of the property value to about 4.5%. It is clear to see how people investing 20 years ago did well.

Financial Shocks

Recently I have been writing about what is important to us, and how we can create achievable goals. There are many risks in life; when we get into the car and drive this could be risky; when we own a house there are risks that things can go wrong. Of course, if we have a mortgage we are expected to have buildings and contents insurance, and if we have a car we must have insurance.

Quarterly Market Update – April 2017

It would be unusual not to have some market uncertainty; recent research in the US showed that 37.9% of investors and 63.1% of market professionals were bullish about stock market prices. This is comforting because there is such a divergence of opinion; we would be more concerned if everyone thought the same.

Liontrust Investment Conference – an overview

In February, we attended an Investment Conference hosted by Liontrust Investment Managers. The speakers covered a variety of topics; in this brief, we want to highlight some of the key discussion points.....

Why plans are important?

When I started working my godfather offered some advice; “save as much money as you can”. I took his advice and over a few years invested in several ten-year investment plans. As time moved on the amount of money I had grew, and it became central to everything I did. By the time the dot.com frenzy took hold I was looking at ways of making more money....

Vive la France!

Having spent some time with European Fund Managers there is the inevitable discussion about European politics and the risks for investors. There are four key events facing Europe this year:

Understanding how you can benefit from your pension fund

2015 saw radical changes to the way pension benefits could be paid in retirement; suddenly it seemed everything was much simpler. I still remember the headlines the next day about using the pension fund to buy that yacht or sports car you had always dreamed about.

The age-old question…

It’s easy to be focused on the present – BREXIT, Trump, China et al – and yet by doing so we can miss things that directly impact our future well-being. Perhaps we don’t want to consider the future but in doing so we seem to be missing one of the biggest financial crises to hit us for decades; BREXIT, Trump and others will pass but this has implications for us for many years to come.

Quarterly Market Update – January 2017

2016 was a year of surprises with events in the UK, US and Italy likely to shape our lives for many years to come. At the same time, we could easily have added Austria; the significance of which shouldn’t be underestimated. In the end the electorate overwhelmingly decided not to appoint its first fascist president since World War II; this may provide some indication as to how elections in France, Germany and Holland might eventually play out.

2016 – All things must pass

Writing a year-end review of 2016 could focus entirely on the story of Brexit, or the unbelievable Trump victory; seek to understand the epic collapse of oil or consider the cultural influence of the many icons who have passed. Or most confounding of all, how the heck did Leicester City win the Premiership and did Gary Lineker’s football shorts constitute underwear on MOTD.

A life less complicated

Every day we take risk without considering the consequences. Interestingly almost every action we take carries risk; the list below from besthealthdegrees.com considers the chances of fatality from some normal activities (as well as some less so). 1 in 300 million of death from a shark attack 1 in 250 million of death from a falling coconut

Should we believe everything we read in the press?

The 1992 general election delivered one of the biggest shocks in political history. The Conservatives had been in power for 13 years and coming into the election the odds were stacked against them; rising unemployment, interest rates at over 10% and collapsing house prices. All predictions pointed towards a hung parliament, or narrow Labour victory.

Keep Calm – Carry On

This feels a bit like Groundhog Day, doesn't it? We go to bed thinking one result is pretty much a done deal and wake up to the shocking reality that the opposite has happened.

Why I think William Hague is wrong when it comes to savers

William Hague wrote a fascinating and passionate article in the Telegraph entitled “Central banks have collectively lost the plot. They must raise interest rates or face their doom”. Some of what he says I agree with; particularly the challenges with the route taken by central bank being that we don’t know what the final outcome might be. However, there are several things that I take issue with and I think reflects a changing society that is being missed by the likes of William Hague, Theresa May and others.

Low interest rates = cheap mortgages = time to buy

In theory low interest rates mean low mortgages, and therefore house prices should be a lot higher than they are. I recently saw Martin Lewis discussing how people applying for mortgages should “tidy up” their finances first. At the time I believed he was encouraging applicants to “fudge” their income (and expenditure) to get a […]

Fill your boots….the world of falling interest rates

We have effectively entered the parallel universe and we really don’t know what the future will look like. If I was writing this blog on the 31st May 2016, I would be saying that the last time interest rates went up was in July 2007, and since then they had fallen and settled at the […]

Quarterly Market Update – October 2016

When we wrote the last quarterly update the vote to leave the EU was uppermost in our minds. With the fallout it was easy forget that we are all part of a global economy. The speed of change in the UK post vote has been significant and shouldn’t be underestimated.

Please note...

Shininglights.co.uk is not regulated by the FCA. The information is purely a guide and it is the responsibility of the investor to carry out their own research before making any final decisions. We will ensure that the information is as accurate as possible but we cannot be held accountable for any errors or omissions. No products are sold on this site, nor do we endorse any particular product or investment.

Where there are links to third party sites this is not an endorsement of that site, and we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information on that site.

Where there is reference to performance you should note that past performance is purely a guide and investments can fall as well as rise.

The information on the site belongs to shininglights.co.uk and cannot be replicated or copied without our permission.