Articles

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”

Frankly, I am bored! Referendums and elections, but nothing seems to have changed for the last three years. One certainty about this election is that that the outcome is uncertain; opinion polls will tell you one thing but as we have seen over the last couple of years, they have not been a good weather […]

Investing for the long term

My advice to the trustee could not be more simple: Put 10% of the cash in short-term government bonds and 90% in a very low-cost S&P 500 index fund. (I suggest Vanguard‘s.) I believe the trust’s long-term results from this policy will be superior to those attained by most investors—whether pension funds, institutions, or individuals—who employ high-fee managers.

Quarterly Market Overview – October 2019

A key element of my job is meeting and talking to different investment managers. All managers will argue they are different but what really interests me is when a manager explains that short term noise is just that. If I asked people what the two key factors causing uncertainty in the world are, they would likely respond with Trade Wars and Brexit; the problem with this is that often we miss out on what is actually going on in the bigger picture.

Fund Analysis

A new norm, and what it means for cash

At the turn of the century (well nearly 20 years ago) cash was a usable asset class. For those wanting to “safeguard” capital and receive an income it seemed the perfect choice; £100,000 could provide an “income” of around £5,000 per annum. In 2008/2009 this all changed as globally, interest rates dropped to near zero; […]

Interest rates – this time really could be different

As fads and phases in markets and economies come and go, the smouldering wreckage of once hyped ‘must have’ investments often lie in a worthless crumpled heap next to people muttering. ‘But I really thought this time was different’ It rarely is!

What’s Happening Next?

George and I spend many hours discussing the politics and economics of the world, with reference to where and how to most productively employ capital. We try, in doing this, to separate the personal from the strategic, so what I will write is not necessarily my own view on what would be best or honourable but rather an analysis of what we currently see as likely to happen and why.

What’s next….

I have just returned from two weeks away on a Greek Island. Although we had Wi-Fi, I had decided before we left that I wouldn’t check emails nor would I engage with the news. The last time I did this was in 2011; I remember getting on the ferry back from France and reading that […]

Quarterly Market Overview – July 2019

“This will look like the maddest period of history” – Russell T Davies If you have watched the BBC Programme “Years and Years” you will be aware that it paints a rather bleak picture of how the future may play out. Starting in 2019, it travels over a period of ten years seeing the re-election […]

Let’s talk about Woodford

Neil Woodford is a star fund manager; at Invesco he ran several flagship funds and was the poster boy of the investment industry. As things appear to start to unravel it is worth perhaps just outlining the importance of research.

2018…..

How many of us remember the events 2001 or 2008? Over the ten or so years since 2008, only in 2011 did we see a negative year through fears on the fragility of the global economy. In fact, over the last ten years it has been easy to forget that markets can go down, as well as up.

When is the best time to invest?

Two years ago, I was talking to a friend; the conversation went along the lines of, “2016 was good, but markets are going to fall so I am going to take my money out of the market and hold it in cash”. My friend then went on to explain that once the markets had reached the bottom, he would re-invest his money. I asked the question I always ask in these cases; what is the money for? He explained that the money was in a pension fund which he didn’t need and was planning to leave to his children.

Quarterly Market Overview – April 2019

The first quarter of 2019 started well with a significant rebound, after the sell-off in the last quarter of 2018. However, towards the end of March markets dropped backed slightly following weak economic data from Europe; in turn this fuelled concerns that we were closer to a global recession than the markets had priced in.

Quarterly Market Overview – January 2019

“Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble” The expression “from hero to zero” springs to mind as I write this. At the start of 2018, the US Government was in shutdown unable to agree the budget, globally there were concerns over China, Trump, Brexit, trade wars, debt and a global recession. Although […]

What do we do with our money when facing a dot-com bubble or 2008 scenario?

a penny doubled every day for 31 days will be worth over £10 million at the end of the period Over the past few months I have produced several blogs looking at investing, market timing, and risk and volatility. To end this series I want to focus on the key message behind everything our financial […]

“This time next year, Rodders, we’ll be millionaires!”

One of my favourite TV programmes is Only Fools and Horses. The immortal words “this time next year, Rodders, we’ll be millionaires!”, will forever be stuck in my head! In almost every episode Del had another money-making scheme; each time they never seemed to come to fruition. Ironically after all those years of scheming, the […]

Thoughts on Brexit

It’s the story of the Fox and the Turtle. The last few days have finally seen Brexit go from the abstract to the very real and very fractious. There is now a divorce settlement on the table and very few like it, which was entirely predictable. As we have said previously, there are such divergently […]

Market Volatility – causes and concerns

October has been a rough month for all global stock markets, with some decent downturns from 2018 highs. This blog hopes to address the concerns currently weighing on market sentiment and to examine whether they are transitory and emotional, or more fundamental. The biggest global concern depending on who you listen to, is either: US […]

Staying calm when investing

A real lesson for investing is that for it to work, the process is pretty boring. You must be prepared to sit and wait for things to play out. Our brains are naturally wired to avoid pain and seek pleasure. When there is so much information available to us, there is often a blur between […]

Quarterly Market Update – October 2018

“The media perpetuates a myth that, if you’re smart enough, you can predict the market’s moves and avoid its downdrafts. But the reality is: no one can time the market.” – visualcaptilist.com The message remains; 2018 will be volatile and at times uncomfortable. It is interesting that when we meet fund managers the message seems […]

Ramping up the fear factor

Warren Buffett was once asked how long people should stay in the market to which he replied “forever”. Hardly a day goes by without hearing or seeing that the current bull market will come to an end. The arguments are compelling; if we look at history we are in the longest bull market in modern […]

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