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.
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 […]
“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 […]
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
“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 […]
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 […]
I’ve been sitting staring at a blank screen for half an hour trying to decide how I start this update. It’s been a fruitless attempt to boil down all that is currently playing out and that remains in flux, to establish a core narrative. Essentially what is the single central theme investors should be focused […]
“I am not an optimist. I’m a very serious possibilist. It’s a new category where we take emotion apart and we just work analytically with the world” – Hans Rosling We can very easily get caught up with the here and now. Will Italy bring down the European dream, will Trump destroy global growth; is […]
“If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?” – Shantideva Entering 2018, it was felt that momentum driving markets from mid-2016 was unlikely to continue, and the volatility which was absent in 2017 would return. As an observer […]
“Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful” – Warren Buffett 2017 surprised many – the year started with political trepidation in Europe, uncertainty over BREXIT and much debate on how long Trump would last. There was also a feeling that 2016 was a year of catch up after two previous […]
There are three factors I want to consider; longevity, destructive influences and monetary policy, and their impact on markets. Longevity is a challenge particularly in developed economies; in the 1930’s on average people spent 16 years in education and 44 years in work in the UK, life expectancy was to age 60. Providing a state pension and a health service for complex health issues was not a problem. Today life expectancy is age 80, with (on average) people spending 13 years plus in retirement, and this is expected to grow.