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 […]

Where to start?

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 […]

Quarterly Market Overview – July 2018

“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 […]

Quarterly Market Overview – April 2018

“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 […]

Quarterly Market Overview – January 2018

“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 […]

Quarterly Market Overview – October 2017

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.

Interview with Georgie Biggin (GINS)

In this interview, we talk to Georgie Biggin (GINS). GINS began performing and studying at age 16. In 2016, she joined “We Are Uncollective” (@WeRUncollective), a creative events and management team. In 2017, she started to develop her own genre of music blending classic, folk and ambient sounds.

Is investing just a posh word for gambling?

I was asked the other day whether my job was essentially to be a paid gambler of another person’s money! It’s an uncomfortable question but one that deserved some thought.

Interview with Lynz Crichton Singer/Songwriter

In this interview, we talk to Lynz Crichton, who is a contemporary folk musician recently releasing an EP “Acquittal”. Lynz manages her music after leaving her job as Head of Modern Foreign Languages at a Secondary School. We caught up with Lynz to talk about, money, music and careers to understand how she has approached this.

Quarterly Market Update – July 2017

Just two years’ ago the Conservatives secured a surprise election majority. At the time, the UK was broadly on the same path as the US with an expectation of interest rates rising, economic growth and political stability. But all of that has coming crashing down; we are leaving the EU, Cameron is gone and the Conservatives are on life support hounded by Robin Hood (the hero of the people)!

Invesco Investment Conference – June 2017

These are notes from an investment conference held by Invesco in June 2017. The conference focused on four investment strategies. These notes are a reflection of what the managers said, and do not necessarily reflect our views or a recommendation to use these strategies. If you are considering investing in these strategies then separate research would need to be carried out.

BlackRock Investment Conference – June 2017

We recently attended an investment conference hosted by BlackRock. The conference covered an overview of the markets and then specific views from managers and their regions/sectors. The views contained in this note are the views of BlackRock and do not necessarily reflect our own views.

Schroders Investment Conference – June 2017

We recently attended an investment conference hosted by Schroders. The conference covered an overview of the markets and specific views from regional managers. The views contained in this note are those of Schroders and do not necessarily reflect our own views.

Hung Parliament

Despite what some might want to tell us, it is fair to say in this election there were no winners. The two biggest parties saw their share of votes increase significantly; the last time we saw this level of dominance was in the seventies.

Fund Analysis


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.....

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