When Nothing is Straightforward in the Markets

November started with a bang. And welcome to what is historically the best thee-month period of the year for the US stock market. Setting the scene, the presidential election brought the drama we all expected. In the event of losing at the ballot box, President Trump was never going to depart quietly after a turbulent four years. But Joe Biden is currently the heir-presumptive, notwithstanding what could be a drawn-out… Read More

Socially Responsible Investing is Coming of Age

COVID-19 has forced investors to re-evaluate how we live our lives and, for some, how we invest. The fields of “green finance” and socially responsible investing could be major beneficiaries of this tipping point. This is an investment space exploding in the UK. Even prior to the coronavirus, massive amounts of money were shifting towards environmentally conscious investing. This has taken different forms. By the broadest measure over $31trn has… Read More

Can you afford NOT to buy the S&P 500 Index Tracker Fund?

Another week, another record high at least across the pond if not here in the UK. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite have once again led the charge, with investors still not ready to bank their winnings. The markets have clawed back the losses inflicted by the pandemic. In fact, US stocks had their best August since 1986. The biggest winners for the month included those hit hardest by the… Read More

Is this the end for Banks?

The banking industry has undoubtedly changed. COVID-19 is proving to be a massive disruptor of business models. The huge impact on future cost structures, income generation opportunities and returns on equity, will likely also influence the performance of their stocks in the long term. Long before the pandemic, the industry was navigating a challenging operating environment. In Europe, for example, banks faced low interest rates, unfavourable regulatory conditions, and poor… Read More

S&P 500 hits all time high – are we really going into a bull market again?

Have we turned a corner? That’s the question that everybody is asking in the United States but yet is not on the lips of even one investor in the UK. So what’s going on and why such a large disconnect between two economies which in the past have always moved so closely together? Certainly in the States it appears that once again the risk appetite is back. The S&P 500… Read More

Technology stocks still going strong… for now

The gap in performance between the tech-biased Nasdaq Composite and its rival benchmarks in the first half of 2020 has been dramatic. The index has enjoyed an ever-widening lead between itself and the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index. Much of this is down to the perceived resilience that technology companies have within the pandemic. The theory is that the structural growth these stocks offer is more… Read More

Could poor UK earnings lead to higher equity prices?

It’s tough to be excessively positive on the outlook for corporate profits in the midst of a global pandemic. But that’s not going to stop eternal optimists as we dive deep into the UK quarterly reporting season. This period provides UK investors with an opportunity to look beyond the health crisis to provide justification for the sharp stock market rebound we’ve seen in recent months. Stocks have spiked higher whenever… Read More

The Wirecard Scandal

It appears that it’s not just Covid-19 that we need to be concerned about because in recent months we have seen an escalation in fraudulent financial cases which is causing companies to buckle. Whether or not these frauds are coming to light because of the pandemic doesn’t actually matter because eventually a fraud will be found out. What’s worrying is that they are not being picked up even by the… Read More

The Slow Road to Recovery

As markets bounce around seeking stabilisation, at a time when European countries and individual US states gradually start to reopen, UK investors can now start to survey the wreckage. The US unemployment picture signals some of the fallout. It’s plain to see that President Trump’s hopes for a tight job market have vanished. What was once a cornerstone of his re-election campaign is now looking more like an albatross. The… Read More

Don’t Forget the investment opportunities from Brexit

Many UK investors are looking towards European stocks in the hope that there’s been a fundamental shift in the region’s prospects. After all we are Europe’s closest neighbour and with Brexit (yes, do we still even remember that) now in full swing, the changing dynamics between Europe and the UK will undoubtedly give rise to great investment opportunities. However part of the problem has been that “Europe” has too often… Read More

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