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Look forward to 2021! This should be a good year, with the roll-out of the vaccine, pent-up demand for theme parks, outdoor event attendance and participation, and overseas travel. Peripheral stockmarkets around the world should rise in the same way American and Chinese markets rose last year, although a degree of caution suggests that anticipated…

November was the best month on record for equities across the globe as they averaged a return of 13%. Markets are comfortable with a Biden victory in the US election (resulting in a stalemate between Congress and the Senate thus less likelihood of radical tax changes) and there is expectation of less international trade confrontation….

So, will it be ‘divide and conquer’ Trump or ‘another empty seat at the kitchen table’ Biden? Incredibly, Biden is guaranteeing that “nobody earning less than $400,000 will pay a penny more in taxes” if he gets elected. That only 1.8% of the American population will pay higher taxes seems a very high bar for…

The Lifetime Allowance (the limit of the amount of pension fund which can be accumulated in the UK without incurring an excess charge) is currently £1,073,100. What is not widely understood is that if the allowance is breached in terms of accumulation, no excess charge is incurred until the fund is fully ‘crystallised’ by making plans…

China was responsible for starting the corona virus pandemic last year, and now they’re taking full advantage of the fear and uncertainty being caused across the world as a result of it. The cold war with China started too early to affect 2nd quarter blow-out earnings from leading tech stocks Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet…

The US Federal Reserve has said it will not raise interest rates until 2023 at the earliest, in an attempt to assure businesses that they will not have to deal with an increasing cost of finance to keep or get their business going in the wake of the covid pandemic.  It is understandable that all…

Sell in May and be an idiot!”, was how CNBC’s Jim Cramer summed up his appraisal of the 4% rise in US stocks last month.  Traditionally, “Sell in May and go away – come back on St Ledger’s Day” has been a decent mantra by which to abide if investors wish to preserve gains made…

The fact that everyone now, wherever they live in the world, is affected in some way by the effects of the pandemic, and possibly will be for another four to six months, is enough to make any investor think twice about investing new money in the stockmarket. It seems trite to be talking about the…

It has been the worst week for stock markets since the financial crash in 2008, evidenced by the US Dow Jones going from a record high to correction (usually defined as down 10% but in this case the Dow fell 15.5%) in a record 10 sessions, and the VIX volatility index rising over 100% in…

No one likes to hear about the spread of a previously unheard of virus but the corona virus emanating from China has thankfully put a break on the equity markets which were beginning to trade on over exuberance. The World Health Council declared the virus a world health emergency on January 31st, and what at…

This time last year this bulletin forecast no interest rate rises from any of the world’s central banks, against the opinion of most of the analysts that there would be at least three, possibly four rate rises from the US’s Federal Reserve. We were proved right. The year ahead should see again not a single…

The UK’s General Election on December 12th is no laughing matter. Martin Wolff, one of the most respected journalists for the Financial Times, and as a young man a supporter of the Labour Party, wrote a telling article this last weekend in support of the earlier open letter in the FT from 163 economists which…

Three days after the 90th anniversary of the 1929 Stockmarket crash, and with a current bull market of the longest ever duration, many are now questioning whether we are on the verge of another crash. In 1929 there was an exuberant air following the ‘roaring twenties’. People were taking on too much debt, including the purchase…

As unlikely as many see it, if Boris Johnson loses his job to send the Conservative party further into the mire, Jeremy Corbyn could be the next UK prime minister. In June, the labour party leader said, “The very richest in our society have had tax breaks, giveaways and tax havens; they’re living on borrowed time.” What…

Volatility returned big-time to the markets during August, making the holiday month the most hair-raising in four years. After July’s positive returns for both equities and bonds, August was a different story. Daily 200-300 point moves up and down on the S&P500 index were commonplace, bond yields fell in the US and across Europe as bond…

President Trump decided this week to taunt China. “We hold the cards”, he said. Trump thinks the tariffs he has put in place on Chinese goods coming into the US has brought billions of dollars into the US economy, and that China is “dying to do a deal with me” because of the hurt being inflicted…

At the end of April most investors were saying, “We’ll take a rise of 12% year to date for the whole year. Let’s pack up and go home now!” The “sell in May and go away” mantra proved not to be worth paying much attention to either, despite a wobble during the last 10 days of…

For as finely balanced as the world economic situation is at present, the political environment could hardly be more disruptive. President Donald Trump decided that with US stocks in early May near all time highs (US equity markets were up 13% this year alone to May 29th), US unemployment declining, wages increasing and consumer confidence rising,…

Stockpicking need not be as difficult as many would make out! That’s a controversial statement but many high profile successful investors have a relatively simple formula for investing, namely, pick the companies you understand. Most people don’t have the time or inclination to monitor the minutiae of a company’s cashflow, its return on equity (ROE), its…

The US S&P500 gained 12.3% during the first quarter – the best first quarter for US equities since 1998, the year “Titanic” gave us records at the Box Office, but this paled into insignificance compared to the performance of the FTSE AllShare, up 16%, and China, up 29%, the best quarterly performance for China since…

What is your discipline, your strategy for investing? Let your winners win or take profit and move on? Hope your losers recover or stop-loss? Diversification or concentration?

The Dow Jones rose more than 7% in January and the Nasdaq more than 9%. December was undoubtedly an unpleasant month for stock investors, exacerbated by almost 500 US hedge funds closing their books for good. Such huge liquidation t created a ripple effect which unnerved investors otherwise preoccupied with fears of the consequences of…

Consensus forecasts for the S&P500 to finish 2018 at 2900 were blown away during the last quarter, led by profit-taking in tech in October, fuelled by fears of trade war consequences in November and capped off by autopilot rate raising talk by the Federal Reserve in December. At the start of of 2018, world equity…

The rout suffered by nearly all stocks during October / November was ended when Fed chief Jerome Powell stated on November 28th that he thought US interest rates were “close to being normalised”.

Halloween reprieve from October rout As in the wake of the financial crisis, only precious metals rally Technical heavyweights lose 20-35% from recent highs “In case of panic, DO NOTHING!” The Federal Reserve’s continual talk of constant tightening to more ‘normal’ rate levels, together with China-US trade tariffs, more Italian financial and political scares, a…

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