Safe as houses?

Having been in the doldrums since the financial crisis, there are now tentative signs that the European residential construction sector is on the mend. We’re seeing encouraging data coming through and from our analysis and our discussions with companies, we’re increasingly confident that the earnings growth potential in the sector… Read more

Improved Public Offerings

A regular feature of my life is trying to focus on an IPO (initial public offering) prospectus through sleepy eyes on the 06.35 from Colchester! Unfortunately the complexity of the IPO process often means that the key document  – called a ‘pathfinder prospectus’  – only turns up just before (or… Read more

Retailers on the margin

Consumers are a demanding bunch. They want more choice, convenience and above all, a great customer experience. Yet they don’t want to pay more for the privilege! Satisfying the modern customer poses considerable challenges to today’s retailers. Can anyone but the consumer prosper in this environment?

Strong house price growth,… Read more

Bargain hunters beware

We’ve all felt the euphoria of finding that sought-after purchase at a bargain price. And there are certainly bargains to be found in equities in the current environment. But I think investors should proceed with caution to avoid the investment equivalent of a ‘fashion faux pas’ – the bargain item… Read more

A letter to Santa

Dear Mr Claus,

For much of its long history, your company has been shrouded in secrecy. Although your toy manufacturing and logistics business has been held in high regard by industry insiders for its innovative just-in-time distribution system, relatively little has been known about your financial performance. That all changed… Read more

A response from Santa

Dear Mr Rinch,

Thank you for your letter, dated 16th December 2015.

Before I address the body of your letter, I must say this is not the first time I have defended the company’s business model against the myopia of market participants: long before our IPO, creditors Marley & Scrooge… Read more

There’s life in the old fossil (fuels) yet

With Bank of England governor Mark Carney’s recent speech on fossil fuels and December’s UN climate change conference looming on the horizon, it’s not surprising the whole ‘stranded assets’ argument is gathering momentum. Warnings abound that investors and governments will face potentially huge losses if tougher action on climate change… Read more