Yesterday’s announcement by OPEC (The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) on cutting oil supply marks a significant change in strategy and effectively provides a back-stop for the oil & gas industry. OPEC said that it will reduce oil supply by 1.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) with a… Read the article
After a number of false starts, could it be that the much heralded ‘great rotation’ from bonds to equities has finally arrived? Trump’s victory in the US presidential election has accelerated a trend that began in July soon after the Brexit vote in the UK, with bond yields rising, the… Read the article
In yesterday’s blog, I discussed that while the Bitcoin currency system may not see widespread adoption, it gave us a unique piece of technology that would – Blockchain. At its heart, the Blockchain technology eliminates the need of a third party for verifying transactions. This is accomplished through… Read the article
There’s been a lot of attention on bitcoins and blockchains recently, in particular the latter which is being heralded as a major disrupter in financial services. In a two part series this week, I will attempt to explain and demystify the concepts of bitcoins and blockchains and look at the… Read the article
As OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) meets on 30 November to decide on production cuts, much uncertainty remains regarding OPEC’s collective appetite to reduce production, how the reduction will be apportioned and the likely timing of the mooted cuts.
We should not take OPEC’s actions lightly though as the… Read the article
Urban sprawl chokes cities. That was a key takeaway for me from a responsible investment conference I attended earlier this year. If we want to help reduce carbon emissions we need the cities we build today to be compact, connected and co-ordinated. The greater the area of a city the… Read the article
Don’t let the initial market enthusiasm to Trump’s victory in the US Presidential election detract from the longer-term themes investors in the healthcare sector need to consider and the limited visibility we have over how the Republicans will approach US healthcare policy.
The reaction in healthcare to the outcome of… Read the article
With Republican candidate Donald Trump winning the race to the White House, populist sentiment and anti-establishment feelings are making their presence felt at the ballot box.
Investment Director, Ritu Vohora provides an update on the market’s reaction to the US election… Watch the video
Low-volatility strategies are supposed to insulate investors from market bouts of turbulence. But lately, that’s been flipped on its head, as the strategies have underperformed and fund flows are retreating.
In the latest in our regular video series on the equities markets, Investment Director, Ritu Vohora provides an update on… Watch the video
Guest contributor – Jean-Paul Jaegers, CFA, CQF (Senior Investment Strategist, Prudential Portfolio Management Group)
… however, what is often less debated is the impact that time can have on these variables.
This is relevant as investors’ holding periods have generally shortened and as a result the variables that influence the… Read the article
Most investors are aware that the post-referendum UK equity market rally has not treated all stocks or sectors equally. Since 23 June, for example, the mining sector is up (+38.6%) to date, while retail stocks are down (-8.4%).
In the small-cap space, much of the recent focus post-Brexit has been… Read the article
Many investors are rightfully sceptical of executive share-based compensation, particularly in the US. But the debate is typically around the adjustments made to companies’ declared earnings or the very large payments that can result, rather than a view of the absolute level of dilution and how this should change over… Read the article
The thought of a ‘Brexit’ conjures up images of a drawn out, messy divorce for most – a painful process, with a net negative result. However, I believe that there are reasons to be hopeful. I think a positive analogy can be drawn between the spin-off of a company from… Read the article
As the presidential race enters the final lap, rhetoric around political drug pricing remains high and the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors are lagging the broader market year-to-date. However, in my opinion, US political drug pricing fears are overstated and investors should be more concerned about commercial drug price and market… Read the article
Pensions are long-term obligations. Falling interest rates have affected both the way that companies calculate the size of these liabilities, but also the assumed growth rates of the assets that they hold in order to pay those pensions.
What is quite extraordinary in my view is that QE, which now… Read the article
European markets are facing a number of challenges, not least in the region’s banking sector as recent events highlighted. However, European equities are attractively valued and there are signs of an improving economic backdrop.
In the latest in our regular video series on the equities markets, Investment Director, Ritu Vohora… Watch the video
Why did L’Oreal spend nearly €7.4bn on advertising and promotional activity in 2015? Why does the market value L’Oreal shares at a 70% premium to the Stoxx 600? Because conventional knowledge suggests a strong brand will allow a business to attract more consumers, retain their business and generate higher gross… Read the article
China’s transformation over recent decades has generated some great investment opportunities. But the challenge for investors has always been how to reach them. For many years, overseas investors have been restricted to a limited selection of Chinese companies. That’s now changing. As part of the Chinese government’s drive to raise… Read the article
In my last blog I highlighted that a big effect of the pound’s weakness post Brexit is to make those UK-listed companies that may have previously appeared attractive to overseas buyers, look even better value. Whilst sterling has recovered a little from its post-Brexit lows, it is still… Read the article
If you’re a sports fan, I would imagine the last six odd weeks of coverage from both Olympic games has had you frothing at the mouth, monopolising the telly and shouting down any dissenting channel opinions. Seizure of the remote control is key to the success of this strategy!
In… Read the article
As investors scour the globe for yield, one consequence of the low return environment is that companies making the highest payouts to shareholders are being rewarded by the market with higher valuations. This is the opposite of previous equity bull markets where it was companies investing for growth that reaped… Read the article
In the US, the clock is ticking down to November’s presidential election . . . the shock Brexit result in the UK demonstrated how voters can catch the markets unaware.
In the latest of our regular video series on the equities markets, Investment Director, Ritu Vohora provides an update… Watch the video
The growing disequilibrium between what bonds are implying through near-zero long-run interest rates and what equities are pricing in my view requires significant thought and attention, particularly for people saving for their pensions. I recently came across the letters of a prominent pension fund manager of the 50s and 60s,… Read the article
Having grown up in Kenya and spent lots of time in the African savannah, I have always been fascinated by herd behaviour. The annual wildebeest migration sees over two million animals migrate to find greener pastures. In their quest they may be hunted, stalked and run down by larger carnivores.… Read the article
Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are rapidly becoming the ‘must-have’ component of an investor’s portfolio. At the end of June, assets in ETFs hit a record high of $3.2 trillion globally according to data from research consultancy ETFGI and demand shows no signs of abating. Popular with both institutional and retail… Read the article
In my recent blog and in the blog from my colleague last week, we highlighted the disruptive power of new technology companies and the importance of creating networks to organize, synthesize and expand information through social, organisational and process innovations.
I believe there are changes in… Read the article
Global equity markets rallied sharply in July from their post-referendum lows, helped by better US data, supportive central banks and defensive positioning ahead of the Brexit vote.
In this, the second of our regular video series on the equities markets, Investment Director, Ritu Vohora provides an update on markets in… Watch the video
The Rubik’s Cube is an easy puzzle for those who know the correct ‘algorithms,’ or sequence of turns needed to align the coloured cubes – and a frustrating enigma for those who don’t. For a devoted few, the challenge is solving the puzzle as quickly as possible, which officially stood… Read the article
Technology is the biggest sector in the S&P 500 index and accounts for five of the top ten largest companies. The sector is growing at a pace and scale never previously imagined and is eating into the profits of every other industry.
Tech giant Amazon is a prime example (no… Read the article
In the run-up to the EU referendum many financial commentators forecast a stockmarket meltdown in the event of a leave vote, yet within days of Brexit becoming reality, stockmarkets were confounding these pundits by touching new highs.
With the FTSE 100 not following the ‘Armageddon’ script (due to defensives dominating… Read the article
You wouldn’t necessarily know it, but late last month (June 2016) the Federal Reserve released the results of one of the major stress tests performed on the US banking system.
Apart from a few banking sector specialists, little attention seems to have been paid to the results of the 2016… Read the article
Superficially, the healthcare sector in Europe looks attractively valued relative to consumer staples, but on a cashflow basis the relative valuation argument disappears. This may reflect more aggressive earnings adjustments in European healthcare.
In the US though, the valuation gap between healthcare and consumer staples does look more real and… Read the article
Well, we were not expecting that! I refer not to the vote to leave the European Union, but to the aftermath of that decision and the fact that the FTSE 100 finished the subsequent week up nearly 4%. Neither outcome was in the script. But on reflection, perhaps the second… Read the article
Global markets and the political and economic landscape were dominated last month by the unexpected result in the UK’s EU referendum.
In the first of a regular video series on the equities markets, Investment Director, Ritu Vohora looks at the Brexit effect and the likely outcomes for the UK market.… Watch the video
Whilst there are few direct implications for UK pharmaceuticals and healthcare companies of the UK leaving the European Union, there are some indirect benefits that have triggered sector outperformance in the past week relative to the broader UK market, and even to other defensive sectors which have outperformed, like consumer… Read the article
Since the Brexit vote, the UK homebuilder index has fallen by 30% reflecting concerns that the UK economy – and the UK housing market – are headed towards negative growth.
The market is right to be worried. It’s pretty tough to argue that if the UK heads into recession the housing… Read the article
Banks were hit hard yesterday in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the EU, with trading in RBS and Barclays temporarily suspended yesterday morning. Today, the market has opened firmer with financials amongst the leading gainers emphasising the increasingly volatile world we are now inhabiting. Standing back from… Read the article
Share prices in the US retail sector have declined by around 7% on average since the beginning of May compared with an advance of 1.4% for the S&P 500 (see following table). Some commentators have suggested this is an indication of weakness in the underlying health of the US consumer,… Read the article
The Korean equity market is cheap. It’s always been cheap. Many things are cheap for a reason though and a key feature of the Korean market is the lack of shareholder focus and precious little alignment of interests between company management teams and minority shareholders. But to quote Robert Zimmerman… Read the article
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 the article
There’s an interesting passage in the book “Other People’s Money” by John Kay. In it, Professor Kay discusses the intermediation of the market and the nonsensical notion that there is anything particularly insightful to be gained from “what the market thinks” when it comes to investing in companies. In our… Read the article
There are many different ways to form an investment view on a company. As my colleagues Dan White and Matt Cable discussed in a recent blog meeting company management can be both interesting and informative and for many investors pivotal to the investment decision making process. In my experience… Read the article
Unexpected changes to a central bank’s reference interest rate can cause chaotic price movements. Surprise action by the Bank of Japan (BoJ) in January has driven a shift in investor beliefs. Where previously negative interest rates were not seriously considered by investors, now they are a reality.
This is an… Read the article
Concerns over the health of corporate profits continue to weigh on the minds of market participants, as was evidenced in a recent Bloomberg article – ‘Plunge in US corporate profits is economic warning sign’. The article references the following chart, and suggests that a decline in corporate profits… Read the article
Today is the Queen’s 90th birthday and I thought a good reason to have a look back at how UK equities have fared over almost a century. When the Queen was born in 1926, the UK economy was still struggling to recover from the First World War, there was high… Read the article
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 the article
Many great investors have written extensively on the power of compound interest, yet it remains a difficult concept for investors to grasp and the majority of us fail to reap its long-term rewards.
Albert Bartlett might bring to mind the weekly shop and roast dinners for UK readers, but the… Read the article
Company meetings present something of a conundrum. The law rightly says that no investor should be in possession of ‘material non-public information’ when trading in shares, so both fund managers… Read the article
To adjust or not to adjust? That’s the key question for companies when presenting their accounts. There’s been an increasing tendency for companies to focus on adjusted ‘non-GAAP’ (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles basis) numbers instead of the more regulated GAAP numbers. My colleague Simon Bailey highlighted this in his blog… Read the article