Reading Time: 5 minutes Do we stop to question received wisdoms as often as we should? The stories, words, metaphors and concepts we use to describe things do matter. They define the cast of characters on (or off) the economic stage, perhaps implicitly relegating important areas to marginal or non-existent roles, without even thinking about it . Adjectives and … More What if everything you were taught about economics & finance was wrong?
Reading Time: 4 minutes Recently joined the investment industry? Congrats and welcome, you’re going to love it here! And your timing is impeccable, you’ve joined the industry right at the start of a once in a generation scale capital flow in infrastructure and decarbonisation . I have to warn you not everything’s clear cut: we could be looking at … More New to the investment industry? Eight things you must follow
Reading Time: 7 minutes Is inflation coming? How will my portfolio do, what assets help against inflation? … More Asking the wrong question on inflation
Reading Time: 8 minutes answering some common arguments ESG or responsible investing … More The Good, the Bad and the false. Addressing 9 arguments against ESG
Reading Time: 3 minutes There are a great many ways to succeed in investing , some involve doing very little (eg owning a passive index) others involve a lot more. I reckon you have at least 4 broad categories: 1. Seeing what others don’t (eg Growth investing: buying Amazon or Apple ) 2. Finding what others can’t (eg private … More Finding what others can’t vs seeing what others don’t
Reading Time: 5 minutes What returns should I expect from my investments? Easy question, difficult answer. A lot of books and many, many column inches have been taken up debating that one. Of course, the most defensible answer is “no-one knows for sure”, but this isn’t helpful. For financial planning we need a forecast to start from and we … More The million dollar question
Reading Time: 5 minutes As passive aggressive conversation openers go, that’s right up there, to which the only sane answer is: “hell no”. My wife has a slightly friendlier version: “the only thing I would say here is … “. In reply I’ve got fond of saying “Thanks for the feedback” , with just a hint of passive-aggression, which … More Is now a good time for some feedback?
Reading Time: 9 minutes Hell of a week for mega-cap stock earnings in the US. You’ve got 5, trillion+ dollar companies growing at startup type rates. It’s remarkable stuff. Usually, as a passive investor one of the great things is not needing to have a view on individual stocks, you have the luxury of just shrugging while knowing you … More Oops they, did it again …
Reading Time: 8 minutes Why Net Zero is the new investment target of choice as asset owners think more about climate, externalities and sustainability … More Your New Investment Target: Zero (Net Zero)
Reading Time: 6 minutes So look I get that no-one needs another piece debating the 4% rule. (I did write a piece doing exactly this last summer though, showing that the last decade of low rates had “broken” the 4% rule – in the UK, similar conclusions would hold in the US). The follow-up to that piece was surprising- … More How Much Would You Need to Retire In Your 40’s?
Reading Time: 3 minutes All the ingredients came together here to deliver a really tasty story: You’ve got a rare listing of a tech “darling” in London, in a climate where the UK government is desperate to “reawaken” London’s capital markets in a post-Brexit world and in a time of US-based SPACs stalking many private UK firms. Add to … More Delivering the goods or a bad taste in the mouth?
Reading Time: 2 minutes They’ve done the hard work so you don’t need to. It was great to see ShareAction’s list of the top 13 shareholder resolutions to watch this AGM season – every investor or adviser should be putting this to the asset managers they work with to hear where they stand on these issues. We’re in a … More Social Conscience: The New Asset Management Competitive Advantage
Reading Time: 5 minutes First published in LCP Vista If I had £1 for every article I’ve seen on inflation … well, I might just have enough for a basket of goods, at today’s prices! And it’s a big week this week for inflation watchers with Fed, BoE & BoJ So … I did my best to summarise all … More Will the Inflation Dog Bark?
Reading Time: 5 minutes You know I had hoped to be able to get to a pub for a pint on my 40th birthday this year, sadly that dream went out the window (a small hardship compared to so many that have been endured over the last year for sure) so I used the time to write a blog … More The Twelve Biggest Lessons I Learnt in my 30’s
Reading Time: 3 minutes Look, I’ve always been pretty skecptical of Cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin. My typical argument would be that if you evaluate it against the characteristics of a typical financial asset you find that it has: no income, no claim to crytalise value and no inherent value. But perhaps that is too narrow a way of looking at … More Digital gold: the institutional case for Bitcoin
Reading Time: 7 minutes In 1981, an enterprising economist at the World Bank named Antione Agtmael was trying to win backing for the idea of a fund investing in developing economies. He was struggling with the name, and he knew this mattered. He was stuck on “third world equity fund”, but his colleagues weren’t sure. The name “Emerging Markets” … More The Concept of Emerging Markets is an outdated relic, we need a new paradigm
Reading Time: 3 minutes Now look I know we all want to put 2020 behind us and move on as fast as we can, but investors would be well served in reflecting on their decisions. Seeing we saw almost a whole market cycle encompassing fear, panic, greed and euphoria in just one twelve month period, we certainly got quick … More Investors: did you decide well?
Reading Time: 2 minutes I’m not one for predictions, especially when we’ve just lived through a year where many forecasts went out the window shortly after the ink on them had dried. However I feel I’m on fairly safe ground with the prediction that investors will find themselves asking at least THREE of the following FIVE questions at some … More Five questions that investors will be asking themselves in 2021
Reading Time: 5 minutes First featured on LCP Viewpoints I’ve seen several crises over my investment career most notably the 2008 crisis which occurred at a formative time in my industry development the lessons of which certainly influenced me – and I think many of my peers – for many years after (for better and worse). So I think … More Five things I learnt in 2020
Reading Time: 6 minutes GDP growth? US non-farm payrolls? Fed funds rate ? Oil price? VIX, change in the Baltic Dry index? All of those might make good candidates, but when it comes to overuse one number trumps them all thanks to its seductive power. The Price/Earnings ratio. Let me explain why. There’s quite a lot of psychology bound … More The most overused number in investing
Reading Time: 6 minutes For a spotify playlist of all these episodes click here. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the quality of free content in blogs, articles and podcasts these days is I think on a par with what you’d get in a masters degrees in times past, if you know where to look. … More The Top 12 FinPods of 2020
Reading Time: 7 minutes The big question that every investor must be wrestling with right now as we go into 2021 is the prospect for future returns. Do we need to take more risk to earn decent returns in a world of zero interest rates? This could be biggest investing puzzle of our time (a question Josh Brown posed … More Good and bad answers to the biggest portfolio puzzle
Reading Time: 4 minutes The Economist recently put out an epic on the future of asset management. Some of the conclusions were fairly obvious and well-known (albeit still important) but a couple of others struck me as under-appreciated. Who allocates capital? When you strip asset management back to its core societal purpose it’s about allocating investors’ capital to the … More Who allocates capital these days?
Reading Time: 4 minutes It’s good news when the stock market hits a new high, right? Well … maybe, but it might not seem like it if you are about to put money to work in the market , considering how to invest ongoing savings, or even making a switch from one asset class to another. If the market … More Advice for investing at all time highs
Reading Time: 2 minutes I’ve got a whacky and unpopular theory, hear me out … The largest group of tech stocks have soared past many market cap milestones recently. If only I’d had £1 for every time I’ve read that Apple exceeded the market cap of the FTSE 100 (eye catching, but so what?) and more recently that this … More Why FANMAG stocks are under-owned
Reading Time: 9 minutes Think Like a Military Commander: The Red Team “One thing a person cannot do, no matter how rigorous his analysis, is draw up a list of thing that would never occur to him” – Thomas Schelling The commander had a serious problem. It was October 2010, a company of Paras had just arrived in southern … More The military’s powerful risk management technique
Reading Time: 4 minutes Contrary to first impressions, big wave surfing is all about risk management. In the late 1980’s legendary Hawaiian big wave surfer Brian Keaulanu looked at the new models of jet ski that were being produced like the Yamaha Waverunner that allowed the rider to sit down, and had a flash of inspiration. He realised that … More We’re all risk managers now
Reading Time: 3 minutes Looking at individual stocks gets wild … It might surprise you that the following stocks have all yet to surpass their March-2000 dot-com era highs (at the time of writing. Admittedly 2 are getting close): Intel Cisco Pfizer AT&T General Electric It gets even weirder when you focus in on Cisco – despite being in … More Five surprising stocks in a 20-year bear market