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Investment Notes 2017

  • Equity Markets; Nowhere else to hide?November 2017

    There doesn’t seem to be any stopping equity markets this year as they continue to climb higher and higher due to a genuine absence of anywhere else to go in order to sustain a reasonable return. As markets keep rising and valuations continue to stretch, although at this point it can still be argued not excessively, investors keep buying in and notching up gains.  The scenario is starting to look like a self-fulfilling prophecy and it seems there is nowhere else to go to make a similar level of return.


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  • Passive versus Active Investment. October 2017

    The game may have changed but the rules remain the same.

    Sir John Templeton famously said, “The four most expensive words in the English dictionary are ‘this time it’s different.’”  Whilst poignant quotes are ten-a-penny, this particular quote by the founder of Templeton investments struck home, namely because we are now well into one of the longest and ‘most hated’ bull markets on record, as some like to call it.


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  • TAM goes exotic in the hunt for yieldSeptember 2017

    Uncovering the opportunities in emerging market debt

    Ask any investor what the major difference is between holding a company’s debt and a company’s equity and they will tell you bond holders are protected as, in the case of bankruptcy, it is the bond holders who get their cash back first. Given the preconception that emerging market (EM) companies are an inherently riskier alternative to their developed market peers, investors would be forgiven for believing that the debt of an EM company is a safer and thus a more palatable route into EM than buying unsecured equity....
     


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  • Quarterly Commentary Q2 2017August 2017

    The first month of the quarter saw the surprise snap General Election called by Theresa May, which sent Sterling higher, but led the FTSE 100 index  f large-cap UK stocks downwards, given that a significant proportion of profits for FTSE 100 companies is made in dollars.


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  • Why we're banking on banksJuly 2017

    The financials sector has had a volatile start to the year following strong performance towards the end of last year as prospects of growth and inflation from a stimulative economic agenda from the Trump administration buoyed the sector. Despite this, the sector is up nearly 8% for the year to date and in our opinion, poised for further strong performance into the second half of the year.  


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  • Protecting clients' wealth through turbulent timesJuly 2017

    'To Serve and Protect' is a phrase of singular simplicity coined by the LAPD in the 50’s to embody its mission statement. Since then, it has cemented itself as the cornerstone of US, and arguably global law enforcement.   


     


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  • Message from the ChairmanJune 2017

    "The time has come", the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes - and ships - and sealing wax - Of cabbages - and kings - And why the sea is boiling hot - And whether pigs have wings." 
      


    - The Walrus and the Carpenter, Lewis Carroll
     


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  • Another Binary Event - UK General ElectionJune 2017

    In a strange twist of fate, with just two weeks to go until the anniversary of the Brexit referendum, the UK electorate is back in the polling booth, voting on the direction of UK politics. Now, for many this will be a proxy vote on allowing Mrs. May to continue what she started with the issuing of Article 50.


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  • Could Trump bring the bull market to a halt?May 2017

    The recent high profile news in the US is about Trump (no surprise there then!) and his seemingly irrational behaviour with regards to the abrupt firing of his FBI Director and the Russian influence that portended it. This has taken centre stage and caused the first real short-term market setback for months.


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  • Domestic disappointment, international success?May 2017

    For all of President Trump’s posturing on Twitter, we don’t envy his position. If people came to you with the notion they would be closely judging your achievements in your job over the first 100 days, would you be concerned? At the very least, keen to make an impression perhaps? Now, imagine that group is over 322 million strong and your office is the highest in the land. Having 100 symbolic days to come through for 161 million expectant voters whilst trying to prove another 161 million distrusting voters that you are the man for the job, would almost certainly give most of us sleepless nights.  


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  • May's u-turn: Why now?May 2017

    From the toppling of a Prime Minister and flash crashes in the pound, all the way down to the callous downsizing of our nation’s Toblerone bars, the UK’s historic Leave vote from the EU continues to run more like a suspense-filled thriller than a political motion to leave the single market. In the latest twist to the story, Prime Minister Theresa May announced last Wednesday that she would ‘reluctantly’ hold a snap General Election on 8th June 2017 to reaffirm the strong and stable leadership of her party, during such a moment of enormous national significance.


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  • Millenials: Well-educated, tech-savvy and ready to change the world!April 2017

    Some say they’re just out of nappies, others say they’re the next world leaders, we say that the Millennial generation (those born between 1980 and 1999) are transforming the image of socially responsible investing (SRI). Knowledgeable and well-connected, the Millennials are using their power to drive the investment universe to cater to their demands for investments which not only provide competitive financial returns, but also deliver measurable environmental and social benefits. Several studies have in fact demonstrated that incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) data in investment analysis correlates with superior risk-adjusted returns at a securities level. No longer are investors willing to sacrifice returns for the good of society - the Millennials are demanding more.


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  • A journey through Europe’s political minefield…

    I don’t think we’re alone in saying 2016 will go down in history as a watershed moment for global politics - a year when the people stood up and voted for wholesale change. Arguably the only thing upstaging 2016’s propensity for shocks, is 2017’s potential to deliver more of the same, and possibly on an even bigger scale.


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  • Diamonds in the rough...March 2017

    Emerging markets (EMs) is the well-worn phrase coined to describe the group of countries considered to be underdeveloped, but which are rapidly growing and urbanising. Despite their reputation for carrying significant economic and political risk, EMs present opportunities to invest in companies looking to take advantage of the growing population of consumers. The result? Potentially higher investment returns compared to investments in developed countries.


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  • Trump takes his throneJanuary 2017

    The dust had settled, the shock had begun to subside and the hecklers had… well they’re still heckling… but nonetheless, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, taking his throne as leader of the world’s most powerful nation.


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  • 2016 Review / 2017 OutlookJanuary 2017

    2016 in politics - Four down, one to go

    Harold Wilson is attributed as saying that a week is a long time in politics. One wonders what he would have made of the political drama throughout 2016, an extraordinary year of political upheaval where the improbable became routine.


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  • 100 days to deliverJanuary 2017

    2016 was tumultuous in the context of political upheaval but 2017 promises to be no less interesting. Decisions made by the electorate in the UK over Brexit and the US over Trump, will see their expectations or fears unfold in 2017-2018. For once, the politicians have to deliver on the electorate's wishes.


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