ARCHIVES

  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 1 August, 2019
    From Hero To Zero
    As Central Banks the World over commence another period of activist monetary policy, we appear to be moving back towards a World of ZIRP and NIRP.  Respectfully, these are Zero Interest Rate and Negative Interest Rate Policies.
    12 July, 2019
    2019 Mid-Year Appraisal
    These are not times for complacency, nor fear, but instead careful assessment of the investment backdrop and how it is likely to evolve in the months ahead, with an ongoing focus on long-term strategic objectives.
    21 June, 2019
    Money for Nothing
    What is the true cost of cheap money? Maybe the answer is wasted spending, or in economic speak, ‘misallocated capital’. This is where money is borrowed and spent on projects and ideas that otherwise would not pass the smell test when interest rates are considerably higher than they reside now.
    3 June, 2019
    King Dollar
    Viewed from the outside, China and America now appear locked in a battle for global superpower status. This is a falsehood.
    15 May, 2019
    The Climate Challenge
    Recent disruption in London caused by the Extinction Rebellion Protests, an environmental movement focused on climate change, follows a 12 month period in which global warming has been in focus.  During this period, we have seen a greater incidence of extreme weather events, including wildfires and hurricanes.
    18 April, 2019
    The Risk Fallacy
    It is commonly believed that you cannot have more reward without taking on more risk. Financial risk can be defined in two very different ways.
    3 April, 2019
    It’s Crony Capitalism, Stupid!
    American millennials, it is said, are turning their backs on capitalism in favour of socialism. Be it socialism writ into the ‘green new deal’ we spoke about earlier in March, or espousing the conceit of modern monetary theory that we have also raised before. These ideas are predicated on the US Government taking over control of large swathes of supposed free markets, which has historically been an anathema to the United States, that sees itself as a bastion of free market capitalism.
    8 March, 2019
    The Green New Deal
    Climate change has become a pop culture drumbeat. Something we have to do something about. Unfortunately, we do not know explicitly what to do, but Governments take more money from us to do something.
    22 February, 2019
    Worrying About Nothing?
    In December, it appeared that the stock market falls would turn into a rout, and the US Government was shutdown thanks to arguments about Trump’s Border Wall. The drums started beating aggressively for those predicting an imminent recession in the US.
    8 February, 2019
    Modern Monetary Theory
    You may not have heard about Modern Monetary Theory yet (MMT). It’s still a developing narrative. But it’s growing, and it’s growing fast. It is a hip economic or financial model, apparently sweeping a World dissatisfied with the solutions offered by mainstream economics.
    25 January, 2019
    The UK And The EU: An Update
    The UK’s entire political focus over the first month of this new year has, of course, been Brexit. I thought it would be useful to talk though what has really changed as a result of these events.
    10 January, 2019
    My Word Is My Bond
    After the Great Financial Crash of 2008, the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) embarked on an unconventional policy that became known as quantitative easing (or QE). The purpose of this policy was to attempt to reduce long-term interest rates, after the Fed funds rate had been cut to effectively zero. Crucially, it was also designed to provide support to asset prices and assist their appreciation.
    20 December, 2018
    A Longer-Term Perspective on Stock Markets
    Stock markets fell sharply in October. Since then there have been big daily swings up and down, but no clear direction of travel. A number of risks are well known to investors.
    11 December, 2018
    A Sickly Panda
    The G20 meeting has been and gone, and China and America have for now called a truce for 90 days rather than reignite their trade war on 01 January. We are fortunate to be able to analyse a vast array of data from a variety of sources, when it comes to assessing the health and trajectory of Western market economies, but that is not the case with China.  
    16 November, 2018
    Why The House (Or In This Case, The Bank of Japan) Always Wins…
    As the Federal Reserve jolts financial markets across the World by indicating that US interest rates will continue to rise through 2019, the Bank of Japan follows a very different path. Indeed, the Bank of Japan Deputy Governor, Masazumi Wakatabe, declared earlier this year that “there are no limits to monetary policy”. If any one Central Bank is trying to prove this statement accurate (or a potential grand folly), it is the Bank of Japan.
    9 November, 2018
    Market Commentary 09 November 2018
    Following a turbulent October, the Market was hoping that the US Mid-term elections this week could help to start a much needed Christmas rally.  The outcome largely matched the forecasts.  Democrats won control of the House (for the first time in 10yrs), while Republicans retained the Senate.
    17 September, 2018
    The Curse of Black Gold
    From a low of $42 a barrel, in early February 2016, the Brent crude measure of oil has risen over 95% to stand at $82 a barrel at the end of September. Given that the US imposed sanctions on Iran which kick in next month and the Venezuelan economy may well be on the verge of collapse – then could we be on the cusp of another oil price shock with $100 a barrel being the near term target?
    17 September, 2018
    Magic Money Tree
    So, a recession is coming, we do not know when, what will cause it, nor for how long it might last. We do know that with interest rates in many parts of the World below zero, close to zero or not much more than 2% (outside of Argentina where they have been 60% recently), that the old levers of monetary policy are not available to stimulate demand as has been the case in prior recessionary scenarios when central banks would slash interest rates, as was last seen post the 2008 financial crisis.  
    20 August, 2018
    Presidential Arm Twisting
    Central banks are for the most part independent financial institutions across the advanced world, but it does not mean they are immune to outside pressure and, at times, their level of independence from political influence is no wider than a cigarette paper.
    11 July, 2018
    New World Order
    After World War II the United States and Russia broadly carved up large swathes of the World (China looked very much inward). In what has been known as ‘The West’, post-1945, we got used to a global system policed by an array of acronyms ranging from the IMF, IBRD, OPEC, EU, BIS, WTO etc.
    13 June, 2018
    Divergence and De-Synchronisation
    Recently economic data globally has shown signs of becoming more divergent, representing a change in direction following the period of synchronised growth observed during 2017.
    9 May, 2018
    Trump Trade Wars
    President Trump has not been afraid to upset the apple cart over many issues, since his election to public office, but perhaps the one area he has been consistent on for decades in a personal capacity is his view over the US being stiffed on trade with foreign nations.
    11 April, 2018
    Two Very Different Kinds Of Risk
    Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s new book (Skin in the Game), contains some highly relevant lessons for investors. The most directly applicable part is the logic of risk taking.
    20 March, 2018
    The Panda In The Corner
    Following the close of the 19th Annual Party Congress in China and subsequent elevation of President Xi to effective premier for life last week we wanted to cast our eye over the likely economic strategy.
    8 February, 2018
    Currency Adjusted Returns
    ‘The Dollar is going to get stronger and stronger, and ultimately I want to see a stronger Dollar’. So said President Trump in late January.
    9 January, 2018
    The 30,000ft View On Global Risks
    We enter the New Year with the President of the United States tweeting about his ‘big red button’ nuclear trigger being larger than that of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, or in Trump parlance ‘little rocket man’.
    11 December, 2017
    Looking Ahead To 2018
    In this commentary our Strategy Committee will each cover aspects of our 2018 outlook for the global economy, currencies, equities, bonds and potential tail risk events.
    10 November, 2017
    What can authorities do to offset the next financial crisis?
    Historically, financial crises usually trigger two policy responses by central banks and governments: emergency actions to ensure that financial markets continue to function and support for the economy via easing in the form of monetary and fiscal policy accommodation.
    18 October, 2017
    Past, Present and Future
    In this commentary members of our Strategy Committee will cover their views mainly related to our Diversified Core Strategy over the recent period and looking forward.
    11 September, 2017
    Taking The Temperature Of The UK Economy
    For 2017 the UK economy has seen two consecutive soft quarters of 1% real growth. The second quarter national accounts confirm that the loss of consumer spending momentum lies at the heart of the slowdown.
    10 August, 2017
    The Trouble With Bonds…
    …might be that they cannot offer equities support in times of Market turmoil.
    6 July, 2017
    Diversified Core Strategy Mid-Year Review
    As the first half of 2017 is now behind us we wanted to give you an update on how we have transitioned the asset allocation in our Diversified Core Strategy over the past six months.
    15 June, 2017
    May Day In June!
    Our Chief Investment Officer, Nolan Stanton, assesses the outlook for financial markets during our June Seminar ahead of the UK General Election.
    15 June, 2017
    Estate Planning And All It Entails
    Our guest speaker, James Beresford, from Slater and Gordon Law, discusses the importance of Estate Planning.
    7 June, 2017
    Solving The Trump Policy Equation
    Now that the US President has returned from his first major foreign trip, during which he succeeded in throwing the cat amongst the pigeons in Europe as much as he does at home, it seems a good time to see what, if anything, his administration may achieve in his first Term to propagate real returns on capital.
    5 May, 2017
    Allez Les Bleus!
    As the dust settles on the French Presidential Election results we can focus on the future for France and the role of the Euro.
    4 April, 2017
    Showdown at Mar-a-Lago
    President Trump reiterated that China is a “world champion” of currency manipulation and “devaluation” in an FT interview published ahead of this week’s meetings with President Xi. He also claimed the US would “act alone” on the North Korean nuclear threat if China wouldn’t. That should get your attention.
    16 March, 2017
    Brexit – Part Deux
    This month there is widespread expectation that the UK Government will formally trigger ‘article 50’, which will kick start the negotiations for Britain leaving the European Union in 2 years’ time. The topic has been discussed passim in the press with wild claims over the prospects for the economy made by both Bremainers and Brexiters.
    23 February, 2017
    Vive la France
    In sharp contrast to the end of January in 2016, equity markets this February continue to hit new highs as investors begin to price in the likely policies and stimulus Donald Trump will provide to the US economy.
    18 January, 2017
    2017: The Year To Say Goodbye To The Old Order
    2017 begins with the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, as the 45th President of the United States, heralding government by twitter.