For a number of months now, the world’s largest survey of fund managers has observed that, when asked for their greatest financial market fear, the most cited response has been a ‘trade war’. There is a significant slug of rationality for this.
Major macro factors affecting the economy and financial markets over the next six to twelve months include trade policy, interest rates, earnings growth, Federal Reserve (Fed) policy, and geopolitical uncertainty.
I thought I would use Billy Connolly’s witticism about his homeland to highlight the essential debate in financial markets at the moment. During the last month, the UK’s most-quoted stock market index - helped by a rising oil price boosting energy sector shares - reached an all-time high.
Major macro factors affecting the economy and financial markets over the next six to twelve months include interest rates, earnings growth, inflation, monetary policy, and global economic growth.
So how was February for you? For many it would have been a bit of a shock with the global indices in aggregate posting their first monthly loss since the autumn of 2016, which is a long time ago. The real question however is whether this heralds a new downward trend, whether this is just [...]
There is an old market expression that says ‘As goes January, so goes the year’. The historic data rationale for holding this view is decidedly mixed but global equity market investing adherents will be entering February feeling very excited. Simply put, January was a decidedly positive month for global equity investors, and it is easier to say which markets went down rather than quote the long list who had their best start to the year for a number of years.
Outside of a few select emerging markets, inflation worries have been notable by their absence for financial market participants in recent years. Of the major global central banks, only the Bank of England is currently mildly embarrassed due to the specific influence of lapping the post Brexit referendum vote weak Pound period, which had a mechanical impact of raising import prices.
Many years ago I was told that if I found myself uttering the phrase that ‘investment was easy’ I should sell all my outstanding positions and go and sit in a darkened room and have a think about it all. These words came back to me a few days ago when I came across some information about the investing habits of one of the UK’s true historic geniuses Sir Isaac Newton, the mathematician, astronomer, theologian, physicist… and almost bankrupt investor.
I pointed out in the most recent Investment Services Quarterly that over the past fifteen or twenty years October had a slightly rude reputation as a bad month for equity market investors. October 2017 will go down in the history books as not only being a positive month for almost all global investors, but additionally one which saw many well-regarded volatility measures continuing to bump along the bottom.