If painful experience has taught us to take politicians’ pre-election promises with a pinch of salt, what do we make of the pledges made by party leadership candidates, which aren’t even recorded for posterity in a manifesto we can scrutinise later on? Bear that thought in mind this autumn as you ponder what impact prime minister Boris Johnson might have on your finances.
When is a closed-ended fund not a closed-ended fund? That’s not meant to be the set-up line for an esoteric joke aimed at investment trust enthusiasts; rather it is a question to provoke some thought in the wake of the Woodford furore.
The world’s biggest technology companies are making plays for a share of the healthcare market. Apple, Google, Amazon and their rivals believe new technologies have the potential to transform healthcare, just as they have underpinned the growth of these big-tech companies themselves over the past two decades.
The bottom-fishers smell an opportunity. Woodford Patient Capital (WPCT) was the most-bought investment trust on interactive investor’s web platform during June, as bargain-hunters sought to cash in on its plummeting rating. But will the opportunists make a killing – and should you join them? Or will Patient Capital’s new shareholders rue the day they ignored that old stockmarket adage about never trying to catch a falling knife?
Politics is a parochial pursuit – on both sides of the argument. It’s easy enough to characterise those overcome by Brexit fervour as narrow-minded and insular: their desire for a more extreme form of departure from the EU than any referendum campaigner ever envisaged speaks for itself. Yet those who describe the potential for a no-deal Brexit as the most serious threat in our time to the UK’s economic prosperity are just as blinkered in their own way: there are any number of scarier risks that presage more substantial damage.
Further rate cuts in bank rate alone might not be enough to bring inflation in line… the Bank of England remains committed to improving liquidity in credit markets that are not functionally normally.” So wrote Mervyn King, then governor of the Bank of England, to Alistair Darling, the chancellor of the exchequer, in March 2009. A decade later, the fallout from that letter is still being felt by ordinary Britons up and down the country.
Is the private equity industry about to trigger the next global financial crisis? For regulators whose job it is to keep a constant watch for looming risks to the financial system, the record levels of leveraged loans taken out by private equity-backed businesses are now causing real alarm.
What do you call a passive fund that isn’t so passive? If you’re a marketing guru charged with selling more asset management products, you come up with a scientific name and pitch your fund as a sophisticated new solution for the problems of our times. Meet the smart beta phenomenon.
Imagine returning home at the end of a long day in the office or a fortnight’s holiday to discover your house has prepared for your arrival. The lights switch on as you pull into the drive, the heating came on half an hour beforehand to warm the place up, and your security system deactivated when it recognised your car. The shopping has been delivered thanks to an automatic order placed by your fridge, and there’s some soothing music to welcome you as you unlock the front door.
Ask any stockmarket old hand for a few words of wisdom that investors should abide by and it won’t be long before you hear the phrase “run a profit, cut a loss”. Intuitively, that makes sense – why would you not cash out of an underperforming investment before your losses spiral, or hold on to a winner for as long as it keeps delivering?