David Prosser

The long view: should investors completely avoid high street retailers?

Retailers are calling 2018 the year of crisis. By the end of October, almost 3,500 stores on the UK’s high streets had shut their doors for good during 2018, according to the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), resulting in the loss of 49,600 jobs. Retail specialists have been forecasting the death of the high street for some time, but this has been the year in which those predictions have really started to come true.

How to profit from an ageing population

Danica May Camacho grabbed her 15 minutes of fame early. On her birth, on 31 October 2011 in Manila, Danica was officially anointed the world’s seven billionth person – a human moment in a story of demographic change that is usually told through statistics.

The Long View: the end of oil?

There has been a mountain of speculation about when the world will finally reach peak oil, that much-feared moment when the planet’s reserves begin to run out and production starts to inexorably decline.

However, the answer to the conundrum may surprise you: while economists and politicians have spent much of the past two decades fretting about peak oil, there is a growing consensus that this turning point will never be reached – or at least not in the foreseeable future.

Will fund boards achieve a better deal for investors?

Though couched in regulatorspeak, the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) verdict was damning. ‘It is important the asset management industry, which looks after the savings of millions of investors, is working as well as possible,’ said executive director Christopher Woolard in May, as he unveiled the final results of the FCA’s two-and-a- half year investigation into asset managers and the open-ended funds they run.

Does it matter if fund managers have ‘skin in the game’?

Even the staunchest allies of the UK’s asset management industry must concede this is a business where the professionals too often get rich even when their clients get poorer. This, after all, is the complaint that has driven the astonishing growth of passive fund management in recent years, as many investors have simply got fed up of paying through the nose for active funds that don’t deliver.

A trade war between the US and China would be bad for everyone

Chances are that most investors are not familiar with Reed Smoot or Willis Hawley. But you may soon be hearing a great deal more about this pair of obscure US lawmakers who sponsored the US Tariff Act of 1930. Almost 90 years after their legislation triggered a global trade war widely blamed for plunging the world economy into the Great Depression, president Donald Trump’s US administration stands accused of posing a similar threat, much to the chagrin of financial markets.