Marina Gerner

Should savers be seduced by peer-to-peer’s strong returns?

Innovative Finance Isas (IF Isas) were launched in April 2016, providing investors with a halfway house between the low-risk, minimal return cash Isa arena and the stock market risk of stocks and shares Isas – but they got off to a slow start. So what sort of choice is now available, and what risks and attractions are attached to these products?

FTSE 350 companies’ dividend cover doubles over 12 months

Average dividend cover – a measure of how sustainable dividends are – has doubled since this time last year among the FTSE 350 companies, according to research by The Share Centre.

Dividend cover is the ratio produced by dividing profit after tax by the total dividends paid out to shareholders. A higher ratio suggests the company has the cash to sustain dividends more comfortably and affordably.

Mirror, mirror on the wall - who's the best fund manager of all?

There is a belief that people with psychopathic traits – like aggression, cold charm and a ruthless lack of empathy – do well in the financial industry.

So a team of academics, led by Leanne ten Brinke, a social psychologist at the University of Denver, set out to investigate if that’s the case.

Her team studied the video interviews of 101 hedge fund managers. The way each fund manager communicates was analysed for behaviour associated with the ‘dark triad’ personality traits: psychopathy, Machiavellianism and narcissism.

Investors being misled by ‘Key Information Documents’, says AIC

When it comes to indicating the level of risk inherent in an investment trust and its ‘sister’ open-ended fund, the Key Information Documents (KIDs) introduced at the start of the year are tending to mislead investors.

The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) looked at 56 investment trust KIDs and then compared their Summary Risk Indicators to the equivalent indicators in the Key Investor Information Documents (KIIDs) produced by their sister funds. 

New study reveals female investors pick the best-performing shares

When it comes to picking the best-performing shares, women outperform their male counterparts by 1.8 per cent a year and beat the FTSE 100 index returns by 2 per cent, according to a new study.

The study analysed the investment returns of 2,800 Barclays Smart Investor customers over a three-year period. It was carried out by professor Neil Stewart at Warwick Business School, who found that annual returns on investments for men are only 0.14 per cent above the performance of the FTSE 100 in comparison.

‘Wake-up’ retirement packs to be sent from age 50

A package of measures designed to engage people in their retirement planning has been proposed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

One of the regulator’s key recommendations is that ‘wake-up’ packs should be sent to customers from the age of 50 and then every five years after that.

MPs call for ‘social care tax’ for over 40s

MPs on two select committees are calling for a new tax – dubbed the social care premium – for those aged over 40 in England, to help pay for elderly care.

This new premium could either be an additional element of national insurance or it could be paid into a dedicated social insurance fund. These proposals come ahead of the government’s green paper, which is expected in the autumn.

BlackRock Frontiers manager explains his contrarian approach

‘I’ve worked on the same team for my entire career, doing the same thing – broadly speaking: emerging and frontier markets,’ says Sam Vecht, who co-manages the BlackRock Frontiers investment trust together with Emily Fletcher. He studied international history but was fascinated by the stock market from a young age, skipping school to follow the movement of markets.