Overseas shares that investors should learn to love

UK companies as a whole have been among the world’s most reliable and generous dividend payers historically. Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, says: “Dividend payments date back to the mercantilist origins of the British Empire. At the time, ships and voyages were funded by the wealthy, who took their cut on the return of those vessels, once costs had been met and goods sold (assuming the ships returned).”

Are ‘safe’ investments truly secure?

Over the past year, markets have seen a sea change. Gone are the days of hopeful talk of “global synchronised growth” and the continuation of the bull market; instead, there has been a return to volatility and growing fears of difficult times ahead. In the face of such bearish sentiment, should nervous investors think about returning their portfolios towards more defensive investments? The answer to that question depends to some extent on your timescale.

Diversification in investing: the old rules no longer apply

If history is any guide, we may be nearing the end of a strong run in stock and bond markets. At more than 3,450 days, the bull market run in equities is already the longest in history and bond markets have started to roll over. There are sound reasons for this: interest rates are rising, valuations are high and the geopolitical environment is increasingly uncertain.