50 days of lockdown: which investment funds have outperformed?

As the UK marks 50 days of lockdown, investors have seen both positive and negative signs in the markets. Global stock markets have returned to positive territory after a disastrous early March, and most funds have made a positive return. However, billions of pounds worth of dividend cuts are weighing heavy on income-seeking investors.

Investment platform AJ Bell crunched the numbers to find out which funds have performed best since 23 March, as the UK steels itself for more weeks of restrictions. 

Covid-19: the ultimate black swan event

Rarity, extreme impact, and retrospective predictability. Those are the three characteristics of a black swan event, according to Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the theorist who coined the term. Black swans come out of nowhere to derail financial markets – they are so-called because of an old saying that black swans did not exist, until one appeared to prove otherwise. But what can we learn from these events, and what can history tell us about how markets recover?

Did defensive funds protect investors during the market sell-off?

Those outright pessimists who long warned a financial apocalypse was around the corner during the 10-year long bull market for financial markets had concerns over unsustainably high levels of global debt, trade wars and sky-high valuations for the US equity market. Each worry was plausible, but ultimately none of them proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Instead it was Covid-19, a deadly disease no one had heard of until the start of this year, which sent markets into meltdown.

Royal Mint launches physically-backed gold ETC

The Royal Mint Physical Gold Securities ETC, called RMAU, will list on the London Stock Exchange, and is the Royal Mint’s first listed financial product.

Each ETC is equal to 1/100th of a troy ounce of gold, which is approximately $15 per ETC based on the current price of gold.

The Royal Mint has partnered with specialist white label ETF issuer, HANetf to issue, manage and distribute the RMAU ETC. 

Where next for oil, gold and other metals in 2020?

This piece was written in December 2019.

If geopolitical developments had the effect on equity markets that’s so often feared, recent years might have been much more volatile. But while the investment implications of political and macroeconomic turbulence are frequently overestimated, their impact on commodity prices can be a different matter.

Long driven by the fundamentals of supply and demand, commodity markets are increasingly shaped by factors such as policy change, trade disputes, political tensions and the response to climate change concerns.