Category Archives: Money Matters

WHICH ASSET WILL PRODUCE THE BEST RETURN?

In the last article we looked at emerging market equities. In 2009 this asset class produced a return of 78.5%, way above all other asset classes. But in 2008 and 2011 it produced the biggest losses! So what are the alternatives and which asset class should we be looking at for the best returns? Here are the nine major asset classes you could consider investing in: Global Cash (fixed deposits in a basket of currencies) Developed Market (US, Europe etc) Bonds US High Yield Bonds Emerging Market Bonds US Equities (specifically US due to the market’s dominance) Developed Market (US, Europe, Japan ... [ Read More ]

TIME TO PILE INTO EMERGING MARKETS?

In the search for good investment returns emerging markets are often in the limelight. For those not too familiar with the terms perhaps I should start with a few definitions: Developed Markets: these include markets that have been active for a very long time, in some cases over a century. They are generally considered to include the biggest of them all, the US market, together with the UK, Europe, Japan and Australia. Emerging Markets: Basically much of Asia except Japan (although Hong Kong and Singapore are now closer to the developed category), Latin America, South Africa, Eastern Europe and parts ... [ Read More ]

PLANNING FOR FINANCIAL DISRUPTION

Technological disruption is a term that has only recently crept into our vocabulary although the phenomenon has been around for centuries. Perhaps the invention of the wheel was one of the earliest examples. Its efficiency must have displaced thousands of labourers who previously would have struggled to carry objects from A to B. In modern times we are seeing technological disruption at  an alarming rate. Examples would be video and audio streaming which have caused havoc in the music industry. Then we have e-mail which has revolutionised communications and all but eliminated the centuries-old tradition of writing and posting letters. The President of the USA can now communicate instantly ... [ Read More ]

COPING WITH COMPLIANCE

Remember the days when you could easily open and operate a bank            account? Or when you might be offereda cup of tea and a chat with the manager? Or when you could easily start a savings plan with a big  international life company and make withdrawals or cash it in with ease? Not anymore. The financial world has become too automated and is beset by a mountain of regulations and procedures where the client seems no longer viewed as a human being but as a commodity that has to be closely monitored and audited.   Things ain’t what they used to be In recent weeks I ... [ Read More ]

INVESTING – STAYING SAFE IN AN UNSAFE WORLD

Following Donald Trump’s surprise and controversial election as the 45th President of the United States 2017 could prove to be a year of great opportunity – or a year when we might wish we had taken cover. Everyone has an opinion, butno-one knows yet how things will really pan out. This presents a dilemma for investors. Is this a time to be investing like mad or a time to get out of the markets and stay in cash? If you fail to take advantage of the opportunities you will regret it later when you see how much money others have made. ... [ Read More ]

HOW CHARGES CAN DAMAGE YOUR INVESTMENT RETURNS

Have you ever wondered when stock markets appear to be riding high why your own investments are not keeping pace with them or when they are falling why your investments are falling even faster? The reason could be that you are not in the right asset classes at that point in time. If you have been investing mainly in the US stock markets for the past couple of years you should be doing very nicely, but if your money was in emerging markets or commodities you would probably be showing a significant loss. But stick to your guns; asset classes move in ... [ Read More ]

WHERE SHOULD WE BE INVESTING IN 2017?

2016 has been a challenging year for investors. It started with markets continuing the downward trend of 2015. But the sectors that had been devasted the most over several years, namely commodities, energy and emerging markets suddenly came to life and clawed back some of their earlier losses although still remain way below the highs they enjoyed before the oil and commodities collapse. The surprise Brexit vote and shock victory by Donald Trump for the US presidency were widely expected to lead to massive uncertainty and a flight from stocks but  instead had the reverse effect, certainly in the case of ... [ Read More ]

TRUMP vs. CLINTON – HAS THE RESULT AFFECTED YOUR FINANCIAL PLANS?

My last article four weeks ago was entitled ‘Trump vs. Clinton – Will the result affect your financial plans?’ The fact is, the result was not what the world expected, although I did allude to why the unthinkable could happen: (‘Those who don’t believe he could win should consider the recent Brexit vote which was seen very much as a protest against the establishment. Trump shrewdly recognised this phenomenon and even tweeted that he could be called ‘Mr. Brexit’.) He was right. Now we have a ‘Mr. Brexit plus-plus’. We have to give Trump full marks for a successful strategy that exploited people’s underlying ... [ Read More ]

TRUMP vs. CLINTON – COULD THE RESULT AFFECT YOUR FINANCIAL PLANS?

Assuming Donald Trump manages to survive the almost daily revelations that have battered his already bruised image and assuming no earth-shattering events get in the way of the US presidential election on November 8, to what degree, if any, could the result impact those of us on the other side of the world?   Before even considering the question perhaps we should not jump to the conclusion that Trump is out of the race, even though it appears so at the time of writing. It is hard to understand why millions are still supporting him despite his verbal and alleged ... [ Read More ]

WHY WE MUST PROVE WHO WE ARE – AND WHERE OUR MONEY CAME FROM

How often have you been asked by your bank, investment or insurance company to provide a copy of your passport and to have its authenticity certified by a qualified person – and at your own cost – should it be a lawyer or notary? And how often have you had to prove where you live and produce a document from a list of acceptable items such as utility bills or bank statements? Or explain the source of your funds? Chances are many times, particularly if you are an expatriate holding overseas bank and investment accounts. It can be extremely frustrating and time-consuming, not just for ... [ Read More ]