Covid Catch-Up 29/5/2020

2020-05-29T12:03:06+01:00May 29th, 2020|Blog|

Views on the global economy, driven as ever by those on the US economy, started with a potential “V” shaped recovery, moved through thoughts of a reverse “tick” and then onto a “U” shape with an extended bottom. The stock market, particularly the US, has pretty much missed out the tick and the U and has convinced itself that its own recovery will be V shaped. So is this possible? The [...]

The Post Covid Picture 6/5/2020

2020-05-06T11:38:34+01:00May 6th, 2020|Blog|

The world is likely to be much changed once we finally reach the other side of the Covid chaos. Something of this magnitude will leave an indelible imprint on peoples’ lives, changing attitudes and behavioural patterns, certainly for a time and, who knows, perhaps permanently in many cases. I would think we will generally be a bit more “make do and mend”, bringing a pause to the throw-away society we have [...]

Boris’s Return 27/04/2020

2020-04-27T16:36:08+01:00April 27th, 2020|Blog|

I keep reading about the disruption caused by Covid-19. How right they are. After 50 years of travelling up to town and back home again in the evening, I can’t tell you how hard it is to change one’s daily routines. I might well get an extra hour and a quarter in bed in the morning but having risen early for so many years the body just doesn’t seem to want [...]

Dividend Dilemma 03/04/2020

2020-04-03T18:45:31+01:00April 3rd, 2020|Blog|

Those seeking income from the stock market have been dealt an awful blow in the current rout. What began as an understandable move by companies that foresaw a liquidity problem, as businesses are locked down and revenues interrupted, has mushroomed into something much wider. Cancelling or suspending dividend payments has become almost the thing to do. If most people are struggling then so should those greedy shareholders and any company that [...]

Coronavirus Update 23/03/2020

2020-03-23T11:16:44+01:00March 23rd, 2020|Blog|

Goodness me, could the headlines get any scarier? The constant update of fresh coronavirus cases and new deaths, whilst informative, adds to the depressing atmosphere and exacerbates the panic. The daily political briefings are notable, not just for the necessary updates from the government but also for the constant emotive questioning by journalists clearly seeking to trip someone up for the sake of the next day’s scare story. We could really [...]

Corona Collapse

2020-03-12T14:39:36+01:00March 12th, 2020|Blog|

I had hoped my 50th year in the London Stock Exchange, marked this month, could be remembered with tidings of comfort and joy. I suppose if that half a century were to teach me anything it should have been to expect almost any alternative. In a few short days mother nature has ripped the rug out from beneath global markets and sent a shiver down the spine of anyone falling into [...]

Saga – Time to Throw in the Towel 05/03/2020

2020-03-05T10:05:55+01:00March 5th, 2020|Blog|

Saga – Time to Throw in the Towel When the then CEO of this over 50’s insurance and holiday business, Lance Batchelor, effectively tore up his previous guidance a year ago, cut the dividend and announced a fundamental change of strategy, the damage to the share price was instant and severe. However, the new strategy, which included a novel three-year premium fix on motor and home insurance policies, appeared to be [...]

Gone Viral 27/02/20

2020-02-27T11:51:07+01:00February 27th, 2020|Blog|

Gone Viral I have to admit I am struggling to get my head around Coronavirus. According to the World Health Organisation, worldwide flu epidemics result in up to 5 million cases of severe illness and as many as 650,000 respiratory deaths each year. Deaths are more likely amongst the high-risk groups such as the elderly, infirm, very young and those with chronic medical conditions. The numbers sound terrible but when set [...]

On The Mend 13/02/20

2020-02-27T11:50:11+01:00February 13th, 2020|Blog|

On the Mend  Further evidence of improvement in our economy as house prices have begun to rise again after an eighteen-month hiatus. Anecdotal evidence of growing confidence in manufacturing and construction is apparent, the latter undoubtedly taking heart from the promise of considerable infrastructure spend by the new government. I suspect this trend will gather pace over the coming months. Across the Channel, things are moving in entirely the opposite direction. [...]

More Clarity 28/01/20

2020-01-28T12:55:27+01:00January 28th, 2020|Blog|

More Clarity Well that didn’t take long. In my last post I suggested the calls for an interest rate cut were premature and that the PMI figures moving into the new year would show a marked increase in confidence following months of pre-election and Article 50 deadline stagnation. On Friday IHS Markit’s PMI (purchasing managers’ index) for January reported a very strong recovery from 49.3 to 52.4, a level last seen [...]